Gophers split two with the Wildcats

Michael Rand

The Gophers softball team found out Wednesday that strength isn’t always in numbers — sometimes it’s in distance.
Despite outhitting host Northwestern 6-2 in game one of a doubleheader, Minnesota lost the game 4-3. The Gophers salvaged the day by winning game two 1-0 in eight innings, but the split was a serious blow to their Big Ten title hopes.
The Wildcats (13-24, 3-7 in the Big Ten) entered the games having scored the fewest runs of any Big Ten team as well as having given up more runs than any other team in the conference. Meanwhile, Minnesota (31-10, 6-4) came into the doubleheader second in runs scored and earned run average.
Northwestern third baseman Tricia Kay was the story in game one, clubbing a pair of home runs to account for the team’s only hits of the game. Her second homer, a three-run shot in the third inning, gave the Wildcats a 4-0 lead.
The Gophers rallied for one run in the fifth inning on catcher Ann Bartholmey’s first home run of the season. They added two more runs in the sixth inning but couldn’t push the tying run across.
Wendy Logue saved Minnesota’s dormant offense in game two, pitching all eight innings to improve her record to 10-1. Shannon Beeler’s two-out single in the eighth inning scored Steph Midthun to give the Gophers the victory.
Minnesota travels to Michigan this weekend for a three-game series. The Wolverines (36-12, 7-3) won the regular season Big Ten crown last season and defeated the Gophers in four of the teams’ five meetings.
Anything but a sweep at Michigan could drop Minnesota out of contention for the conference title.

GAME ONE SUMMARY
Gophers 000 012 0 — 3 6 0
Northwestern 103 000 x — 4 2 0
Johnson, Klaviter (3) and Bartholmey; DeBoard and Shull. W — DeBoard, 11-14. L — Johnson, 8-6. HR — Bartholmey (1), Kay 2 (2). T — 1:45. A — 50.

GAME TWO SUMMARY
Northwestern 000 000 00 — 0 4 0
Gophers 000 000 01 — 1 6 1
DeBoard and Shull; Logue and Bartholmey. W — Logue, 10-1. L — DeBoard, 11-15. T — 1:45. A — 50.

Gophers hitting statistics (2 games)
AB R H RBI
Nelson 6 1 2 1
Peters 6 0 0 0
Hegland 6 0 1 0
Beeler 7 0 2 2
Sbrocco 6 0 0 0
Fox 6 0 3 0
Bartholmey 3 1 1 1
Halvorson 3 0 0 0
Midthun 5 2 3 0
Ballard 2 0 0 0
Carey 1 0 0 0
Totals 51 4 12 4