Softball Summer Blog #5: Hannah Melick

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melick2.png Summer Blog Photo Gallery

Hey Gopher fans! This summer has sure been one for the books for me. After an amazing season, I returned back home to Washington to spend some time with my family. It was nice relaxing, spending quality time with my parents, spending time with my dog, and of course having a home cooked meal every night. It too quickly came to an end because summer classes were starting. 

I couldn't wait to get back to campus to start working out with my teammates and Coach Y again. You just don't get the same satisfaction working out alone at home than you do grinding out a circuit with your teammates--or hitting buckets upon buckets of balls out at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium on a gorgeous sunny morning. 

I took three classes this summer, which is a pretty big load for summer term, so I have been very busy with school. I took my second year of American Sign Language--it is by far my favorite class on campus. I also took Abnormal Psychology and Psychology Research Methods, which are always more interesting to me than any math or science classes. Two of my classes have now come to an end so I have more time to do other cool things, rather than stressing about school all the time.

Coach Merchant got called out to do the Chillin 4 Charity challenge and a couple of us girls got asked to be the ones to dump water on her. I will never pass up the opportunity to dump freezing ice water on Coach, especially when it was for such a great cause.  

A lot of us have been volunteering and I got the chance to go to and elementary school to play with kids one day. I think I actually had more fun than the kids did. Anissa Lightner is awesome and always provides volunteering options multiple times a week, so you always have the opportunity to go if you would like. 

Nothing will beat taking the field with my team everyday, but it is nice to be able to have so much time to do other things with them during the summer. For example, a couple of us went out to Erica Meyer's house for the Fourth of July and had a blast. We went tubing, fishing, made burgers, and had a bonfire to watch an awesome firework show at the end of the day. Erica really knows how to whip you off the inner tube. Other things we have done are: rollerbladed around Lake Calhoun, floated down the Apple River, seen Minnehaha Falls, walked to the Stone Arch Bridge, and gone to Twins games. 

This summer has been awesome. Our team is putting in so much work and we are all incredibly excited to start back up in a month when all the newcomers get on campus. It's thrilling to know that everyone is getting better in the offseason so that we pick back up better than where we ended. I know the incoming class is bringing in a lot of good talent, which will only boost us further than where we made it last season.  Can't wait to see you all at our pre-season games in the fall!

Previous Blogs:
Softball Summer Blog #1: Erica Meyer
Softball Summer Blog #2: Erika Smyth
Softball Summer Blog #3: Madie Eckstrom

Stollings to Throw Out First Pitch

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Go Gophers! Marlene Stollings

University of Minnesota head women's basketball coach Marlene Stollings will be on hand to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Minnesota Twins vs. San Diego Padres game Aug. 6 at Target Field. The game is slated to begin at 12:10 p.m., and will be televised on Fox Sports North. 

Stollings was named the 11th head coach of the University of Minnesota women's basketball program on April 7, 2014, following two successful years at Virginia Commonwealth University where she led the Rams to a 33-29 record and one of the top turnarounds in the nation in 2013-14. Prior to that, Stollings led a one-year resurgence at Winthrop University in 2011-12, where the Eagles posted just their second winning season in the last 26 years of the program.

Since her arrival, Stollings has already begun introducing her signature fast-paced style of play and added her first signee, senior transfer Shae Kelley, to the Golden Gopher roster.

Below are the promotions for the Twins' meeting with the Padres on Aug. 6, which would be a great way to take in some lunch and some baseball fun with Coach Marlene and her staff:
  • Midwest Music Showcase presented by 96.3 K-TWIN

    Musical performances by prominent local bands every Wednesday home game May through September. Fans can play Twingo every Wednesday, courtesy of Minnesota's Corn Farmers.

  • Schweigert Dollar-A-Dog Day

    Hot dogs are just $1 at the Hennepin Grille and Taste of Twin Territory concession stands. (Limit 20,000 per game; 2 per person)

  • Split the Pot Raffle

    Every home game throughout the 2014 season, the Minnesota Twins Split the Pot Raffle will benefit the Twins Community Fund. One lucky winner will take home HALF the net proceeds from that day's raffle.

