MINNEAPOLIS – There’s no place like home for Minnesota softball who extended their winning streak at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium to 25 games following a 6-0 victory over Nebraska Saturday afternoon. The Gophers (26-14, 9-3 Big Ten) clinched the series over Nebraska (30-16, 8-7 Big Ten) in shutout fashion prior to weekend finale tomorrow at 3 p.m. on ESPNU.
“We are playing well right now and we have to keep getting better,” said head coach Jamie Trachsel. “We are winning because we are out executing people. We are proud about that, the adjustments that are made and the improvement that we have made.”
Matching their longest winning streak of the season at six games, Minnesota picked up right where they left off from last night in scoring runs early. Before coming to the plate starter Amber Fiser, who improved to 18-8, had to work out of her first jam of the game. Allowing a leadoff triple, Fiser put the Gophers back in the dugout three ground balls later.
Senior Sydney Dwyer started the early offensive day leading off the second with her team-high 10th double of the season. A pair of walks and a fielder’s choice set up sophomore infielder Carlie Brandt to drive in a pair on a double that reached the left field wall. Freshman outfielder Ellee Jensen a batter later scored Allie Arneson on a sharp groundout back to the Nebraska pitcher Olivia Ferrell.
Three runs were not enough for the Maroon and Gold as Kendyl Lindaman and Maddie Houlihan connected on back-to-back home runs for the second time this season. Lindaman belting her 16th of the season is now just four long balls shy of tying the Gophers single-season record of 20 which she set last season. Arneson capped off the three-run third inning with an RBI double down the line giving Minnesota the largest lead needed to capture the 6-0 win.
Making her second appearance out of the bullpen for the weekend, Sydney Smith came in to hold down the Nebraska offense in the fifth. On the door step of breaking up the shutout, Nebraska was denied as the Gophers defense closed the door before the Cornhuskers could enter. For the second time this weekend Minnesota retired a Nebraska runner at the plate as Jensen came up throwing from left.
The visiting Huskers continued to be resilient at the plate loading the bases in the sixth with two outs. The Gophers did not break down on defense as Fiser reentered the game recording a strikeout to strand another Husker runner at third.
Minnesota and Nebraska close out the series Sunday, April 21 on national television. The Gophers and Cornhuskers will appear on ESPNU with first pitch coming at 3 p.m.
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