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Minnesota Sports: Gophers Spring Season Updates

Spoiler...it hasn’t been pretty

Brad Rempel—Gophersports.com

We here at TDG like to cover all the Minnesota Gophers sports, not just the big ones. So it’s definitely our fault we have not been giving the spring sports the updates they deserve. A few seasons have come to their conclusions while a few more are winding down quickly. Read below for an update on how the Gophers fared or are fairing this spring.

Women’s Golf:

The Gophers women’s golf season came to a close two weekends ago when they finished in 12th place at the Big Ten Championships. in her final collegiate event senior Geraldine Wong led the Gophers with a 38th place finish shooting +15 over the three-round event. Fellow senior Joanne Free finished four strokes back in 55th place.

The highlight of Minnesota’s spring season was a 5th place finish in the Big Ten Match Play event in Florida in February knocking off both Nebraska and Penn State and falling to Ohio State.

Men’s Golf:

The Gopher men competed their season last weekend with a 10th place finish at the Big Ten Championships. Sophomore Ben Warrian led the way for the Gophers with a 21st place finish shooting +9 over the three-round tournament. Lincoln Joh son was just one stroke back to finish in 27th place.

The highlight of the Gophers season was a 6th place finish at the Iowa Invitational in April. Minnesota’s Antoine Sale finished at +2 in 15th place.

Tennis:

The Gopher tennis team had a bounce back season in 2022. They finished the season 18-10 and had the most wins as a team since the 2003 season. They finished their season with a loss in the Big Ten Quarterfinals to #1 seed Ohio State.

Minnesota started the season 11-0 before finally dropping a match to Utah, in the Big Ten season the Gophers went 6-7 closing the season with three straight wins to earn the #8 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. In the opening round the Gophers knocked off #9 seed Penn State in a 4-3 comeback win closing it out with a #2 singles win.

Unfortunately their season was not good enough and they did not earn one of the 64 bids to the NCAA Tournament and their season came to a close with the quarterfinal loss to the Buckeyes.

Rowing:

The Gopher rowing team is headed into the final meet of their schedule a week from Saturday when they head to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championships. Minnesota is currently ranked 6th in the NCAA Region 4 rowing rankings behind fellow Big Ten schools Michigan, Ohio State, Indiana, Rutgers, and then SMU.

The Gophers have earned several second place finishes in their top boats in their last few regattas. At the Big Ten invite in Florida in April the Gophers got a second place finish from their top varsity 8 boat trailing only #10 Duke.

At the Big Ten Championships the Gophers will most likely be looking to finish high enough to potentially earn an at-large berth to the NCAA Championships. It will not be easy as just 12 at large bids are awarded.

Softball:

It’s been a rough slog for the Gopher softball team in 2022. Minnesota played the toughest non-conference schedule in the nation, and it took a lot out of a Gopher team that only has two true pitching options, and one who has a 70 pitch pitch count. Minnesota went 13-11-1 in the preseason schedule and unfortunately has not been much better in Big Ten play.

The Gophers currently have a 22-22-1 overall record but are just 7-11 in the Big Ten, and unless they sweep their last five games this week against a pair of top-level teams are slated to miss the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments fir the first time since the 2012 season.

Minnesota has struggled both in the circle and at the plate. Senior Autumn Pease is coming off of shoulder surgery and has struggled with control all season while on a pitch count. Freshman Emily Leavitt has looked good at times but has also been hit around as she has weathered much of the Gopher pitching load. Minnesota had a few players transfer or leave the team in the fall and had struggled to find replacements.

At the plate there has not been many bright spots either. Senior Natalie Den Hartog became the program’s all time home run leader and currently has 16 on the year for the Gophers.

Minnesota currently sits in 9th place in Big Ten at 7-11 and only the top 8 teams make the conference tournament. The Gophers have five games left in the regular season, all at home but against the top of the conference. Minnesota hosts 5th place Wisconsin for a doubleheader at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium on Wednesday before hosting conference leader and #18 nationally ranked Northwestern for a three game series this weekend that most likely will end the Gophers season.

Baseball:

Coming off a historically bad season a year ago the Gopher baseball team had hopes for a rebound in 2022. Unfortunately it hasn’t happened as the Gophers currently have a record of 12-30 overall and just 2-13 in Big Ten play with three weekends left in the regular season. Minnesota again has struggled on the mound with a team ERA of 6.21, and 6.56 in conference play. The offense is no better with the Gophers hitting just .245 as a team this season. They have 338 strikeouts on the year....and just 337 hits.

Minnesota has three weekends of play left beginning with this weekend at Siebert Field against Nebraska. Minnesota will honor their Champions before Saturday’s game with a ceremony honoring the 1960 NCAA Champions and the 1982, 1992, 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2010 Big Ten Champions. The Gophers head to Indiana the following weekend before ending the season back at home for a non-conference game against Omaha, and a weekend series against Northwestern May 17-21.

Track and Field:

The Gopher track and field team is a bright spot still shining. Minnesota is in the final gear for next weekend when they host the Big Ten Championships. The Gophers will complete the regular season this weekend competing in a pair of local meets at St. Thomas and Hamline on Wednesday and Friday.

The field athletes have shone bright for the Gophers this spring. Last weekend Kostas Zaltos threw a personal best and the second farthest throw in the nation at the Drake Relays. On the women’s side Shelby Frank has been named the Big Ten Women’s Field Athlete of the Week three times this spring. Most recently she broke the school record and threw the fifth longest throw in the nation in the discus.

On the track the Gophers have been setting near school record times as well. On the men’s side, Finn Schirmer recorded the second fastest time in school history in the 100m while on the women’s side it was Tiera Robinson-Jones with the third longest triple jump in school history, and Janielle Josephs and Jayla Campbell ran the third and fourth fastest 400 meter times in school history.

The Gophers will have many potential Big Ten Champion contenders at home, with some potential NCAA Championship qualifiers in what should be a great way to cap off the 2021-22 season.