Gophers sweep Maryland

Sara Groenewegen threw her third no-hitter of the season over the weekend.

Gophers junior Sara Groenewegen throws a pitch at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium on Friday.

Niti Gupta

Gophers junior Sara Groenewegen throws a pitch at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium on Friday.

Emily Polglaze

The Gophers dominated their last home series of the year over the weekend.
 
 
Minnesota swept Maryland with run-rule victories in three games, winning the series by a combined score of 30-1. The Gophers won with a 10-0 no-hitter on Friday, won 11-1 on Saturday and earned a 9-0 victory on Sunday.
 
 
“We played good defense, put together great at-bats and had tremendous pitching,” head coach Jessica Allister said. “We just keep trying to be the best team we can be and get a little better every weekend.”
 
 
The No. 24 Gophers (35-12, 16-3 Big Ten) got out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning Friday and scored another three runs off a home run by junior third baseman Sam Macken in the second. 
 
 
Minnesota added to its lead with a six-run fourth inning, capped off by a three-run home run by freshman first baseman Maddie Houlihan.
 
 
Junior pitcher Sara Groenewegen pitched a complete game no-hitter in five innings on the mound, walking one and striking out 10. It was the third no-hitter of her season and the sixth of her career.
 
 
Maryland scored its only run of the series in the first inning of Saturday’s game, but Minnesota quickly answered back.
 
 
Houlihan hit her second home run of the weekend in the bottom of the first, and the Gophers added four more runs before the inning was out. 
 
 
Minnesota had three runs in the third and three in the fourth to take an 11-1 lead, and the team won through the run-rule for the second game in a row.
 
 
“Our game plan, in general, is to swing at strikes, and hitting becomes a lot easier when you do that,” Groenewegen said. “We’re doing a really good job of taking good swings at those pitches and sticking to that plan.’
 
 
Minnesota kept up the offensive in front of a sold-out crowd Sunday
 
 
The Gophers put up three runs in the first inning, and Houlihan hit her third home run of the weekend to drive in two more in the third.
 
 
Minnesota finished off the weekend with a four-run fourth inning, highlighted by a three-run home run from Groenewegen and a home run from senior Brandi McGregor on a pinch hit.
 
 
Senior Nikki Anderson closed out the game for the Gophers, while Groenewegen earned her 25th victory on the mound after pitching four hitless innings.
 
 
Minnesota is on an eight-game winning streak after the series.
 
 
“We’ve been hitting really well, and, obviously, [Groenewegen and Anderson] pitched great this weekend,” Houlihan said.