Gophers Open Big Ten Series at Ohio State
The First Pitch
• The Gophers are 28-15 overall and 9-5 in the Big Ten after sweeping a doubleheader at Iowa State on Wednesday by scores of 12-6 and 13-1. Freshman right fielder Kayla Wenner and sophomore shortstop Tyler Walker each hit two-run home runs to help Minnesota jump out to a 9-1 lead in the first game against the Cyclones, and sophomore third baseman Kaitlyn Richardson went 3-for-4 with three RBI in the nightcap. Junior right-hander Sara Moulton earned victories in both games to improve to 24-9. The Gophers combined for 25 runs and 21 hits in the two victories.
• Head coach Jessica Allister is in her third season at Minnesota with a record of 90-61 (.596). 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 54-40 against Ohio State, but the Buckeyes have won the past seven games dating back to 2008. Minnesota’s last win in the series was a 2-1 win on April 27, 2008.
• Minnesota has combined for 40 home runs in its 43 games so far, after hitting 53 HRs in 53 games during the 2012 season. Sophomore third baseman Kaitlyn Richardson and sophomore shortstop Tyler Walker are tied for the team lead with nine, while junior centerfielder Bree Blanchette has seven.
• Junior right-handed pitcher Sara Moulton is ranked among the top 25 for shutouts (9th), victories (12th) and strikeouts (16th) in this week’s NCAA stats, and is 29th for earned run average. For the season, Moulton is 24-9 with a 1.59 ERA, 19 complete games, and 227 strikeouts in 202.0 IP.
• Tyler Walker and Kaitlyn Richardson each have impressive numbers over an extended period of time. Since Feb. 22, Richardson is batting .478 (44-for-92) with 29 RBI, 26 R, seven HRs and seven doubles, while Walker is batting .446 (50-for-112) with 40 runs scored, 24 RBI, 10 doubles, two triples, eight home runs, and 15 stolen bases in 17 attempts.
(For the PDF version of the full 26-page Minnesota Game Notes, click the link in the box at the top of the page)