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March 8, 2013
PALO ALTO, CALIF. - A pair of Minnesota fielding errors proved costly in a low-scoring game at No. 18/19 Stanford that required an extra inning to settle, as the Cardinal escaped with a 2-1 win in eight innings at the Louisville Slugger Classic.
Kimminau made the start for the Gophers (11-8) and worked the first four innings, allowing five hits, while striking out one and issuing zero walks. Moulton, who had just pitched a complete-game shutout against Pacific, entered in the fifth inning. She struck out four Cardinal batters and didn't allow a hit through her first three innings.
Due to the international tie-breaker, Minnesota began the eighth inning with a runner at second base. Freshman Hannah Skallman pinch ran for senior first baseman Alex Davis, who had struck out to end the seventh inning.
Skallman quickly advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by freshman designated player Paige Palkovich. One batter later, she scored her first collegiate run to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead on a triple down the right field line by sophomore second baseman Erika Smyth. But Smyth was left stranded at third base, as Gerhart struck out the next two Gophers.
Stanford (18-5) led off the eighth with a single to left by Leah White that immediately put runners at the corners with no outs. Jenna Rich followed with a grounder to Minnesota third baseman Kaitlyn Richardson. The runner at third held, but Richardson bobbled the ball for an error that allowed Rich to reach base and load the bases. Cassandra Roulund then hit a ball that was mishandled by Smyth at second, with the tying run scoring on the play and the bases remaining loaded.
Minnesota was able to get a force out at home plate for the first out of the inning, but Erin Ashby hit a ball to fielder's choice grounder to score the decisive run for the Cardinal.
Richardson went 2-for-3 at the plate for the Gophers, while Smyth was 1-for-3 with her first career triple and the run batted in. Moulton took the hard-luck loss in the circle to fall to 11-5 this season, but she increased her strikeout total this season to 126.
The Gophers face the same two teams on Saturday, with a game against Pacific at 12:00 p.m. CT, followed by a 4:30 p.m. CT game against Stanford.
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