The Minnesota Gophers advanced to the Big Ten Tournament semifinals, beating Northwestern 5-1 thanks to another masterful pitching performance from senior Sara Groenewegen. The Gophers ace threw the first no-hitter in Big Ten Tournament history and the eighth in her great career.
It was a fairly tight game, with the Gophers leading only 2-0 headed into the bottom of the 6th. Minnesota broke it open after Kendyl Lindaman knocked in two runs with with bases loaded. Maddie Houlihan added another RBI with a hit to left to make it 5-0.
Groenewegen was stellar throughout, opening the game with 7 straight strikeouts. She finished the day with 11 straight strikeouts and had a perfect game going until the final half inning. Speaking of which...
We are not superstitious but a little stitious...— Minnesota Softball (@GopherSoftball) May 12, 2017
Northwestern on with a walk in the seventh https://t.co/Tb3tYoBcrw
Groenewegen is 28-2 this season with a 0.62 ERA and 267 strikeouts. She could easily set another record before the tournament is up, given that she is now only 10 strikeouts away from breaking Sara Moulton’s career strikeout record.
The Gophers will face Illinois tomorrow at Noon CT on Big Ten Network.
Michigan State took down Michigan tonight, 5-4. This means the Gophers will not have to face the Wolverines to win the Big Ten Title and (potentially) to earn themselves the right to host an NCAA Super Regional. The flip side of this “break” is that the Gophers also have no room for error in their quest to earn a Super Regional. They will lose that opportunity with anything less than a Big Ten Tourney title.