March 9, 2014
STILLWATER, Okla. – The No. 17/20 Minnesota softball team improved to 17-3 on the season by defeating Drake, 6-2, Sunday in its final game at Oklahoma State’s Mizuno Classic at Cowgirl Stadium in Stillwater, Okla. The 20-game start is the best in school history.
Sara Moulton earned her 96th-career win, pitching 4 2/3 innings and striking out seven. Nikki Anderson took over in the fifth inning to earn the team’s first save of the season while fanning four.
After a 15-pitch, 1-2-3 first inning by Moulton, the Gophers staked themselves to a three-run lead in the bottom of the inning. After back-to-back doubles to begin the game by Tyler Walker and Erica Meyer gave the Gophers a 1-0 lead, Kaitlyn Richardson and Sara Groenewegen both singled to chase DU starter Jordan Gronewald before she could record an out and make the score 3-0.
Bulldog reliever Rebekah Schmidt held Minnesota scoreless over the next three innings and allowed her team to get back into the game after it pushed across runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
With the score at 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth, the Gophers loaded the bases with two outs and capitalized on a wild pitch and throwing error by the Drake first baseman that allowed two runs to score.
In the sixth Richardson grounded out to short with Walker on third to cap the scoring and put the Maroon and Gold up, 6-2. It was the junior third baseman’s 24th RBI of the season, giving her 105 in her career.
Minnesota finished the weekend with a 2-1 record after a win over Missouri State and a loss to host OSU Friday and having both of its games canceled Saturday.
Next week, the Gophers conclude pre-Big Ten play with a trip the Chanticleer Showdown in Conway, S.C. and a night game at South Carolina next week.
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