May 25, 2014
EUGENE, Ore. - The Minnesota softball team's 2014 season came to an end Sunday afternoon when it fell, 6-2, to top-seeded Oregon in the second game of the its NCAA super regional at Howe Field in Eugene, Ore. The game was played before a stadium-record crowd of 1,997.
No. 16-seeded Minnesota finished the season with a 44-12 record after winning its first Big Ten Tournament title since 1999 and reaching its first-ever super regional.
Oregon, the visiting team on the scoreboard in the game, struck first with a Janelle Lindvall RBI single in the first inning. The Ducks tacked on two more runs in the third when Janie Takeda doubled to left to drive in a run and outfielder Koral Costa scored on a fielder's choice play.
The Gophers answered UO's two third-inning runs with two runs of their own.
After Paige Palkovich drew a leadoff walk, junior shortstop Tyler Walker belted her team-leading 12th home run of the season over the right-center field fence to cut the Ducks' lead to 3-2.
Sara Moulton and the Minnesota defense held Oregon off the board for the next three innings. UO's best chance to add to its lead before the seventh came when Costa singled to left with Takeda on second, but outfielder Sam Macken threw her out at the plate.
In the seventh, Takeda registered her second and third RBI of the afternoon with a triple that scored Courtney Ceo and Alyssa Gillespie before coming home on a wild pitch to cap the scoring.
With the loss, Moulton's record dropped to 27-8 on the season with a loss. She finished her Gopher career with a 112-50 record, holding the program records for wins, appearances (178), innings pitched (1,017), complete games (108), shutouts (47), and strikeouts (1,184).
In addition to Walker's home run, fellow juniors Erika Smyth and Kaitlyn Richardson also recorded hits for Minnesota. Richardson's hit was her 21st of the season, the second-most for a Gopher in a single season.
Moulton, Bree Blanchette, and Kelsey Klucas each played in her final game in Maroon and Gold Sunday. The three-member senior class won 142 games.
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