Gophers open season 3-3 in Jacksonville

Trevor Born

The Minnesota softball team’s trip to Florida may be a good indication of how this season could end up.

The Gophers split the six-game weekend, losing two to an undefeated Southern Illinois squad, splitting two games with Jacksonville, and topping both Coastal Carolina and North Carolina- Greensboro.

And although pitching proved to be a factor in all six games, what was more noticeable was Minnesota’s run production.

The Gophers scored just under six runs per game in their three wins, while run production dwindled to three per game in the losses.

Minnesota’s runs came in various ways, as the Gophers showed some power with a pair of home runs, but also took advantage of speed, stealing home to spark a late rally in a 4-3 extra-innings win over Coastal Carolina.

Offensively, the top of the order got the job done for the Gophers this weekend, as junior second baseman Colleen Conway hit .350 from the leadoff position, and senior outfielder Sila Fernandez matched that average while adding a home run and six RBI from the second slot.

Freshman shortstop Melissa Barnes and junior catcher Shannon Stemper both hit .294 over six games, rounding out the top four slots. The remainder of the lineup hit a combined .139.

From the pitching side of things, junior Briana Hassett started the season off sharp, giving up just 16 hits over 21 innings, holding down a respectable 2.57 ERA to collect all three wins.

Junior Katie Dalen didn’t have as smooth of a start, giving up 35 hits and walking 14 in 20 innings of work.

Mark Heise

Staying strong

The Minnesota women’s tennis team continues to build on its strong start to the spring season. The Gophers improved to 5-1 after recording a 5-2 victory over Iowa State Saturday in Ames, Iowa.

The Gophers first swept all three doubles matches to secure the doubles point, then rallied off wins at five of the sevens singles positions to take control and eventually win the dual.

Freshman Alessandra Ferrazzi had a 6-2, 7-6 (5) win at No. 1 singles. Senior Danielle Mousseau picked up wins in both singles and doubles. At No. 5 singles, Mousseau cruised to victory, winning 6-2, 6-0. Mousseau and sophomore Mikayla Rogers beat the Cyclones No. 3 doubles team, 8-6.

Zach Eisendrath

Record mile time

Women’s track runner Jamie Cheever broke a 24-year old school record in the mile run on Saturday with a time of 4 minutes, 39.54 seconds. Jody Eder ran a mile in 4 minutes, 41.12 seconds in 1984.

The junior runner earned an automatic bid to the NCAA indoor championships with the time.

It was the highlight of the Gophers performance at the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational.

Team scores weren’t recorded, but 15 Gophers women finished in the top 15 of just 13 events.

Senior Andrea Smith also broke a school record, clearing a height of 13 feet, 6 1/4 inches in the pole vault. She had previously held the record, but it was broken earlier this season by Alicia Rue.

The pole vault was the strongest event for the Gophers, with five women in the top 15.

The men competed in the UW-River Falls Coca-Cola Classic Saturday.

Sophomores Aaron Studt and Luke Silovich won two events each. Studt won the weight throw and shot put while Silovich won the 55-meter dash and 55-meter high hurdles.

Trevor Born