Feb. 28, 2014
TEMPE Ariz. – The No. 19/20 Minnesota softball team continued its torrid start the to 2014 season Friday by defeating Detroit and South Carolina on the first day of play at Arizona State’s Louisville Slugger Invitational in Tempe Ariz. Friday. The Gophers stifled the Titans, 6-0, before downing the Gamecocks, 11-4, at Farrington Stadium. Sophomore Nikki Anderson and senior Sara Moulton picked up wins in the pitching circle.
The pair of wins upped Minnesota’s record on the season to 14-1, the best start in school history.
For the fourth consecutive week, Tyler Walker led off the tournament by getting hit by a pitch and stealing second base. After also stealing third, Erica Meyer singled the junior infielder home for the game’s first run.
Taylor LeMay doubled the Gophers’ lead in the second with her second home run of the season, a solo shot. In the fourth, Minnesota extended its lead to 4-0 when Walker drove in Sydney Fabian from third and Arizona native Kaitlyn Richardson doubled to right center field to score Meyer.
Anderson cruised through six innings in her first start of the season, allowing just four hits and striking out six. The Gophers tacked on two runs in the sixth inning to seal the win.
In the second game of the day, Minnesota used a seven-run second inning after loading the bases with no one out to jump out to a commanding lead.
In the third inning, USC broke up a string of 19-straight scoreless innings for Moulton by pushing across two runs. The Gamecocks added two more in the fifth, but Sara Groenewegen ripped her second double of the game to left center field to make it 10-4 in the sixth.
LeMay capped the scoring with her second home run of the day in the seventh inning.
Moulton allowed three earned runs over five innings, fanning six South Carolina batters to secure her ninth win of the season. She now has a school-record 94 in her career.
The victory was the first-ever for Minnesota over USC in three all-time meetings.
The Gophers will pick up play Saturday with a 3:30 p.m. (CT) contest against Ball State. Following that game, Minnesota will take on Florida International before wrapping up the weekend with a showdown against third ranked host Arizona State Sunday.
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