Gophers start season 1-3 against stiff competition in Vegas

Minnesota beat UNLV after losing its first three games.

Drew Claussen

After three losses in its opening weekend, the Gophers softball team is probably hoping that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Minnesota went 1-3 against tough competition in the Sportco Kick-Off Classic in Las Vegas. The Gophers lost 1-0 to DePaul, 5-3 to Texas Tech and 16-8 to Louisville before defeating host University of Nevada-Las Vegas 4-0.

A four-run sixth inning against UNLV provided some offense for sophomore Sara Moulton, who pitched her first shutout of the season.

Moulton (1-2) scattered three hits in her complete-game victory. Three Gophers players had RBIs in the game.

No. 18 Louisville proved it deserved its ranking against the unranked Gophers in the first game Sunday. After a close first couple of innings, the Cardinals pulled away by scoring 10 runs in the final three innings.

Gophers third baseman Kaitlyn Richardson went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and four batted in. The sophomore hit her second home run in as many days Sunday.

Nikki Anderson was baptized by fire in her first career start. The freshman gave up 15 hits and 11 earned runs in 3.1 innings of work against Louisville.

Minnesota struggled to generate offense in their season opener Saturday against DePaul. The Gophers managed two hits. Moulton gave up only two hits herself, but DePaul played small ball in the first inning to produce the game’s only run.

Minnesota’s bats awoke in its second game against Texas Tech, but the Gophers surrendered two leads in four innings to fall 5-3. Texas Tech was able to compensate for six errors by scoring four runs in the final four innings.

Richardson went 2-for-3 at the plate against Texas Tech with one run scored and two batted in.