April 11, 2012
The University of Minnesota softball team split its first mid-week series of the season with Green Bay. The Golden Gophers nabbed the first game with a 7-0 victory, but they dropped the final game 5-2.
Game One: Minnesota 7, Green Bay 0
The Gophers’ dominating 7-0 win marked sophomore pitcher Sara Moulton’s tenth game of the season with double-digit strikeouts, as Moulton recorded eleven strikeouts and just three hits in seven innings to shut out the Green Bay Phoenix. Minnesota’s victory snapped a four-game losing streak for the Golden Gophers.
The first run for the Gophers came in the bottom of the second, with pinch runner Josie Solie scoring on a double to left center by senior Dannie Skrove.
The Gophers allowed one hit in the top of the third for no runs and answered with three hits of their own to drive in Kaitlyn Richardson and Bree Blanchette for two runs on a double by junior Kari Dorle.
Minnesota advanced their lead to 5-0 in the fourth with both Erica Meyer and Erika Smyth scoring for Minnesota.
The Maroon and Gold scored another pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, when Skrove hit her second double of the game to bring Meyer and Sara DuPaul home for the Gophers.
Green Bay were held without any hits from the fourth until the top of the seventh inning, when Miranda Reinke singled up the middle and Stacey Butts singled through the left side, but Green Bay couldn’t plate any runs.
The Gophers totaled nine hits for seven runs and were led by Skrove’s three RBIs in the shutout. It is the Gophers’ first shutout since March 10 with a 13-0 victory against Bethune-Cookman.
Game Two: Green Bay 5, Minnesota 2
An early home run by Green Bay’s Reinke gave the Phoenix a strong momentum boost to start off the second game of the doubleheader, and the Gophers couldn’t continue their success from the first game to end the series with a split as Green Bay took the second game, 5-2.
Reinke’s home run came in the top of the first inning as she drove a hit over the left field wall, bringing in both Shannon Butts and Alli Rivera to give Green Bay an early 3-0 lead.
The Gophers got one hit in the bottom of the first, but couldn’t convert for a run until the bottom of the second, when Smyth scored from third on a wild pitch by Green Bay’s Allison Goecks.
Rivera led off the third inning for the Phoenix with a solo home run, bringing Green Bay’s lead to 4-1.
Neither team scored again until the top of the fifth, when Green Bay’s Reinke, who tripled to start the inning, scored from third base on a single to left field by Stacey Butts.
Minnesota answered with a home run by Bree Blanchette, the third of the season and career, in the bottom of the sixth inning to cut Green Bay’s lead to 5-2. Junior Kari Dorle singled down the right field line later in the inning, but the Gophers couldn’t convert on the rest of their opportunities, dropping to Green Bay 2-5.
Green Bay’s Reinke completed a cycle in her four at-bats, collecting four of the eleven hits for the Phoenix in game two.
The Golden Gophers now turn their attention back on Big Ten Conference play as they head to Northwestern for at three-game series. The Maroon and Gold have a doubleheader on Saturday at noon and 2 p.m. against the Wildcats and will cap off the series with a Sunday contest at noon.
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.