Minnesota wins series over New Mexico State

The Gophers scored 22 runs in two games after being shutout in the first game.

Infielder Allie Arneson throws to first base during a game against Northwestern on Saturday, April 15, 2017 at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium.

Carter Jones, Daily File Photo

Infielder Allie Arneson throws to first base during a game against Northwestern on Saturday, April 15, 2017 at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium.

by Drew Cove

The Gophers capped off a week-long trip with a series victory.

Minnesota (17-11) ended its spring break trip with a three-game series, winning two of three games over New Mexico State (12-14) in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

“We were a little disappointed that we let that first game against New Mexico State get away from us,” head coach Jamie Trachsel said. “I thought we responded really well [Saturday].”

The Gophers improved from Friday’s performance. Minnesota won twice on Saturday, the first a 7-0 victory and the second a 15-5 game, after being shut out in Friday’s game 3-0.

Minnesota eventually came back from Friday and won the series against the Aggies. It took until the second day of the series, but the Gophers bats came alive.

In the first game of the doubleheader, Minnesota got revenge, thanks to balanced offense and pitcher Amber Fiser’s 11th win of the season. Fiser recorded nine strikeouts in the entire seven innings for a shutout, after the Gophers went scoreless the day before.

“We knew they were going to be a good offensive and defensive team,” Fiser said. “We really didn’t try looking over them at all.”

The balanced offense from Minnesota came in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Catcher Kendyl Lindaman launched her eighth home run of the season in the performance, further padding the Gophers lead on the way to the victory.

The second game on Saturday gave Fiser a rest from pitching. Fellow sophomore Carlie Brandt started to help the Gophers win the series.

Though Minnesota surrendered the first run, the team went on to score eight runs in three innings to take the lead. The visiting Gophers held on to the lead to win 15-5. Junior Allie Arneson tallied three RBIs in the game, her first three of the season.

“I was injured and then just coming back, trying to get that breakthrough, I really felt it [Saturday],” Arneson said.

In the seventh inning of the blowout victory, the Gophers sent three hits out of the park. The home runs came from Lindaman, her ninth of the season, infielder Kaylen Krueger and left fielder Erika Rozell.

The game on Friday didn’t go in Minnesota’s favor. The Gophers lost 3-0, due to 12 runners left on the bases in the shutout loss.

Minnesota hitting coach Cat Heifner made her first return to the program she called home for 14 years — New Mexico State. Heifner was the associate head coach for the Aggies the last 11 seasons she was there. 

Now, as the Minnesota hitting coach, Heifner helped her team to a combined 22 runs in two games after getting shut out the first game.

Coming into the series, New Mexico State averaged over 5.5 runs per game. The Gophers held the Aggies to a combined eight runs in three games.

Before getting to New Mexico, the Gophers played their way through Arizona. Minnesota finished the run through the state with an upset over then-No. 9 Arizona. The game was close, but Minnesota prevailed in eight innings for the 1-0 victory.

“Nothing is going to be given to you,” Trachsel said. “You’ve got to earn everything. You’ve got to go out and prove it every day.”