May 2, 2014
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The No. 12/14 Minnesota softball team was held without a run for the first time all season Friday afternoon as it dropped a 3-0 decision to Purdue at the Boilermaker Softball Complex in West Lafayette, Ind. The result dropped the Gophers’ record to 36-9 and 14-6 in the Big Ten. The Maroon and Gold finished with 14-6 in the conference a season ago.
Starting pitcher Sara Groenewegen dropped to 12-2 on the season despite fanning 14 Boilermaker batters, tying a career-best. She allowed four hits after no-hitting Penn State in a 9-0 win in her previous start.
The game was a pitcher’s duel for the first three innings as Groenewegen and Purdue starter Lilly Fecho exchanged scoreless frames until the bottom of the fourth when Ashley Burkhardt hit a home run to left field to break the scoreless deadlock.
The Boilermakers cushioned their lead with another home run in the fifth inning by Andie Varsho, a two-run shot that also plated Paris Andrew, who double earlier in the stanza.
Fecho made the three-run lead stand, striking out eight in a shutout effort. Sam Macken was the only Gopher to reach base, going two-for-two with a single in the third and a double in the sixth. The multi-hit effort was the first of Macken’s career and pushed her team-best hitting streak to five games.
The loss evened the all-time series between Minnesota and Purdue at 21. Groenewegen reached double-digit strikeouts for the sixth time this season.
The Gophers and Boilermakers will play the second game of their three-game series Saturday at noon CT before both squads wrap up regular-season play Sunday with an 11 a.m. CT meeting.
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.
First Pitch with Taylor Chell
With season less than two weeks away get to know one of the newest Gophers in freshman outfielder Taylor Chell.