Rain, rain won’t go away for Minnesota

Weather again put a damper on things as midweek games were rained out.

Mark Heise

It was another missed opportunity to play for the Minnesota softball team Thursday, as the midweek doubleheader against South Dakota State was rained out two outs into the top of the third inning.

The game was one of the few opportunities the Gophers have had this season to face nonconference pitching and fine-tune their swings before the final two conference series.

With the exception of senior outfielder Colleen Powers, the entire Minnesota lineup had one at bat before the downpour forced the cancellation.

Coming up

Minnesota should get a pair of games in on Sunday, as it returns to conference play Sunday against Ohio State. The Gophers will host the Buckeyes in a doubleheader beginning at noon.

Ohio State has had a rough Big Ten season so far, winning just 5-of-16 games, but the Buckeyes have still managed to win some tough games, beating Iowa early in the season and out-hitting Purdue two weeks ago.

Sophomore catcher Sam Marder leads Ohio State offensively as a dangerous offensive threat, hitting .468 with 13 homers this season.

Carnival time

The Gophers softball team will be hosting a carnival before the doubleheader Sunday, beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the parking lot outside of Jane Sage Cowles stadium. All ages are welcome, and participants will have an opportunity to win either Twins or St. Paul Saints tickets. The carnival will take place rain or shine, and will continue up until game time.

On the bubble

Sitting at a record of 2-8 against the top-50 teams, Minnesota is a definite bubble team for a NCAA tournament bid.

The Gophers’ chances increased greatly with a win over Iowa Sunday, but Minnesota will need to play well in the last week and a half to make the tournament. However, the Gophers are almost certain of their first Big Ten Tournament since 2004.