Minnesota wins five games in Arizona

Senior Kaitlyn Richardson had two or more hits in four of the five games.

by Matt Greenstein

Down 5-3 in the sixth inning of the Gophers’ final game of the weekend on Sunday, junior Sydney Fabian blasted a home run to tie the game.

Over the weekend, Minnesota hit 10 home runs en route to five victories.

The Gophers beat New Mexico State, Colorado State, Arizona State, and Boise State, twice, in the Diamond Devil Tournament.

Senior Erica Meyer had three home runs.

“When things didn’t go our way, we battled back for it. We did a good job of that, and we really hit the ball well,” Meyer said.

Meyer said each time she went to bat, she went through a routine that put her in the right mindset.

“I try to keep the same routine and try to say the same thing to myself every time,” Meyer said.

The senior was consistent throughout the tournament, finishing with a .600 batting percentage and adding five runs batted in.

“I just tried to stay calm at the plate and put a good swing on a good pitch,” Meyer said. “Obviously it helps take the pressure off when the whole team is doing well. It makes it a lot easier.”

Though Meyer was the Gophers’ big bat, senior shortstop Tyler Walker gave Minnesota a solid offensive show down the stretch.

In Minnesota’s final game of the weekend — an 8-5 victory against Colorado State — Walker drove in three runs in the top of the seventh inning, giving the team a lead.

“It was huge. It broke the game open,” head coach Jessica Allister said.

In addition to Walker and Meyer, senior infielder Kaitlyn Richardson’s offense was on full display in Arizona.

Richardson, a native of Phoenix, said the home-field advantage was nice for a change.

“I always love playing at home. I have a great support system here,” Richardson said. “It’s nice to be able to play in front of the people that you love and they love you.”

In four of Minnesota’s five games during the weekend, the Arizona native ended with at least two hits.

“It was a good weekend. I was zoned in, and it’s all about seeing the ball and hitting it. [It’s about] simplifying things and not over thinking it,” Richardson said.

Both Allister and Richardson said anyone in the team’s lineup has potential for having a big hit.

“One of the big things about our team is up and down through the lineup, we can get it done. It’s not just at the top of our lineup. We can score throughout the lineup,” Allister said.