|#1 Minnesota (22-1, 54-3) at NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional|
|Matchup||Minnesota vs. Louisiana Tech|
|Date | Time||Friday, May 19 | 1:30 p.m.|
|Location||Rhoads Stadium | Tuscaloosa, Ala.|
|Game Day Live||Game Day Central|
|Regional Schedule||Alabama Regional Central|
|Social Media||@GopherSoftball | Facebook | Instagram|
NCAA Bracket // Ticket Information Here // Game Day Central
The No. 1/3 University of Minnesota Gophers are set to play in their fifth straight NCAA Tournament at the Tuscaloosa Regional this weekend.
The Gophers will take on Louisiana Tech at 1:30 p.m. (CT) Friday. The game can be viewed live on ESPNU. Alabama is the No. 16 seed in the tournament and will face Albany at 4 p.m. on Friday. This will be the Gophers 12th NCAA Tournament appearance.
The Gophers had a historic regular season. They started the season on a program record 19-game win streak and are currently on a 25-game win streak. They have won more games than any other team in Gophers history and have a 54-3 overall record. They won their first regular season Big Ten title since 1991 and their third B1G Tournament championship in four years.
The ESPN network will cover every game from all 16 Regionals of the NCAA Division I Softball Championship for the first-time ever.
Minnesota got to Alabama on Tuesday evening and practiced at UAB this afternoon.
✌️️out Dinkytown pic.twitter.com/NKUEJlStuQ
— Minnesota Softball (@GopherSoftball) May 16, 2017
Five Things To Know
— Minnesota Softball (@GopherSoftball) May 17, 2017
1. The Gophers won a program record 15 Big Ten Team and Individual Awards honors this season. Kendyl Lindaman was named both the Player and the Freshman of the Year, Sara Groenewegen was named Pitcher of the Year and head coach Jessica Allister was named the Coach of the Year.
Lindaman (catcher), Groenewegen (pitcher), Maddie Houlihan (outfield), Allie Arneson (shortstop) and Danielle Parlich (third base) were all selected to the first-team. Prior to this year there had never been more than three Gophers to earn first-team honors in the same season.
Sam Macken (outfield), Sydney Dwyer (first base) and Dani Wagner (outfield) all earned second-team honors. Previously the most Gophers named to the All-Big Ten Team in a season was in 1991 when seven were honored. Lindaman and Groenewegen were both also named to the all-defensive team and Macken won a Sportsmanship Award.
2. Dwyer was the hero of the Big Ten Tournament. In the semifinal game against Illinois she pulled the Gophers within one in the fourth inning with a solo shot. She later lifted the Maroon and Gold to the championship game with a walk-off home run in bottom of the seventh.
She was just getting started on the day. In the championship game Dwyer stepped up with two outs in the fifth and launched a no-doubter over the wall to break a 0-0 tie and give the Gophers all the momentum they would need. Dwyer is .391 with 12 doubles and 12 home runs. She has an on base percentage of .456 and a slugging percentage of .675. Last weekend she broke the Gophers single season RBI record and now has 76 RBIs on the season.
3. Lindaman is right behind Dwyer for most RBIs in a season with 74. Even if she doesn’t catch her she will go down as first in multiple other Gophers single season hitting categories. She holds the Minnesota single season record for home runs and walks and is set to crush the slugging percentage and on-base percentage records.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) May 14, 2017
Lindaman leads the Big Ten in home runs (20), slugging percentage (.942), walks (60), on-base percentage (.608) and batting average (.438). She is also third in the NCAA in on base percentage and slugging percentage and sixth in RBIs and home runs.
Lindaman is just the fourth player in Big Ten history to win both Freshman and Player of the Year in the same season. She won nine B1G weekly plaudits this season breaking the record for most Freshman of the Week awards won in a season with eight. She is also a top-11 finalist for the National Freshman of the Year award.
4. Groenewegen has now won two B1G Pitcher of the Year awards in her career. For the third straight season she is a top-10 finalist for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. She is 30-2 with a 0.59 ERA and 280 strikeouts. She has thrown two no-hitters including the first one in the history of the Big Ten Tournament.
In the NCAA Groenewegen is third in ERA and victories and ninth in strikeouts. She is now the Gophers career strikeout record holder with 1,187 career strikeouts. The Gophers have solid depth behind her as well including No. 2 Amber Fiser. The freshman is 13-0 with a 1.74 ERA and 76 strikeouts.
5. Minnesota is batting .349 which is a slight nod ahead of the 2015 squad's .339. The Gophers also have a .453 on base percentage which is ahead of 2015's .437 mark. The Maroon and Gold already have drawn a program-record 267 walks. The pitching staff is holding opposing batters to .174. The program record is .190 from 1983. Before this year, the fewest games the Gophers had ever lost in a season was 11, in 2015. They currently have a 54-3 mark.
The Gophers are ranked in the top-10 in eight different NCAA statistical categories. Full rankings summary here. Prior to this season they had never been ranked in the top-10 in either major polls. This week they received a No. 1 ranking in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches poll. They are 16-3 against the NCAA Tournament field and take a program record 25-game win streak into the weekend.
Game Day Central
Make sure to follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay updated throughout the week leading up to the NCAA Tournament.
Full Weekend Schedule:
Friday, May 21st – Game #1: La Tech vs. Minnesota 1:30pm CT
Friday, May 21st – Game #2: Albany vs. Alabama 4:00pm CT
Saturday, May 22nd – Game #3: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 Winner 1:30pm CT
Saturday, May 22nd – Game #4: Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser 4:00pm
Saturday, May 22nd – Game #5: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner 6:30pm CT
Sunday, May 23rd – Game #6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 5 winner 1:30pm CT
Sunday, May 23rd – Game #7 (If Necessary): 4:00pm CT
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