SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Southeastern and Augustana combined for 25 runs and 25 hits, but Shayna Milam allowed just two runs on three hits over the final five innings to help lift the Savage Storm to a 13-12 victory over the Vikings in game one of the Central Super-Regional in Sioux Falls, S.D.
SE improved to 42-18 overall on the season and carry their 1-0 series lead into game two of the best-of-three series set for a noon start on Saturday.
And while plenty of runs were put on the board in the contest, Milam stepped into the circle to open the third inning and retired AC in order before finishing the game allowing two runs on three hits with a pair of strikeouts over five innings.
The SE offense came alive as well in the chilly northern air, with Jessica Simmons and Lacie Cook each posting three hit outings, while Laramie Beal and Courtney Riddle each added a pair of hits. In all, eight of the 11 batters to come to the plate picked up a hit.
Simmons, Cook and Beal each added three RBI, with Simmons and Beal connecting on long home runs.
Lauren Renneker drove in a pair of runs, while Riddle added one RBI.
Mindy McElroy got the start in the circle but was hit for seven runs on seven hits in 1.2 innings pitched before Jacee Bennett came on in relief. She tossed one-third of an inning, but was touched up for three runs on one hit.
Milam picked up her seventh win of the year after tossing the final five innings and helping SE hold on.
The Viking struck first with a two-run home runs off the bat of Janelle Trautmann in the first inning, but the Storm was ready with an answer in the second.
Riddle picked up a one-out single and two batters later moved to second on a two-out McElroy single. Renneker was then hit by a pitch to load the bases when Simmons connected on a two-run double to plate Riddle and McElroy and tie the game at 2-2.
But the rally was not over as Cook promptly gave the Storm a 4-2 lead with a single that scored Renneker that was accompanied by an error that allowed SImmons to score as well.
Sydney Kramer followed with a single of her own to put two on for Beal who cleared the bases with her 10th home runs of the season and put SE up 7-2 midway through the second inning.
That lead did not last all that long as SE retired the first two hitters in the bottom of the seventh inning, but AC then connected on five-straight hits, two of which were home runs, followed by a pair of walks which set the stage for a grand slam off the bat of Carly Peterson and by the time the Storm retired the third out in the inning, the Vikings had scored eight runs all with two outs and led the game 10-7.
Both teams went down in order in the third, but Simmons would open the fourth inning with her second home run of the season, this one a solo shot with one out to dead center that cut the deficit to 10-8.
AC would answer with a run in the bottom half to push the gap to 11-8 after four innings.
Beal then led off the top of the fifth with a double and scored two batters later on a one-out double by Riddle that closed the deficit to 11-9.
Arianna Jones would follow with an infield single and runners moved to second and third on a Milam sac bunt which set the table for a two-run single by Renneker with two outs which knotted the game at 11-11.
Shaina Crites would come in to run for Renneker and moved to second on a walk drawn by Simmons and both moved up on a passed ball from Carley Pickett before Cook put the Storm in front with a two-run single that plated both Crites and Simmoons and gave the Storm a 13-11 lead.
AC got one run back in the bottom of the fifth on a solo homer by Maddie Merriam which made the score 13-12.
SE put a runner on and could not score in the top of the sixth, while the Vikings did the same in the bottom half of the sixth.
The Storm threatened again in the top of the seventh, getting Simmons to third, but was unable to get an insurance run across.
It would not matter though as Milam would set AC down in order in the seventh, including snagging the final out on a line drive right back to the pitcher to secure the victory.
Southeastern scored 11 of its 13 runs with two outs, while Augustana plated 11 of its 12 with two outs.