May 12, 2013
LINCOLN, NEB. – Minnesota came up short in its quest for a Big Ten Tournament championship on Sunday, as fourth-seeded Wisconsin used a five-run fourth inning to propel it to a 9-3 win against the Gophers at Bowlin Stadium.
Third-seeded Minnesota (35-17) took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third on a two-out home run off the scoreboard in left field by sophomore shortstop Tyler Walker. It was Walker’s team-leading 12th home run of the season.
But Wisconsin (42-11) responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third and then added the five runs on three hits and an error in the fourth to take control of the game. Minnesota, which hadn’t allowed a run or committed an error during a pair of shutout victories to advance to the title game, was charged with a season-high five errors in the loss.
Junior pitcher Sara Moulton allowed six hits and seven runs (two earned) in 3.2 innings, taking the loss to fall to 31-10 this season. Freshman left-hander Nikki Anderson came on in relief, allowing one hit and two unearned runs in 1.1 innings in the circle, while sophomore Kelsey Kimminau worked a 1-2-3 sixth inning in just seven pitches.
Walker went 1-for-3 with two RBI and scored two runs, while sophomore third baseman Kaitlyn Richardson was 1-for-3 with an RBI single in the sixth inning.
Moulton and senior designated player Alex Davis were each named to the 2013 Big Ten All-Tournament Team.
Minnesota will now wait to see if it receives an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament, which starts on Friday at regional sites around the nation. The NCAA Softball Selection Show takes place Sunday evening at 9:00 p.m. CT on ESPNU.
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