March 15, 2014
CONWAY, S.C. - The No. 18/21 Minnesota softball team improved upon its record start by posting back-to-back shutout wins at the Chanticleer Classic Saturday afternoon in Conway, S.C. The Gophers defeated Troy and host Coastal Carolina, both by scores of 2-0, and are now 20-3 on the season.
The two shutouts give the Gophers three in a row and 12 shutouts in 23 games on the season.
In the team's first game of the day, Sara Groenewegen got the win by pitching four scoreless innings with six strikeouts to improve to 5-0. Nikki Anderson and Sara Moulton finished the final three innings and held Troy to just two hits on the day.
Tyler Walker got the Gophers on the board in the third inning by tripling home teammate Kayla Wenner. Minnesota was not able to add its second run until the sixth inning when Kaitlyn Richardson belted her fifth home run of the season, a solo shot, to make it 2-0.
Richardson now has 25 career home runs, the third-most in school history.
Minnesota struck first in the second inning of the second game against the Chanticleers when freshman Sam Macken stole second. An error on CCU's catcher allowed Macken to reach third and allowed Taylor LeMay, who reached earlier on a fielder's choice, to score from third.
Richardson completed the scoring with an RBI single that scored Walker in the sixth, who got on base with a single of her own.
In the pitching circle, Moulton, who earned a one-inning save in the first game, threw her eighth shutout of the season, striking out 12 to improve to 13-2 on the season. She allowed six base runners in seven innings of work.
The complete game was the 100th off Moulton's career and the shutout was the 43rd, both school records. She also added to her school wins record with her 98th and upped her season strikeout total to 130, giving her 1,070 for her career. Moulton needs 52 more Ks to catch pitching coach Piper Ritter for the school record.
The Gophers conclude play at the Chanticleer Showdown Sunday with another contest against the Trojans. Minnesota's final game before Big Ten action kicks off is Wednesday at South Carolina.
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