April 13, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS – The 14th-ranked Minnesota softball team earned a series win over No. 23/25 Northwestern Sunday by claiming a 3-1 win at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium. The teams combined to score four runs in the weekend finale after posting 39 total runs in the first two games.
The win upped the Gophers’ record to 32-6 with a 10-3 mark in Big Ten. Sara Groenewegen started in the circle for the second game in a row and moved to 11-0 with the victory. The triumph was her sixth in Big Ten play and her third against a ranked opponent. She posted nine strikeouts.
Sunday’s contest was hitless until the third inning, when Tyler Walker blasted her sixth home run of the season over the scoreboard in right field, a two-run shot off Kristen Wood.
The Wildcats, who didn’t register their first hit until the fourth inning, cut the Gophers’ lead in half when Paige Tonz doubled home Bri LeBeau from first base in the fifth. Groenewegen then induced a popout and a groundout to prevent further damage.
Minnesota loaded the bases by drawing three-straight walks to start the sixth inning, but could only muster one run that scored when Walker was hit by a pitch.
Northwestern put runners on the corners with no one out in the seventh inning, but Tonz popped up a bunt attempt the Groenewegen in front of the pitching circle and the White Rock, B.C. native doubled off pinch runner Olivia Duehr at first before getting another groundball out to complete the win.
The Gophers then pick up play next weekend with a trip to No. 4/5 Michigan, the first-place team in the league, before coming home the following week to host North Dakota in a mid-week doubleheader and Penn State in a three-game weekend series.
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