The Minnesota State University, Mankato softball team defeated No. 1-ranked Augustana University on Saturday for a second time in two days to capture the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference tournament championship.
The Mavericks won Saturday’s title game 4-2 at the Rochester Youth Fastpitch Softball Association complex. Top-seeded Augustana beat Minnesota State 5-0 in the first championship game of the double-elimination tournament Saturday.
No. 17-ranked MSU, Mankato earns an automatic bid into the NCAA national tournament. The Mavericks will play in the Central Regional in Edmond, Okla., beginning Wednesday.
Augustana, which won the national championship in 2019, is expected to earn a bid as well, when the tournament field is announced late Sunday night.
Winona State (37-12) was eliminated from the NSIC tournament by Augustana on Saturday. WSU came up one win shy of a spot in the title game.
Saturday's victory marked the fourth time the Mavericks have won the NSIC postseason championship. They previously won in 2012, 2013 and 2017.
Faribault native McKayla Armbruster was the winning pitcher in the Mavericks' victory, allowing just two runs in 6 1/3 innings pitched.
Hannah McCarville drove in two runs for the Mavericks and Farmington's Carly Esselman was 2-for-4. Augustana pulled within 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh in the decisive game, but MSU's Kylie Sullivan made a running catch in right field for the final out.