The Golden Gopher Softball team began today (Feb. 26) with a big 6-0 win over Connecticut at the Florida Gulf Coast Spring Break Invite, before finishing the day with a split, falling 3-0 to Georgia Southern.
Against Connecticut, Minnesota played to a scoreless first inning but cranked up the scoring in the second. With two outs, the Gophers started the scoring rally, beginning with Lacey Middlebrooks' (Wake Village, Texas) first career at bat. With runners on first and second, Middlebrooks banged out a double to left center, scoring Dannie Skrove (Zimmerman, Minn.) from second for the early 1-0 lead.
Just one batter later Malisa Barnes (Phoenix, Ariz.) doubled to knock in two more runs, while giving the Gophers a 3-0 lead.
After going up 3-0, Middlebrooks was impressive in the circle, as always, keeping the Huskies off the board for the entire game.
With Middlebrooks stifling the Connecticut offense, the Gophers tacked on insurance runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings, to lead 6-0 with just two left to play. And that's where it would stand as neither team scored for the rest of the game.
Middlebrooks allowed just two hits and struck out five in her seven innings of work. She walked none and faced just two over the minimum in earning her sixth win of the season.
Barnes went 3-for-3 at the plate to lead the offense, while also knocking in three runs.
In their second game of the day, Georgia Southern did all their scoring in the third inning, and with one swing of the bat, the damage was done. With one on and two out, a two-run homerun gave the Eagles the game's first lead, and one they would never relinquish.
Their third and final run came later in the inning off a double down the left field line that plated the game's final run en route to the Eagles 3-0 win.
Georgia Southern starter Brianna Streetmon also threw a complete game, allowing only three hits over seven innings while striking out seven.
Alissa Koch (Racine, Wis.) suffers the loss for the Gophers, falling to 0-5 on the season. Koch allowed all three runs earned, and walked three on the day while striking out just one.
At the plate against FGCU, Barnes, Alex Davis (Harbor City, Calif.) and Heidi Carls (Villard, Minn.) all collected hits.
With the split, the Gophers sit at 6-8 on the season, with three games left to play in Fort Myers. They will play two tomorrow (Feb. 27), beginning with Eastern Michigan at 10:15 a.m., followed by a rematch with Connecticut at 2:45 p.m.
Minnesota closes out play at the Florida Gulf Coast Spring Break Invite on Sunday (Feb. 28) with an 8:00 a.m. tilt against Villanova.