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 Carlie Brandt
You know the returners but we will be spending the next nine weeks introducing you to our seven freshmen and two transfers. In this week's First Pitch Carlie Brandt steps up and answers...
A True Softball Family: The Cowgers
All the kids would show up in their Spartans or Wolverines gear at the Cowger's elementary school. All the kids except the Cowgers that is. They showed up decked out in head to toe Maroon...
Gophers Hold Annual Banquet
Sam Macken won Player of the Year, Sara Groenewegen won Pitcher of the Year, Maddie Houlihan was named Freshman of the Year and Hannah Evavold was voted Teammate of the Year.