Baseball finally beats Panthers

Anthony Maggio

Minnesota’s baseball team finally figured out those pesky Panthers.

After losing three straight games dating back to last season, the Gophers defeated Northern Iowa 10-5 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Wednesday afternoon.

“We really wanted to win today because of the way its been going against them,” shortstop Scott Welch said. “We’re hopefully getting in the postseason tournament, so we really had to win today.”

Another loss to Northern Iowa could have damaged Minnesota’s RPI, which will be closely looked at come NCAA tournament time.

The Gophers (24-13, 12-2 Big Ten) were finally able to overcome the Panthers thanks to a hot day at the plate. Minnesota finished with 17 hits, including a 5-for-5 outing from Welch to tie a career high.

Center fielder Sam Steidl added four more hits, including two RBIs. As a team, the Gophers struck out just once on the afternoon.

Designated hitter Andy Hunter added four RBIs, three of which came on a home run in the top of the third inning. The round-tripper was Hunter’s third in five games.

“I’ve been in the lineup a lot and kind of getting really relaxed now,” Hunter said. “The ball has looked really big for the last few games now.”

Minnesota is now halfway through a 10-game road trip, which ends at Nebraska next week. After nine hours on a bus Wednesday, the Gophers fly to Indiana today for a four game series starting at 2 p.m. Friday.

The Hoosiers (26-11, 9-7) are currently third in the Big Ten, so coach John Anderson must keep his squad focused through the final half of their tough road schedule.

“It is difficult on your team when you talk about traveling and playing midweek, going to school, and having time to practice,” Anderson said. “It’s something as a coach you have to be sensitive to.”

Buergis honored

Junior Angela Buergis was named Big Ten women’s tennis player of the week after leading Minnesota to its first-ever regular season Big Ten Title. Buergis and the Gophers will compete at the Big Ten Championships this weekend in Champaign, Ill.

Buergis was perfect last weekend in a pair of singles and doubles matches. She clinched the 4-3 win over second-place Ohio State with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory against No. 46 Sadhaf Pervez at No. 1 singles. Pervez entered the match with a 7-1 Big Ten record. Buergis and freshman Nischela Reddy also posted a doubles win over the Buckeyes’ Jackie Leskovar and Erica Fisk.

In Minnesota’s 4-3 win vs. Penn State, Buergis improved to 9-1 in the Big Ten with a 6-2, 6-4 win vs. Megan Marton at No. 1 singles. Buergis and Reddy capped off a perfect Big Ten season with an 8-5 win against Maaria Husain and Leigh Ann Merryman. The win raised their league doubles record to 8-0.

Souba signs

Minnesota women’s hockey head coach Laura Halldorson announced Wednesday that Maggie Souba from Moorhead, Minn. has signed a national letter of intent and will join the Gophers for the 2003-04 season.

Souba, a defenseman, led the Moorhead High School Spuds to a 21-4-1 record this year. She played in 26 games, netting 30 goals and 16 assists for 46 points last season. She has was also named to the All-Greater Minnesota Conference team in back-to-back seasons.