Gophers Trek to Eugene for Super Regional

Logo   No. 14/16 Minnesota at the Eugene NCAA Super Regional
Dates/Times Saturday, May 24, 2014 | 9:04 p.m. CT
Sunday, May 25, 2014 | 4:04 p.m. CT 
Sunday, May 25, 2014 | 7:04 p.m. CT
Location Howe Field • Eugene, Oregon
Live Stats Tournament Central
Notes/Previews Minnesota | Oregon

Saturday: ESPN2 (Watch ESPN)
Sunday: ESPN (Watch ESPN)
Sunday (if necessary): ESPN2 (Watch ESPN)

Gopher Softball Live Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3

Team Notes
• Minnesota is making its ninth NCAA appearance after winning the Big Ten Tournament for the second time (last was in 1999). The super regional appearance this weekend will be its first.

• The Gophers enter the weekend with their highest winning percentage of all-time at .815. Their 44 wins are their most since 1999 when they won 48 games and are tied their fourth-most in a season with the 1996 Minnesota squad.

• On the season, Minnesota has outscored its opponents 315-116.

• Last Saturday's win over North Dakota State in 10 innings and last Sunday's eight-inning loss to Auburn  marked the first time all season the Gophers went to extra innings. Minnesota was previously 3-0 when tied heading into the seventh inning (wins over Oklahoma State, South Carolina, and Michigan).

• Minnesota is 5-3 all-time against Oregon. The Gophers last played the Ducks March 8, 2003 at the National Invitational Tournament in San Jose, Calif. UO won that meeting 3-2 in eight innings.

• The Gophers won their only game against a Pac-12 team this season, defeating then-No. 3 Arizona State on the road back on March 2, 3-2. Oregon is 3-0 against Big Ten schools, beating Ohio State and downing Wisconsin twice in last week's regional.

• Minnesota is 10-13 all-time in NCAA Tournament games.

• Including a 3-1 record in regional play, Minnesota is 16-7 against this year's NCAA Tournament field. The team is 4-4 against teams in the super regionals.

• Last Friday's attendance of 1,133 broke a Jane Sage Cowles Stadium record. Saturday's attendance figure of 1,186 reset the record. The record was set again Sunday for the regional championship. Those games had an attendance of 1,189.

• Minnesota's .508 slugging percentage and 66 home runs are program bests.

• The Gophers have played 15 games against top-25 ranked opponents, going 9-6.

Player/Coach Notes
• Fourth year Minnesota head coach was an assistant coach at Oregon in 2010 when she helped coach the Ducks to their first-ever Super Regional berth. Gopher junior Hannah Melick played her first two collegiate seasons at UO before transferring to Minnesota.

Sara Moulton holds Minnesota program records with 112 wins, 108 complete games, 47 shutouts 1,008 innings pitched, and 1,183 strikeouts. Last weekend in regional play, Moulton appeared in all four games to pass pitching coach Piper Ritter for the school's games pitched record with 176.

Sara Groenewegen fanned 13 batters to up her season total to 185 in 112 innings pitched, improving her K/7 rate to 11.6, the best in the nation. She has struck out 10 or more batters seven times this season. Her season/career-best is 14, a mark set in her second-career start against Central Arkansas. She tied that number May 2 in a 3-0 loss at Purdue.

Kaitlyn Richardson hit her 20th double of the season Sunday against Auburn. That mark is tied for the second-best in a single season in school history. Her 45-career doubles are the fourth-most for a Gopher and her .758 slugging percentage is a single-season program-best.

Tyler Walker hit her NCAA-leading eighth triple of the season Friday in the team's 10-1 win over Green Bay. She now has 200 career hits. She has also scored a team-best 53 runs on the season. Her .727 slugging percentage in 2014 is the third-best in school history.

Tyler Walker has been the team's top hitter against top-25 ranked opponents. In 13 games, she has hit .425 and worked her way to a .549 on-base percentage while slugging .800. In those games, she has blasted three home runs, stolen four bases, and has driven in 14 runs. Kaitlyn Richardson is hitting .394 against ranked foes.

Sam Macken has hits in 11 of her last 14 games. The freshman has hit for a .341 batting average in that span racking up three home run doubles, two doubles, and triple en route to a .659 slugging percentage. She also has a pair of steals in that time.

Kaitlyn Richardson, Tyler Walker, Sara Groenewegen, Bree Blanchette, and Taylor LeMay have started in all 54 of the Gophers' games this season. Erica Meyer has played in all 54 games and has started in all but one.