Plagued by quiet bats and defensive blunders Sunday, the No. 14 Minnesota softball team rebounded in style Tuesday, sweeping rival Iowa in a doubleheader. The Gophers won the first game 2-0, following another stellar pitching performance by senior Sara Moulton. They looked even better in the second game — a 7-0 skunk on the arm of freshman Sara Groenewegen. Those small miscues that hurt the team Sunday were nothing but distant memories by the time the doubleheader finished.
Minnesota will look to continue its dream season Tuesday when it travels to Iowa City, Iowa, for a doubleheader against the Hawkeyes. The No. 14 Gophers are fresh off a disappointing split in Sunday’s doubleheader against rival Wisconsin, while Iowa is coming off a thrilling walk-off win over Northwestern on Sunday afternoon. Minnesota played well Sunday afternoon, but fielding errors — three in the first game alone — and baserunning blunders brought the Gophers their fifth loss of the season in a game in which they gave up no earned runs.
Gophers freshman pitcher Sara Groenewegen put her hands on her head, a look of disappointment on her face, as she watched her no-hitter come to an end just two outs short. Groenewegen took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Ashley Van Zeeland put a blemish on the box score. While she didn’t earn the no-hitter, Groenewegen was more than impressive Sunday, striking out nine Badgers en route to another win. Her performance helped No. 14 Minnesota take the second game of a Sunday doubleheader against defending Big Ten champion Wisconsin.
No. 14 Minnesota will look to continue its best season ever this weekend with a three-game tilt against Wisconsin at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium. The Gophers lost 9-3 to the Badgers in last year’s Big Ten championship game. This year, junior infielder Tyler Walker said the series is about a lot more than the famed Border Battle between the two schools. “We’re out for revenge,” she said. “It’s not about the Border Battle. It’s about the battle we had with them last spring in the title game.
No. 15 Minnesota swept Illinois over the weekend, improving its overall record to an unprecedented 27-4. The Gophers also moved to 5-1 in Big Ten play with the trio of wins. Minnesota’s bats stayed hot all weekend, and the team posted 23 runs in the three-game series. Gophers sophomore catcher Taylor LeMay powered the team at the plate, launching two home runs to move her season total to a team-high eight blasts. Still, she said she’s more excited about the team’s hot start.
No. 15 Minnesota will return to the Twin Cities this weekend, taking on Illinois in its first home series of the season. The Gophers opened Big Ten play last week with two wins over No. 18 Nebraska, extending their winning streak to eight games. They lost in the third game of the series to snap that winning streak. Still, Minnesota improved to 24-4 on the season and has won seven of its last eight games. Gophers first-team All-Big Ten infielder Kaitlyn Richardson said finally playing at home gives the team an chance to re- energize amid a long season.
The Gophers’ softball team opened Big Ten play in Lincoln, Neb., over the weekend, defeating No. 15 Nebraska in two of three games. With the pair of wins, No. 19 Minnesota improved its record to 24-4 and continued what has been one of the best seasons in program history. Gophers junior infielder Tyler Walker used her hot bat to carry the torch offensively for her team. She went 8-for-10 with seven runs batted in during the three-game series.
A wild weekend for the Gophers wrestling team featured upsets, disappointments and avenged losses at the NCAA tournament. Minnesota placed second when it was all said and done, racking up 104 team points and falling shy of Penn State’s 109.5 points. The Gophers looked poised to win the competition, holding the team-score lead heading into the final round with two wrestlers competing for individual titles. Still, neither two-time defending heavyweight champion Tony Nelson nor 157-pounder Dylan Ness was able to come away with a title.
No. 21 Minnesota expected big things from star players Sara Moulton and Kaitlyn Richardson before the season, but some of the team’s best production has come from first-year transfer Taylor LeMay. LeMay — who is seeing playing time for the first time in more than a year since transferring from Concordia-St. Paul — leads the team in home runs. Gophers head coach Jessica Allister said the key for LeMay has been getting her more comfortable in the batter’s box after going a year without seeing live pitching.
The No. 1 Gophers wrestling team looked poised to capture the Big Ten crown after the first session of the Big Ten tournament. Minnesota was alone in first place and had nine wrestlers competing in semifinal matches. The team slid Saturday night, though, losing eight of those nine semifinal matches. It culminated in a somewhat disappointing third-place finish at the Big Ten tournament. The Gophers finished with 114.5 points, behind Penn State (140.5) in first place and Iowa (134) in second place.
Two members of Minnesota's 14th-ranked softball ...READ MORE