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Feb. 16, 2013
TEMPE, ARIZ. - Freshman first baseman Paige Palkovich blasted a two-run home run off the left field foul pole with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning to give Minnesota a 3-1 victory against Northern Iowa at the Littlewood Classic.
Palkovich's home run was her second in as many days, and it helped Minnesota (3-5) sweep a pair of games against UNI (3-6). The Panthers had battled No. 3/3 Arizona State on Friday, before falling, 5-3.
Junior pitcher Sara Moulton (3-4) picked up her second complete-game victory of the day against the Panthers, going 7.0 innings, scattering four hits and striking out seven (two walks). Earlier in the day, Moulton took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before settling for a one-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts in Minnesota's 5-0 win against the Panthers.
Minnesota took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, with sophomore centerfielder Erica Meyer getting an infield single, and stealing second base. Meyer then advanced to third on an illegal pitch called against UNI starter Jamie Fisher, and scored on a throwing error by Panthers catcher Samantha Reimer.
Northern Iowa tied the score at 1-1 in the top of the fourth inning when shortstop Caitlin Wnek singled and stole second base. Wnek advanced to third on a single to right field, and scored on a fielding error by Minnesota freshman Kayla Wenner.
But Palkovich came up with the clutch hit when the Gophers needed it most, driving a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left to drive in sophomore third baseman Kaitlyn Richardson with the decisive runs. Palkovich's hit was one of just two in the game for Minnesota.
The Gophers wrap up the Littlewood Classic on Sunday afternoon, facing the third-ranked Sun Devils at 2:15 p.m. CT. The game versus ASU can be broadcast live on the Sun Devils' Blaze Radio.
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