Road Trip: Gophers to Play "Home" Games in Champaign
April 12, 2013
• Minnesota (23-13, 6-3 Big Ten) travels to Illinois (11-22, 1-8) for a three-game Big Ten series this weekend. Since the games had originally been scheduled to be played in Minneapolis, the Gophers will be the home team for all three games in Champaign. The Gophers and Illini open the series with a doubleheader on Saturday, with first pitch slated for 1:00 p.m., and Sunday’s series finale is set for 1:00 p.m. The games had originally been scheduled to be played in Minneapolis, but inclement weather forced the teams to relocate.
• The Golden Gophers are 23-13 overall and 6-3 in the Big Ten after winning a three-game series against No. 23/25 Wisconsin last weekend. Minnesota won by a score of 2-1 on Saturday, then split a doubleheader on Sunday, losing 10-0 in six innings before winning the finale, 8-0, in five innings.
• Head coach Jessica Allister is in her third season at Minnesota with a record of 85-59 (.590). She entered the season with 62 victories over her first two seasons, which are the most over a two-year span since Minnesota combined for 70 wins during 2003-04.
• Minnesota owns an all-time record of 6-18 against Illinois, with the Illini winning five of the past seven games in the series. Last year in Champaign, Illinois won the first two games of the three-game series by scores of 2-0 and 4-3 before the Gophers won the final game, 14-4.
• Minnesota has combined for 30 home runs in its 36 games so far, after hitting 53 HRs in 53 games during the 2012 season. Sophomore third baseman Kaitlyn Richardson leads the team with seven, while junior centerfielder Bree Blanchette has six and sophomore shortstop Tyler Walker has five.
• Junior right-handed pitcher Sara Moulton was ranked among the top 25 for shutouts (6th), victories (7th), strikeouts (9th) and earned run average (25th) in this week’s NCAA stats. For the season, Moulton is 20-8 with a 1.52 ERA, 17 complete games, and 195 strikeouts in 170.2 IP.
• Tyler Walker and Kaitlyn Richardson each have impressive numbers since February 22. Richardson is batting .473 (35-for-74) with 19 runs scored, 21 runs batted in, five doubles and five home runs, while Walker is batting .422 (38-for-90) with 29 runs scored, 16 runs batted in, seven doubles, one triple, four home runs, and 14 stolen bases in 15 attempts. Richardson sustained a broken nose on March 29 at Northwestern, but returned to the lineup and hit two home runs the next day.
(For the PDF version of the full 26-page Minnesota Game Notes, click the link in the box at the top of the page.)