Betsy Helfand


Gophers punch ticket to NCAA Super Regional

In the past week, freshman Sam Macken has shown her propensity for big moments. Last week, she delivered a walk-off hit to lead Minnesota to a Big Ten tournament championship. Sunday, Macken struck again. With the Gophers down a run in the bottom of the sixth, Macken smacked a three-run home run to give her team an 8-6 lead over Auburn and guide it to its first-ever NCAA Super Regional. “Everyone wants to be in that spot, so if you’re in it, have fun with it and see what happens,” Macken said.

Gophers finish ninth at NCAA regional

Minnesota entered the last day of its NCAA regional within striking distance of capturing fifth place and punching its ticket to the next round. But Sunday’s play knocked it back to a ninth-place regional finish. “I think we found that we were right amongst the best of the best,” head coach John Carlson said. “Today, unfortunately, we just didn’t convert on as many opportunities as we needed to.” The team finished Friday’s play tied for sixth, but Carlson said his team didn’t hit very good iron shots Saturday.

Gophers' bats explode in NCAA regional win

It took Minnesota’s offense just 4.2 innings to dispatch the Green Bay Phoenix in Friday’s NCAA regional win. After a surrendering an unearned run in the first inning, the Gophers settled down and beat the Phoenix 10-1. The eight-run mercy rule came into effect after freshman right fielder Sam Macken hit a two-run home run to cap off a seven-run fifth inning. “I’m really proud of — after a shaky first inning — us coming back and putting it together,” head coach Jessica Allister said.

Nelson dismissed from Rutgers; second suspect arrested

Just after it began, Philip Nelson’s Rutgers career is officially over. The Rutgers football team released Nelson, the once highly touted Gophers quarterback, on Tuesday, a day after he was charged with first- and third-degree assault. According to a criminal complaint, Nelson kicked Kolstad, a former Minnesota State-Mankato linebacker, in the head during an altercation in Mankato, Minn., that took place Sunday morning.  Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood announced the dismissal in a statement Tuesday.

Nelson charged in assault, released on $20K bail

MANKATO, Minn. – Former Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson exited the Blue Earth County Justice Center on Monday afternoon with a white towel over his head, blocking his face from people questioning his role in an incident that left a man in critical condition.

Walk it out

When the song “Enter Sandman” blared on the loud speakers at Yankee Stadium, everyone knew what was coming. Mariano Rivera was about to take the mound to close out the game. Though current players on the Gophers baseball and softball teams may never reach the future Hall of Fame closer’s level of superstardom, a simple walk-up tune is a time when they can showcase their personality — even if it’s only for a few seconds. Softball Player: Tyler Walker Song: "Do My Thang" Artist: Miley Cyrus

No. 6 Florida State knocks off Gophers

Florida State was ranked sixth in the nation as it entered its series with Minnesota, and the Gophers found out why firsthand over the weekend. The Gophers fell in all three games in Tallahassee, Fla., losing a Saturday doubleheader 5-4 and 3-2, then dropping the final game 7-1 on Sunday. Minnesota second baseman Connor Schaefbauer said this weekend served as a good opportunity for his team to play against a team getting national attention.

Gophers cancel a trio of games due to rain

The Gophers softball team’s final home games of the season were canceled due to inclement weather. Minnesota was scheduled to play a doubleheader with North Dakota State on Wednesday night. The Gophers cancelled a midweek doubleheader with North Dakota last week, too. Minnesota will travel to West Lafayette, Ind., this weekend for a three-game series with Purdue to wrap up regular-season play before heading to Evanston, Ill., the following weekend for the Big Ten tournament. Soggy Siebert Field

Family baseball ties help inspire Meyer

Ben Meyer rocked back into his windup Saturday afternoon at Siebert Field and fired a fastball into the strike zone. Swing. Miss. Meyer pitched eight innings, didn’t allow a run and struck out a career-high eight batters in one of the best outings of his collegiate career. Meyer’s comfort on the mound was evident, as it should have been. He was born to do this. He’s not the first to play college baseball and won’t be the last. His father and grandfather were collegiate pitchers, and soon his younger brother will be, too.

Minnesota sweeps Penn State at home

Minnesota’s starting pitchers shined in their first weekend under the lights at new Siebert Field. The Gophers used three stellar performances from Alec Crawford, Ben Meyer and Neal Kunik en route to a crucial series sweep over Penn State. Minnesota played its first night game in Siebert Field history Friday, and Crawford led the Gophers to a 2-1 victory, pitching eight innings of one-run ball while setting a career-high with nine strikeouts.