Minnesota sweeps Iowa in rescheduled series

Gophers swept their first three-game series all season.

Amber Fiser pitches against Northwestern on April 15, 2017 at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium.

Carter Jones, Daily File Photo

Amber Fiser pitches against Northwestern on April 15, 2017 at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium.

by Drew Cove

Minnesota recorded its first three-game series sweep of the season on Friday.

The games were rescheduled and not cancelled, and the Gophers took advantage and won their series versus Iowa on Thursday and Friday. Minnesota (24-14, 7-3 Big Ten) won the game on Thursday 8-0, the first game of the doubleheader 6-2 Friday and earned the 11-1 victory in the second game of Friday.

“It was a collective approach and a collective attitude and mindset about hitting,” head coach Jamie Trachsel said. “We did just that throughout each game.”

The rescheduled series opener featured an early lead, and Minnesota never let go.

The game finished early because Minnesota scored three runs in the top of the sixth to bring Iowa’s deficit to eight runs, prompting the eight-run rule to end the game if the Hawkeyes (19-21, 5-8 Big Ten) didn’t respond in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Hawkeyes didn’t score and were shutout by pitcher Amber Fiser.

Fiser gave up two hits and one walk in Thursday’s game and recorded six strikeouts for her 15th victory of the season.

Catcher Kendyl Lindaman and shortstop Carlie Brandt led the way for Minnesota. Lindaman hit her 14th home run of the season for three RBI, and Brandt added two RBI on two hits.

Friday Finales

The first game of the doubleheader, a 6-2 victory, continued the trend of Minnesota’s bats coming alive late.

Minnesota was held scoreless by Iowa pitcher Allison Doocy through six innings. Minnesota second baseman MaKenna Partain scored and gave the team some breathing room to send it to extra innings.

In the ninth inning, Minnesota scored five runs, sending Doocy out of the game. The Gophers’ first run that inning came thanks to a Partain triple. Partain had two hits and an RBI in the game.

“I actually think I struggled a bit at the beginning of the game,” Partain said. “Coming up with that hit at the end really just made all the other at-bats OK.”

The Gophers continued the scoring with pinch hitter Allie Arneson, collecting an RBI on a fielder’s choice and a two-RBI double from first baseman Sydney Dwyer.

Pitcher Rachel Lowary made her second appearance of the season in relief of Fiser. The two pitchers held the Hawkeyes to eight hits and two runs.

The second game of the doubleheader was delayed because of extras in the first, but Minnesota continued its scoring momentum from the first game and finished the game in five innings.

The Gophers opened up the game with a three-run first inning. They went on to score six more runs in the fourth and two in the fifth.

Centerfielder Dani Wagner continued her resurgence as she returned from an injury that happened 18 games ago. She had two doubles in the game, the first scored one run and the second cleared the bases. Wagner finished the game with four RBI.

Lindaman continued her long-ball success from Thursday and hit another home run, her second of the series and 15th of the season. Like Wagner, Lindaman finished the back end of the doubleheader with four RBI.

Pitcher Sydney Smith got the start after Fiser started in the first two, Smith’s first appearance for the Gophers since March 24. She earned her third victory of the season.

“It was good going into the game knowing that we already had three runs up on them in the first inning,” Smith said. “Just to get my feet back under me and trust my teammates.”