May 5, 2013
MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. -- Senior catcher Kari Dorle fittingly scored the game-winning run on an infield single by sophomore left fielder Erica Meyer to cap a two-run rally in the bottom of the seventh, as Minnesota completed a weekend sweep of Indiana with a 5-4 win on Senior Day.
Indiana (19-34, 3-19 Big Ten) had scored twice in the top of the seventh to take a 4-3 lead against the Gophers (33-16, 14-6 Big Ten), but sophomore shortstop Tyler Walker got things going in the bottom of the inning with a single up the middle.
Dorle, who is among national leaders in sacrifice hits this season, bunted back to the pitcher to try to move Walker into scoring position. Indiana pitcher Brooke Boetjer fielded the ball and threw to second, but the ball bounced off the glove of the shortstop and went into center field, which allowed Dorle to reach on the fielder's choice and Walker to advance to third with no outs.
Sophomore third baseman Kaitlyn Richardson followed with a single off the glove of Boetjer to score Walker and tie the game, with Dorle moving to second base.
Dorle and Richardson advanced to second and third with one out on a sacrifice bunt by junior Bree Blanchette, setting the stage for Meyer's game-winning hit. Meyer hit a slow roller toward second base that was fielded on the run by Hoosiers second baseman Samantha Heyman. With Dorle running, her only play was to the plate, but Dorle was running on contact and scored the winning run on Senior Day.
Junior pitcher Sara Moulton recorded her third win of the weekend to improve to 29-9. Moulton allowed eight hits and four earned runs, while striking out two and walking one.
Richardson had given the Gophers a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, as she hit an opposite field two-run home run down the left field line against Boetjer, who had just entered the game in relief of starter Lora Olson. The home run was Richardson's 10th of the season, matching her total from her freshman season. She finished the game 2-for-3 with three runs batted in.
Walker was 2-for-4 and scored a run, while freshman first baseman Paige Palkovich was 2-for-3 and Meyer went 1-for-2 with the game-winning RBI and scored a run.
With the win and Wisconsin's loss to Michigan State on Sunday, the Gophers are assured of at least a third-place finish in the Big Ten standings. Minnesota could finish second if Penn State defeats Nebraska on Monday at 12:00 p.m. CT. The Nittany Lions defeated the Huskers, 3-2, on Sunday afternoon.
Gophers Win 19th Straight On Senior Day
The No. 4/5 University of Minnesota Gophers have won 19 straight games for the second time this season after a pair of run-rule victories over the Purdue Boilermakers this afternoon.
Macken, Groenewegen Come Up Big
Sam Macken and Sara Groenewegen have had big time careers for the Gophers and kicked off senior weekend with great performances in an 8-0 victory over Purdue.
Softball Makes Weekend Schedule Change
Sunday's game has been moved to Saturday because of impending weather conditions and temperatures.