U softball sweeps Mankato St., improves to 28-8

Michael Rand

Unfamiliar territory — its home park — brought familiar results for the Gophers softball team Thursday night.
Playing in its first games of the year at the Bierman Softball Complex, Minnesota (28-8) swept Mankato State 6-3, 10-4 in a doubleheader.
The Gophers trailed early in both games before assuming control in the late innings.
In game one, third baseman Amber Hegland led the team’s offensive attack with a home run, her first of the year, and three RBIs. Rayny Camacho pitched into the sixth inning, giving up three earned runs en route to her seventh win of the season.
Minnesota’s four through seven hitters accounted for most of the team’s offense in game two, combining to go 9-for-12 with eight runs scored and seven RBIs.
Erin Mooney started game two for the Gophers but was lifted in the third inning after giving up six hits and three runs (two earned). Steph Klaviter, who earned the save in game one, picked up the game to win in relief.
Minnesota will have a chance to get even more accustomed to its home park this weekend in a three-game series with Purdue. The Gophers are 2-1 in the Big Ten this season.
Men’s golf
The Gophers men’s golf team is ranked No. 21 in the nation in a poll of coaches released Thursday.
Minnesota won the Dr. Pepper Intercollegiate Invitational last weekend and freshman James McLean took individual medalist honors.
Northwestern (No. 16) is the only other Big Ten team in the top 25. The Gophers defeated the Wildcats by 33 strokes at last weekend’s invitational.
15 named to academic team
The Big Ten announced Thursday 15 Gophers men’s athletes have been named to the academic all-conference team for winter quarter.
The athletes are: wrestlers Brandon Eggum, Tim Hartung, Brett Lawrence and Brandon Paulson; gymnasts Chad Conner and Matthew Kieffer; and swimmers John Cahoy, Cubby Campbell, Oscar Godoi, Brian Howard, Luis Lopez, Jono McLeod, Yoav Meiri, Jeff Miller and Martin Zielinski.