Minnesota seeks out three phases of game

The team will head to Florida to play four games over the weekend.

Matt Greenstein

For the Gophers to succeed, head coach Jessica Allister said at least two of the three phases of softball — hitting, pitching and defense — must be present.

Last weekend, two of those three phases were on display as Minnesota jumped out to a 5-0 start to the season, shining at the plate and in the circle.

The Gophers will look to display all three phases this weekend as they head to Florida for a four-game weekend.

Minnesota will play a doubleheader against Stetson and then play two more games in two days, including an 8 a.m. start time to its game Sunday against Missouri.

And they’ll need to be sharp in doing so.

Behind ace Sara Groenewegen, Gophers pitchers held opponents to just 12 runs over the weekend.

But things didn’t go as smoothly on the field.

In their first five games, the Gophers committed four errors, and Parlich said the team will not settle for that.

Though Parlich committed one of those errors, she was also a large part of Minnesota’s offensive success.

The freshman excelled against Washington, going 3-for-3 with five RBIs in her first collegiate game.

“The first time out, you never know what it’s going to look like until they get into a game. We have some upper-class leaders who definitely set the tone offensively, but I was impressed by [Parlich’s] ability to play at the same speed as in practice,” Allister said.

Parlich, who drove in eight runs during the weekend, wasn’t the only one who boosted Minnesota’s offensive power.

Senior Hannah Granger went 9-for-14 and currently leads the team with a .643 batting average.

“I’ve been really focused in practice. I realize it’s my last season, and [I need to] play my role. It’s my job, so I’m working hard at it,” Granger said.

Six players on the team finished the weekend with five or more hits.

Though Minnesota’s big bats are vital to its consistency, Allister said it’s a mind game for the struggling hitters.

“It’s more a matter of getting out of their own way. It’s never a matter of effort. It’s a matter of, ‘We don’t have the same approach’ and ‘We make things bigger than they are,’” Allister said. “It’s less a matter of getting them to try harder and more of a matter to get them to try less.”

The Gophers will also have to adapt to getting into the swing of things with the season starting up.

Allister said her team likes the short practice weeks.

“We practice all of fall and winter so we can go out and play,” Allister said.