Sara Groenewegen pitched 12 innings of shutout softball and the bats came alive in the 12th inning for the No. 5/5 University of Minnesota Gophers in a 6-0 victory over the Wisconsin Badgers to begin the day today.
The game took three hours and 28 minutes to complete which was nearly two hours longer than the second game of the day. In that game the Gophers came out swinging right away and won 12-1 in just five innings.
Lost in the excitement of the two games was a record performance from Kendyl Lindaman. She drew five walks in the first game which broke a program single game record and tied a Big Ten conference record.
Game 1: Minnesota 6, Wisconsin 0 (12 innings)
The Gophers had opportunities all game long against the Badgers but left 20 on base. Dani Wagner finally sparked the offense in the top of the 12th inning when she jacked an RBI triple to left center to scoring Groenewegen.
— Minnesota Softball (@GopherSoftball) April 19, 2017
Groenewegen was the story of the game going 3-6 at the plate while scoring the game tying run on offense. In the circle she pitched all 12 innings and tied a season high with 15 strikeouts. She did not allow an earned run and scattered nine hits. She is now 20-2 on the season with a 0.57 ERA.
— Minnesota on BTN (@MinnesotaOnBTN) April 20, 2017
The Badgers used three pitchers in the game and were able to keep the Gophers off the board time after time despite them loading the bases in the third and seventh innings. They also put two on in the second, fourth, fifth and eighth innings.
The Gophers field was solid all day behind Groenewegen’s big performance. None bigger than a Sam Macken highlight reel catch in the third inning.
— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) April 19, 2017
Groenewegen fired in a strikeout to end the eleventh inning and came up with a big hit to start the 12th with a single through the right side. Wagner stepped up next and punched the first run of the game across with a triple. Allie Arneson kept things going with an RBI single to score Wagner and moved to second on the throw.
Macken drew a walk next and Danielle Parlich moved runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. Maddie Houlihan drew a walk to load the bases and Lindaman finally got a chance to swing after having been walked five times in the game. She came through with a big swing to score two more runs.
MaKenna Partain recorded an RBI groundout and Sydney Dwyer brought in the final run with a single to center.
Groenewegen stayed locked in forcing three outs in four batters in the bottom the 12th to seal the victory. The Gophers had 16 hits in the win. Groenewegen and Houlihan each had three while Parlich, Wagner and Arneson each had two.
Game 2: Minnesota 12, Wisconsin 1 (5 innings)
In the second game of the day the Gophers jumped out big and never looked back. Amber Fiser had a no-hitter going into the fifth and only gave up two in her ninth victory of the season. Houlihan stayed hot with another three hit game.
Macken and Parlich each singled and Lindaman drew a walk to load the bases with no outs right away in the top of the first. Houlihan singled through the left side to knock in the first run of the game.
Dwyer, Groenewegen, Wagner and Arneson all recorded an RBI after to put the Maroon and Gold up 5-0 early.
The next couple innings went quick before the Gophers got hot again in the top of the fifth. With runners on first and second Arneson notched her second RBI single of the day.
The Gophers kept swinging with Macken, Parlich, Partain, and Dwyer all recording RBIs. Kaylen Krueger put the cherry on top with a pinch hit RBI triple to the right field wall for the 12th run of the game.
The Gophers had 15 hits in the victory. They move to 40-3 on the season with a 13-1 Big Ten record. They return home for a series against Iowa this weekend. First pitch on Friday is set for 6 p.m.
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