  • Student Day

    Standing-room only tickets are just $5 for students. (Available day of game only at the Target Field Box Office beginning at 9 a.m. Limit one ticket per student with valid ID.)

  • The Our Family Section

    Starting at just $10*, receive a ticket in the alcohol-free The Our Family Section (sections 310, 311) and receive a FREE Schweigert? hot dog and Pepsi. (*$18 for Value, $25 for Select, $32 for Premium, $40 for Elite games. Hot dog and soda available at the Hennepin Grille by section 311.)

  • Treasure Island Resort & Casino Senior Days

    Fans 55 and better receive a $5 discount on Field Box and Powerball® Pavilion tickets for all weekday day games. (Offer available by phone and in-person only. Tickets subject to availability. Not available 4/7.)

For more information on the contest or to purchase tickets online, visit MinnesotaTwins.com.


Rosters Set for USA Hockey NJEC

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - USA Hockey announced today the blue and white team designations for its National Junior Evaluation Camp that will be taking place in Lake Placid, New York, Aug. 2-9. The 42 athletes participating in the camp have been separated into two groups for the first three days of practices and games vs. Finland and Sweden.


The Gophers feature five skaters at this year's evaluation camp. Michael Brodzinski, Ryan Collins and Hudson Fasching will skate for Team USA White while Taylor Cammarata and Vinni Lettieri will compete with Team USA Blue. Incoming freshman Leon Bristedt will also be competing at Lake Placid for Sweden. 

On Aug. 5, Team USA will trim its roster and a single U.S. squad will finish the camp with practices and games against Czech Republic, Finland and Sweden.

Team Blue will be coached by Kevin Patrick (Schenectady, N.Y./Univ. of Vermont) and Tony Granato (Downers Grove, Ill./Detroit Red Wings). Team White will be coached by Mike Ayers (Hingham, Mass./Boston College) and Mike Sullivan (Centerville, Mass.).

Notes: Of the 42 players invited to the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp, 14 competed in the United States Hockey League during the 2013-14 season, including 10 from USA Hockey's National Team Development Program ... Nineteen players competed in the college hockey ranks last season ... Thirteen of the 42 players participated in last year's camp ... The 2015 U.S. National Junior Team will be selected following a pre-tournament camp in December to be held in Boston ... At the 2015 IIHF World Junior Champio

MAGIC Blog: Gophers Weekly Update (7/28/14)

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Summer Roundup: July 28

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Major Leagues
*Glen Perkins has picked up three saves since our last update, bringing his season total to 25.
*Paul Molitor has continued to coach first base for the Twins while usual first base coach Scott Ullger fills in for the injured Joe Vavra. Molitor took some time off from that duty this weekend to attend the Baseball Hall of Fame induction.
*The Reds activated Jack Hannahan, who had been on the DL all season, and he started at first base on Sunday.

Minor Leagues
*Nate Hanson's seven-game hitting streak ended Sunday. He hit 10-for-27 during that stretch for the Rochester Red Wings (Triple-A).
*Mike Kvasnicka (Double-A New Britain) had two 2-for-4 games last week, playing all seven days.
*Seth Rosin (Reading Fightin Phils, Double-A) pitched three one-inning outings, two of them scoreless, last week.
*Drew Ghelfi made a scoreless relief appearance for the Helena Brewers (Rookie).
*Alec Crawford (Rookie Grand Junction Rockies) lowered his ERA to 1.35 with two scoreless innings. Crawford has five saves.

Cape Cod League
*Lance Thonvold pitched twice last week and earned one save, his fifth.

Northwoods League
*Jordan Smith had a pair of two-hit games for Rochester this past week.
*Dan Motl went 2-for-5, 3-for-5 and 2-for-5 with three runs, two RBIs, a home run and a double during a three-game stretch.

