March 16, 2013
TALLAHASSEE, FLA. – Home runs by sophomore third baseman Kaitlyn Richardson and freshman right fielder Kayla Wenner, and another strong pitching performance from junior right-hander Sara Moulton, helped Minnesota record a 5-0 win against Georgia Southern (14-11) on Saturday at the Sunshine Classic.
As it did yesterday in its win against Florida State, Minnesota took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Richardson, whose two-run home run on Friday versus FSU provided the winning runs for the Gophers, drove a solo home run over the wall in right field to give Minnesota the early lead.
The Gophers (15-9) tacked on two more runs in the second inning. Bunt singles by Wenner and sophomore left fielder Erica Meyer gave the Gophers a pair of base runners, and sophomore shortstop Tyler Walker drew a walk to load the bases with one out. Senior catcher Kari Dorle followed with a two-run single to score Wenner and Meyer and give the Gophers a 3-0 lead.
Wenner added to the Gophers’ edge in the top of the fourth, as she belted a two-out solo home run to right center to push Minnesota’s advantage to 4-0. It was Wenner’s second career home run, and her third collegiate hit.
Minnesota took a 5-0 lead in the top of the fifth. Dorle led off with an infield single, and senior Kelsey Klucas entered as a pinch runner. Richardson was then hit by a pitch to move Klucas to second, and a walk drawn by freshman pinch hitter Sydney Fabian loaded the bases with one out. Sophomore designated player Madie Eckstrom then drove in Klucas with an RBI grounder to second.
Meanwhile, Moulton was once again dominant in the circle, pitching a complete-game one-hitter with nine strikeouts and no walks. She recorded her 150th strikeout of the season in the third inning, and improved to 14-5 with the victory.
Offensively, four Gophers finished with two hits in the game. Wenner was 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored and an RBI, while Dorle was 2-for-4 with two RBI. Sophomore center fielder Bree Blanchette and Meyer each went 2-for-3, while Richardson was 1-for-3 with her fifth home run of the season.
Minnesota wraps up the Sunshine Classic on Sunday morning, facing Georgia Southern at 9:00 a.m. CT and Florida State at approximately 11:00 a.m. CT.
Gophers Opening 2016 Season
Minnesota opens their 2016 season in Las Vegas at the Sportco Kickoff Classic taking on Utah Valley, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Long Beach State and Washington.
First Pitch with Maddie Houlihan
Our final freshman to introduce you to before season is Maddie Houlihan out of Plymouth, Minn.
Groenewegen Named to Watch List
Sara Groenewegen has been selected to the “Watch List” for the 2016 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award for her second straight season.