Baseball team up and down, women continue season continues

Senior Mike Mee’s 15-game hitting streak was snapped with an 0-4 showing Friday.

by Paul Cordes

The Minnesota baseball team concluded a 10-day, eight-game spurt with a 5-4 win over No. 9 Pepperdine in Malibu on Sunday.

The Gophers started the spring break stretch of games last weekend as they went 2-1 against Missouri State (8-8, overall, 0-0 MVC) at the Metrodome.

Minnesota (11-5, 0-0 Big Ten) saw major highs and lows on the mound in the three-game series as the Gophers took the opener 4-0, followed by a 12-0 defeat before closing out the stint with a 5-4 win.

Three Minnesota pitchers combined for the shutout last Friday, including junior right-hander Ethan Vogt who made his first ever start for, going five and two-thirds innings while allowing just four hits and walking just one.

The Gophers followed up the 2-1 weekend with a two-win midweek series as they defeated UC-Santa Barbara 6-5 in ten innings on Tuesday and 12-5 Wednesday.

After falling behind 4-0 on Tuesday, Minnesota rallied to score three in the sixth and one in the seventh, which took the game into extra innings.

Sophomore Nate Hanson’s RBI single in the 10th gave the Gophers their first lead of the game, and freshman Derek McCallum’s sacrifice fly gave Minnesota a 6-4 lead heading into the bottom of the inning.

The Gauchos threatened and brought one run across the plate but fell short as the Gophers picked up the extra-inning victory.

Minnesota’s tour of California continued as the Gophers headed to face No. 9 Pepperdine (17-7, 0-0 West Coast Conference).

Minnesota found itself outmatched in the first two meetings as they dropped 8-1 and 12-3 decisions Friday and Saturday.

Senior Mike Mee’s 0-4 day at the plate Friday ended his 15-game hitting streak as the Gophers struggled at the plate during the first two games of the series.

But Minnesota ended the series on a strong note as it completed its seventh come-from-behind victory after entering the eighth down 3-1.

The Gophers were led by Mee who went 3-4 with a run, collecting his ninth multihit game of the year.

Sophomore Bryan Jost’s two RBIs was a team high for Minnesota, including a sacrifice fly in the eight to give Minnesota the first lead of the game at 4-3.

This is the second time this season the Gophers have defeated a top ten opponent – the first time since 1993 that a Minnesota team has accomplished the feat.

Women’s Basketball

The Minnesota women’s basketball team celebrated its first-ever appearance in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament on March 14th in the form of a 43-point victory over Illinois-Chicago at Williams Arena.

The Gophers advanced to the second round of the WNIT easily after obliterating the Flames 97-54 last Wednesday.

“After not making the NCAA tournament, we have something to prove and the WNIT is a great tournament to do that in,” coach Pam Borton said after the first round win. “Our goal right now is to win a championship.”

Five Minnesota players scored in the double digits, including a pair of double-doubles from the Gophers’ underclassmen.

Sophomore guard Emily Fox led the Minnesota rampage as she racked up 19 points and 11 assists while freshman forward Korinne Campbell managed to pull down 10 rebounds and scored 14.

The Gophers now head to Bowling Green to take on Western Kentucky (20-8, 14-4 Sun Belt) in the second round of tournament play, with the tip-off set for 7 p.m. tonight.