Feb. 21, 2014
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Minnesota softball pitcher Sara Moulton tossed her fifth complete shutout in seven starts to propel the No. 20/21 Gophers to their ninth win of the season, a 3-0 triumph over George Washington at the UNCG Spartan Classic in Greensboro, N.C. Friday. Minnesota improved to 9-1 on the year and dropped GWU to 0-11.
The game was Minnesota's only contest of the day after the team's second game against host UNC-Greensboro was canceled due to rain.
Moulton was tremendous in the circle all day, retiring the first 20 batters she faced and her teammates gave her a lead that would stand in the first inning.
In the same fashion the Gophers' kicked off the LSU Tiger Classic against Murray State two weeks ago and the Easton Desert Classic against host UNLV last week, Tyler Walker led off by being hit by a pitch, stealing second, and coming around to score. Walker was bunted to third by Erica Meyer and scored on a fielder's choice, hit by Kaitlyn Richardson.
With the bases cleared, clean-up hitter Sara Groenewegen crushed her third home run of the season over the left field fence to cushion the Gophers' lead.
Kayla Wenner drove home Kelsey Klucas from third in the fourth inning to further pad the lead. Klucas pinch ran for Groenewegen after the freshman got to first via walk. Klucas then moved to second on a Bree Blanchette single and to third on a fielder's choice that saw Paige Palkovich get thrown out at first.
From there, Moulton took control, finishing the day with 11 strikeouts. Colonials shortstop Victoria Valos ended the senior's bid for a perfect game with a double with two outs in the seventh inning and the next GWU batter walked, but Moulton shut the door on the final hitter to seal the win.
Moulton is now 6-1 on the season. She added to her school records for wins (91), complete games (96), and shutouts (40). The Eagan, Minn. native now sits at 999 career strikeouts.
The Gophers will resume play in Greensboro Saturday by playing two 2013 NCAA Tournament teams in Army and Hampton. Minnesota wraps up play Sunday with a tilt against the host Spartans.
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