The #10/11 Gopher Softball Team is off to the best start in program history. They kept that train moving down the tracks this weekend in going 4-0 at the LSU Tournament to extend their school record winning streak to 18 games. The best victory of the season came Saturday night as Minnesota shut out #12/13 LSU in their home park 3-0.
Minnesota used their pitching depth to breeze through all four games this weekend. Three Gopher starters got victories as Tory Finucane threw a one-hitter to lead the Gophers past Florida Atlantic 4-1, Amber Fiser and Carlie Brandt combined to defeat Illinois State 7-3, and Sara Groenewegen threw a pair of complete game shutouts defeating Troy 2-0, and LSU 3-0. Groenewegen will be the strong leader for Big Ten Player of the Week as she went 2-0, giving up only five hits and striking out 19 batters. She took a perfect game into the sixth inning at #12/13 LSU who had a team batting average of .374 coming into the game. She would get allow two baserunners in the bottom of the seventh inning, but with the Tigers threatening to score Groeneween struck out the side to end the game. She now moves to 9-0 on the season with a 0.5 ERA and 72 strikeouts.
Offensively the Gophers continue to get a ton of production out of two freshmen. Catcher Kendyl Lindaman has five home runs on the season including three go-ahead bombs. She added the game-winning rbi single in Sunday’s win over Illinois State. Freshman second baseman MaKenna Partain continues to lead the Gophers in batting average at .472 and on-base percentage at .563. As a team, Minnesota is hitting .332 on the season.
The Gophers season does not get any easier next weekend as Minnesota will participate in the Washington tournament. The Gophers will face Seattle University twice, South Dakota, and #7/8Washington twice. The Huskies ended the Gophers season last year by defeating them twice in the NCAA Regionals. Minnesota would love nothing but revenge this weekend.