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.
Houlihan Provides Steady Presence
No stage seems to phase Maddie Houlihan. She stays calm and collected in even the biggest moments.
Dwyer's Wit Brings Gophers Together
Known by many as the funniest person on the team Dwyer has used her dry wit to ease tension and create team laughs on multiple occasions.
A True Softball Family: The Chells
It all started when a T-ball registration postcard showed up in the mail. Now the whole Chell family has a passion for baseball and softball.