Gophers Advance to NCAA Regional Softball Title Game
Seattle, WA (Gophersports.com) - Faced with a must win situation down 3-0 after the first two innings the University of Minnesota Gophers fought back like they have done all season long and pulled out a 7-5 victory on a long, cold and rainy night in Seattle.
"Any day you get a win in the postseason is a good day and I am very proud of the team for that," head coach Jessica Allister said. "We are looking forward to playing more softball tomorrow."
The Gophers fell 5-2 earlier in the day to Washington. They will rematch the Huskies tomorrow needing to win twice to get out of the regional. The game is set for 2 p.m. CT with the final game coming 30 minutes after the completion of that one if needed.
NDSU jumped out to a 3-0 lead over the Maroon and Gold who left five runners on base in the first two innings of play.
In the top of the third it finally came together for Minnesota knocking in five runs. Maddie Houlihan was walked and Sara Groenewegen singled to put runners on the corners early. Taylor LeMay hit an RBI single through the left side for the Gophers first run.
Later in the inning Kayla Wenner singled to third base and Sara Groenewegen came around and scored on an error. The icing on the cake came with two outs as Sydney Fabian launched a three home run over the left field wall giving the Gophers a 5-3 lead.
Kylie Stober came in to pitch in the third inning relieving Nikki Anderson. She had two big strikeouts keeping the momentum in the Gophers favor. She picked up the win in the game.
Danielle Parlich opened the top of the fourth with one of her three singles on the day. She advanced to second on a wild pitch and was brought home by a second LeMay RBI on the evening.
On the next play LeMay reached second on a wild pitch and Houlihan came home after NDSU tried to pick her off at third but threw the ball away.
The Bison did not go quietly adding two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Groenewegen came into the circle in the fourth and pitched the rest of the way through getting her second save this season. She closed out the fourth, fifth and sixth innings on strikeouts.
The Gophers bats never quite got going again but they were able to survive with the win. They had 10 hits in the game with three from Parlich and two each from LeMay and Wenner. Anderson, Stober and Groenewegen combined for 10 strikeouts and only gave up three earned runs. Stober moves to 4-3 on the season with the win.