Softball wins Big Ten tournament

by Betsy Helfand

The Gophers softball team won the Big Ten tournament Saturday with a 3-2 victory over Michigan. Freshman Sam Macken hit a walk-off single to give Minnesota the win.

Michigan jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning, but the Gophers quickly erased it with solo home runs from Kaitlyn Richardson and Sara Groenewegen. Groenewegen, Minnesota's starting pitcher, gave up three hits and two runs — one earned — in four innings of work. Sara Moulton picked up the win for the Gophers. 

The Gophers came into the tournament as the No. 3 seed. Michigan, the No. 1 seed, had won two of the three games against Minnesota this season heading into Saturday. 

The Gophers had a bye in the first round, but reached the championship game by defeating Purdue 6-3 on Friday and routing Ohio State 9-0 earlier on Saturday.

Minnesota's last Big Ten title was in 1999 and also came via a 3-2 win over the Wolverines.

The NCAA tournament selection show will take place Sunday night at 9:00 p.m. and will be aired on ESPNU.