Other
*All of Golden Gopher Athletics will miss Bob McNamara, who passed away last week. After his days as a football star, he remained involved in the athletic department for the rest of his life. Bob was a great friend to all Gophers, and he was part of the Siebert Field campaign.
*Alex Boxwell led his Coon Rapids Legion team with a .496 batting average (66-for-133) and 48 RBIs. The incoming freshman blasted eight home runs, eight triples and 17 doubles, and added seven stolen bases.
*Jeff Fasching (St. Cloud Chutes Legion) and Toby Hanson (Delano Legion) are also headed to the state tournament. Fasching has contributed both on the mound and at the plate this summer.
*As of Sunday afternoon, Luke Pettersen (Excelsior Legion) was hitting .409 with just nine strikeouts in 189 at bats. He will play in the Minnesota Legion State Tournament.
*As of July 23, Reggie Meyer (Totino-Grace Legion) had a 6-3 record and 1.55 ERA, leading the team with 70 strikeouts in 67 2/3 innings pitched.
*Recent graduate Kevin Kray is now coaching Legion ball. He is sporting No. 14 just like his college coach.
*Tony Skjefte is batted .404 for the Minneapolis Lakers during the regular season.
*Former Gophers outfielder Logan Gerken was on a SABR panel at the All-Star FanFest.
*Click the links for more information about the Siebert Field Fall Camp and the Dan Morgan Golf Open (Aug. 18).

Summer Roundup Archives
July 21
July 14
July 7
June 30
June 23
June 16
June 9

Softball Summer Blog #4: Paige Palkovich

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IMG_8310.JPG Summer Blog Photo Gallery

Hi Gopher Fans!

After winning the Big Ten Championship, hosting and winning the Minneapolis NCAA Regional, and competing with Oregon in the Eugene Super Regional, my summer season had already kicked off on the right foot. As August is right around the corner, it's safe to say that two thirds of this summer has come and gone faster than I expected, and has been even more fun than I had hoped. 

Although I have thoroughly enjoyed the free time spent with my family and friends, I am still experiencing withdrawals every day from season and the great memories made with my teammates. I cannot wait for all of the out-of-staters to return so we can be one big happy family again!

My summer began with a trip to Michigan to visit my wonderful mother and her side of the family. I went sailing on Lake Michigan with her and some family friends and was very, very appreciative for some much needed mother-daughter bonding time. 

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Once I returned to Minny, I went on a Twins game "binge" and attended four different games over the span of seven days. As many know, Target Field is the second greatest place on the face of the earth (the first will be mentioned later on) and therefore, I was a very happy camper despite witnessing three losses and rejecting my hypothesis that I am, indeed, a good luck charm. Aside from lifting and conditioning and practicing daily, my time on campus is spent working University camps as a Gatorade representative and working softball clinics for my coaches. 

On my days off during the week, I've enjoyed spending time with my friends and teammates, exploring and experiencing all of the wonderful things that Minnesota has to offer. We've gone rollerblading at Lake Calhoun, eaten dinner in Uptown, walked the Stone Arch Bridge, tubed down the Apple River, visited the gorgeous city of Stillwater, and many more exhilarating escapades that I am failing to recall right now. 

I have been lucky enough to spend almost every weekend this summer up at my cabin in Balsam Lake, Wis., which is THE single greatest place on Earth (in mine and Sydney's opinion). My time there is spent doing water sports, tubing, and hanging out with my family on the pontoon. This weekend, instead of my usual cabin routine, I will be visiting my mom again in Michigan and sailing for a couple days with her and my sister. 

For the remainder of the summer, you can find me either at my cabin, at WeFest showing off my beautiful singing voice at the concerts of some of my favorite country artists, or working the Fresh French Fries booth at the Minnesota State Fair. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I hope all of you are enjoying your summer as much as I am! 

GO GOPHERS!!!!!!!!!

Paige Palkovich

Previous Blogs:
Softball Summer Blog #1: Erica Meyer
Softball Summer Blog #2: Erika Smyth
Softball Summer Blog #3: Madie Eckstrom

Sara's Summer in the Pros:
Entry #1

M.A.G.I.C. Weekly Update (7/21/14)

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Summer Roundup: July 21

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Major Leagues
*The big news last week was Glen Perkins' All-Star Game save. Find links to video, articles and a Twitter summary here. Perkins has made one appearance since the All-Star break, striking out two in a scoreless inning on Sunday.

