Gophers dominate Rutgers on the road

Minnesota scored 23 runs against the Scarlet Knights and allowed only two.

Minnesota's Nikki Anderson pitches during a doubleheader against Wisconsin on April 7, 2013, at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium.

Jaak Jensen, Daily File Photo

Minnesota's Nikki Anderson pitches during a doubleheader against Wisconsin on April 7, 2013, at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium.

Emily Polglaze

The Gophers bounced back after getting swept by Wisconsin by dominating Rutgers in a three-game series.
 
 
No. 21 Minnesota defeated the Scarlet Knights 7-1 on Friday, 8-0 Saturday and 11-1 on Sunday for a road sweep.
 
 
“We had some people who were struggling to swing the bat [come] out of it, and we’re doing better offensively,” head coach Jessica Allister said. “It’s always a battle to keep up the confidence and get in good at-bats, but we’re sticking to the process.”
 
 
The Gophers (30-12, 11-3 Big Ten) wasted no time getting on the board Friday with five runs in the first inning. 
 
 
Junior pitcher Sara Groenewegen hit an RBI double to score the game’s first run, and freshman first baseman Maddie Houlihan followed with a single to score another.
 
 
Senior center fielder Paige Palkovich then hit a three-run home run to put Minnesota up 5-0.
 
 
Minnesota added one run in the fourth and sixth innings off of a home run by junior Sydney Dwyer and an RBI fielder’s choice from Houlihan.
 
 
Rutgers scored one run in the bottom of the sixth, but Minnesota came away with a 7-1 victory.
 
 
The Gophers started scoring in the first inning again on Saturday as Palkovich hit a bases-clearing RBI double to put Minnesota up 3-0.
 
 
Junior third baseman Sam Macken added to the lead with a two-run home run in the fourth, and senior Sydney Fabian drove in two runs with a single in the fifth. 
 
 
The Gophers’ final run came from a solo home run from Groenewegen to end the game in six innings.
 
 
Senior Nikki Anderson pitched a complete game shutout in the victory, allowing four hits while striking out five.
 
 
“In both games [Groenewegen and Anderson] pitched really, really well,” Macken said. “We were really fired up about what they did, and that motivated us going into each inning, trying to get some runs up for them.”
 
 
Minnesota used a big second inning to get an early advantage in the series finale Sunday, with six runs on six hits.
 
 
The Gophers hit three home runs in the inning, with Groenewegen, Macken and sophomore second baseman Danielle Parlich each tallying one. The home run was Parlich’s first of the season.
 
 
The Gophers added to their lead in the fourth inning with RBI hits from Parlich and Groenewegen to make the score 8-0.
 
 
Minnesota scored another run on an error in the top of the fifth inning before freshman Taylor Chell pinch hit and got her first collegiate home run to put the Gophers up 11-0.
 
 
The Scarlet Knights put up one run, but the Gophers picked up another easy victory.
 
 
“When every person out there or in the dugout is caring, doing their job, competing and trying their hardest, that’s the best type of win,” Parlich said. “We were gelling very well and producing and playing like we know how.”