Gophers’ Season Ends In Regional Final
TUCSON, Ariz (Gophersports.com) .- The No. 15/11 Minnesota softball team's season came to an end Sunday night in the NCAA Tucson Regional at Hillenbrand Stadium. The Gophers, who needed to defeat 12th-seeded Arizona twice to advance the super regional round, used a Paige Palkovich walk-off grand slam to win 5-2 in the first game before falling 7-6 in eight-innings in a back-and-forth affair in the final game.
With the bases loaded and the team down to its final two outs, Palkovich belted a game-winning grand slam over the left-field fence to force a second game. It was her second grand slam of the season.
After staking themselves to a 2-0 lead in Game 2 with runs in each of the first two innings, the Gophers fell behind, 3-2, as UA scored three runs in the third. Arizona added another run in the sixth inning to make it 4-2, but Minnesota continued to battled with its back against the wall.
With two outs and a runner on first, Richardson worked the count full before drawing a walk. Granger kept the rally going with an RBI single, setting the stage for a go-ahead three-run home run by Taylor Lemay.
Chelsea Goodacre then knotted the game at six with a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh and the Wildcats went on to put runners on first and second with no one out. Danielle Parlich then led a 4-3 double play and, with a runner on third, Palkovich made a diving catch in left field to send the game to extra innings.
The Gophers stranded runners on first and second in the top of the eighth and Arizona's Kellie Fox ended the game in the bottom of the inning with a walk-off single.