Feb. 16, 2014
Box Score: Gophers 13, BYU 6
Box Score: Gophers 11, Boise State 2 (5)
LAS VEGAS – The No. 22/24-ranked Minnesota softball team won back-to-back games Saturday afternoon on the second day of the Easton Desert Classic in Las Vegas, Nev., defeating Brigham Young, 13-6, and Boise State, 11-2, in five innings. The victories gave the Gophers their first 8-0 start to a season since 2003 and their third eight-game win streak to begin a season in program history.
Entering the day, Minnesota had not scored more than eight runs in a game, but the Gophers exploded for 24 runs in 12 innings Saturday.
The first game of the day got off to an ominous start for the Gophers, who had not allowed a run in their last five contests. BYU registered three runs in the first inning to stake itself to an early lead.
In the bottom half of the frame, Minnesota responded by loading the bases and drawing four walks to take a 4-3 lead. Minnesota added two more in the bottom of the second off back-to-back doubles by Bree Blanchette and Hanna Melick to extend its lead to three.
After the Gophers added another pair of runs, Blanchette blasted her second home run of the year, a two-run shot, to make the score 10-3. After the Cougars pulled within three with three runs in the sixth, Sydney Fabian belted her first-career home run to put the game out of reach.
Moulton improved to 5-0 on the year with the win after allowing her first runs of the season. She now has a school-record 90 in her career.
Against Boise State, the Minnesota bats woke up after two scoreless innings to start the game.
Tyler Walker led off the inning with a well-hit double down the first-base line and the Gophers strung together four runs to snag the lead.
The Gophers got the rest of their runs in a seven-run fourth inning.
Walker produced another leadoff hit to set up a two-run shot by Erica Meyer that opened the Minnesota lead to 6-0. Melick, Hannah Granger, and Walker added RBI singles to cap the Gophers’ scoring in the inning.
In the circle, Sara Groenewegen conceded her first two runs of her young career, but racked up eight strikeouts to improve to 3-0 on the season.
Minneosta wraps up play in Las Vegas Sunday at 11 a.m. (CT) against No. 1 Florida.
First Pitch with Maddie Houlihan
Our final freshman to introduce you to before season is Maddie Houlihan out of Plymouth, Minn.
Groenewegen Named to Watch List
Sara Groenewegen has been selected to the “Watch List” for the 2016 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award for her second straight season.
First Pitch with Taylor Chell
With season less than two weeks away get to know one of the newest Gophers in freshman outfielder Taylor Chell.