Richardson breaks nose as Gophers drop 2 of 3

Minnesota scored 14 runs in its lone win of the weekend at Northwestern.

Andrew Krammer

The Gophers could use power hitter Kaitlyn Richardson’s broken nose as an excuse for no hits in a 6-2 loss to Northwestern on Friday in Evanston, Ill.

But with Richardson back in the lineup Sunday, Minnesota lost 4-2. Minnesota’s lone win in the three-game series came Saturday.

“We left 10 runners on base [Sunday],” head coach Jessica Allister said. “It’s a game of timely hitting. They got some, and we didn’t.”

Inconsistency at the plate plagued Minnesota (21-12, 4-2 Big Ten) in its second conference series of the season. The Gophers had six home runs in a 14-9 win Saturday, when they posted their highest run total since March 25, 2012.

Richardson, who broke her nose in Friday’s game, returned Saturday with two hits and four RBIs. The sophomore is hitting .462 this season.

Allister said Richardson’s injury wasn’t serious.

“She’s doing fine,” Allister said. “Tough kid.”

Richardson was positioned at third base when a ball deflected off her glove and hit her in the face. She was replaced by freshman Paige Palkovich in the lineup for the rest of Friday’s game.

Wildcats pitcher Amy Letourneau threw a no-hitter Friday, but nine walks allowed the Gophers to score two runs.

The Gophers held Iowa to five total runs in their first Big Ten series, but they surrendered 19 to Northwestern this weekend.

“I don’t think it was necessarily a letdown,” Allister said. “Northwestern is a great team, and sitting at 4-2 in the Big Ten isn’t all bad.”