Minor Leagues
*Mike Kvasnicka (Double-A New Britain Rock Cats) picked up two runs, four RBIs, a home run and a double in the last week. He is hitting .272 overall, and .329 in the month of July.
*Kyle Knudson is batting .321 in July for New Britain.
*Seth Rosin (Reading Fightin Phils, Double-A) gave up one run in four innings (two appearances) last week. He also struck out four batters.
*Drew Ghelfi made a scoreless relief appearance for the Helena Brewers (Rookie) lasts week.
*Alec Crawford (Rookie Grand Junction Rockies) did not give up an earned run until his 10th minor league appearance, which came last Friday. He has a 1.59 ERA on the season after giving up two runs. Crawford has four saves, and has struck out eight in 11 1/3 innings.

Cape Cod League
*Lance Thonvold has four saves and a 2.89 ERA for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks. He has 21 strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings. The Minnesota Daily featured Thonvold in last week's edition.

Northwoods League
*Connor Schaefbauer is batting .321 this summer with the Rochester Honkers. He went 9-for-25 (.360) last week, including a game in which he batted 3-for-5 and scored three times, and a three-RBI game the next day. Three of Schaefbauer's hits last week were doubles.
*Also for the Honkers, Jordan Smith had a 3-for-7 day at the plate with two RBIs on Saturday.
*Dalton Sawyer has a 2.41 ERA for the St. Cloud Rox. He pitched twice last week, striking out six and giving up one run in four innings.
*Dan Motl hit 7-for-21 last week for the Willmar Stingers and is at .265 on the summer.
*Jake Bergren was 5-for-13 at the plate last week and is hitting .262 for the Alexandria Blue Anchors.

Other
*The Gopher baseball program announced a new Siebert Field Fall Camp format. Interested teams can find more information about it and how to sign up here.
*Learn more about the Dan Morgan Golf Open and find the sign-up form here. The annual event raises money to support the Gopher baseball program. 

Summer Roundup Archives
July 14
July 7
June 30
June 23
June 16
June 9

Softball Summer Blog #3: Madie Eckstrom

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Eckstrom and Nora.JPG  Summer Blog Photo Gallery

Hello! I hope everyone is enjoying this amazing summer just as much as I am! This summer has been quite a busy one for me. I have been lifting, running, and hitting in order to get ready for my last season as a Gopher. Otherwise, I have been taking a human evolution class and lab and have been working two jobs. 

I feel like Im constantly running around trying to keep busy. I've been hanging out with a lot of my teammates who stayed on campus for the summer and I love being in their company. During the summer months I love to spend my free time being outside at Lake Calhoun or back home in Stillwater.

I'm currently re-reading the Harry Potter series, as I do every summer. The HP series is one of my favorites and I encourage all of my teammates to read the books, though many shake me off. One of my very good friends, Adrianna Nora, who is also is a student-athlete, is someone I also like to spend a lot of my time with. Our seasons are opposite so we do not get to spend much time together in the school year. 

The various jobs I've been a part of consist of being a representative for Gatorade during Minnesota summer camps, working some summer softball clinics, and working with kids in a fun zone during large events such as USA Volleyball and the World Cup Soccer tournament. These experiences have allowed me many new connections and some very fun memories. 

I've enjoyed the summer but I am so excited to get back to softball and get down to business. With the way our last season ended, I'm beyond confident this upcoming season will be just as, if not more successful. With how hard my fellow teammates are working this summer I know know this team will be capable of anything. I am also excited to have some new faces come to Gopher Softball. I'm sure they will add some great talent to this team!

Previous Blogs:
Softball Summer Blog #1: Erica Meyer
Softball Summer Blog #2: Erika Smyth

Sara's Summer in the Pros:
Entry #1

All-Star Game Gopher Connections

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