PELLA – Friday's showing was not indicative of the Cornell softball team that won 23 games and made noise the night before with a near-upset of No. 2 seed Central on its home field.
The Rams spotted 25th-ranked Augustana three unearned runs in the first inning and couldn't get their bats on track in a 7-1 season-ending loss during Day 2 of the NCAA Division III Pella Softball Regional at A.N. Kuyper Athletics Complex.
Cornell finished 23-16 during a banner-filled year which featured a Midwest Conference Tournament championship and the program's first trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Rams posted the second-most wins in school history with a relatively young squad that graduates one senior starter.
Thursday's intense 1-0 eight-inning loss to Central may have caught up with the Rams on Friday. Augustana (30-13) scored three runs in the bottom of the first, added two in the second and led 7-1 after four innings.
Cornell's hard hits seemed to find Augustana's gloves. And when the Rams did reach base, nine of them were left stranded. Three innings ended with a Cornell runner on third base.
Sophomore Kari Martin came around for Cornell's lone run on a fielding error by the third baseman with two outs in the top of the second. Rachel Aubry's single started the scoring play, one of her two hits in the game.
Junior right-hander Amanda Engel (9-12) was dealt the loss, despite allowing just one earned run and three hits before leaving the game with one out in the second.
Jackie Sernek, who went the distance against Central, surrendered six hits and two runs over the final 4.2 innings. Sernek fanned three, raising her school-record strikeout total to 130 during a stellar junior campaign.