Rochester’s Sam Macken Helps Gophers Win Big Ten Tournament
Ann Arbor, MI (gophersports.com) - The top-seeded Minnesota softball team won its second straight Big Ten Tournament Championship, third in four years and fourth in school history on Saturday with a 6-0 win over No. 3 seed Ohio State in the title game.
The Golden Gophers (54-3) took a 3-0 lead in the fifth inning on Sydney Dwyer’s two-run home run to left field and Sam Macken’s bases-loaded walk. Macken then helped Minnesota double its lead in the seventh with a two-run double before scoring her team’s final run on Makenna Partain’s infield single.
Sara Groenewegen earned her third win in as many outings at the 2017 Big Ten Tournament, tossing a two-hit shutout and striking out 12 batters. Groenewegen was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after allowing just one run and two hits with 24 strikeouts and two walks in her three appearances, including two complete-game wins and the first no-hitter in tournament history (a 5-1 win over Northwestern in the quarterfinals on Friday).
She now has 1,187 career strikeouts passing Sara Moulton as the all-time Gophers career strikeout record holder.
With the victory, Minnesota earns the Big Ten’s automatic berth into this year’s NCAA Tournament, with the complete 64-team NCAA field revealed at 10 p.m. (ET) Sunday.