U softball team cruises

The No. 21 Gophers women’s softball team were champions of the Aggie Invitational at Texas A&M last weekend.
The Gophers (20-5) defeated Dayton 8-3 and 10-0 on Sunday to finish the tournament 5-1. A&M also finished 5-1, but because Minnesota allowed only six runs in the tournament and the Aggies gave up 9, the Gophers won the tiebreaker.
In the first game, Dayton was leading Minnesota 3-2 until the bottom of the fifth, when the Gophers erupted for six runs on four hits and two errors.
In the second game, Michelle Harrison and Heather Brown combined for a two-hit shutout. Steph Midthun had three hits and two runs, and Erin Brophy went two-for-three with two RBIs. A five-run third inning broke the game open for the Gophers.
Minnesota split a pair of games on Saturday, beating Butler 6-1 and then losing 2-0 to Texas A&M. The loss dropped the Gophers’ tournament record to 3-1.
Against Butler, Shannon Beeler had three hits — including her seventh home run of the season –along with two runs and three RBI’s. The home run gave Beeler 37 career home runs, one shy of the all-time Big Ten career record.
Midthun and Jordanne Nygren each had two hits for the Gophers, and Harrison improved her record to 5-1 with a complete game four-hitter.
Texas A&M’s Amy Vining held Minnesota to two baserunners in the nightcap, striking out eight. Brophy had the Gophers only hit with a sixth inning single. Minnesota committed five errors, leading to both A&M runs.
On Friday, Steph Klaviter threw a one-hit shutout, and Beeler added a first inning two-run homer to beat A&M 2-0.
Klaviter struck out five batters and won her 68th career game, breaking the Gophers school record of 67 held by Brenda Bixby from 1988-92.
Against Butler, Minnesota scored in every inning in an 8-0 win. Brophy’s double drove in two runs in the first inning, a wild pitch scored another in the second, and a two-run double by Morgan Holden in the third.
Beeler added another home run in the fourth for a 6-0 lead.
Women’s track and field
Sophomore Aubrey Schmitt placed second in the shot put at the NCAA indoor track and field championships in Indianapolis, Ind. this weekend.
Schmitt earned All-American honors by finishing with a toss of 54-4 3/4 inches, breaking the previous school record of 52-10 set in 1991 by Rachel Lewis.
Schmitt is the first Gophers All-American since 1996 and the highest-finishing Minnesota athlete at the indoor meet since Lewis in 1990. Schmitt won the shot put at the Big Ten championships on Feb. 21 and the Big Ten outdoor meet last year.
Minnesota tied for 24th place overall with eight points. Texas won with 16 points.
Women’s tennis
Minnesota swept Iowa State and Drake this weekend to move to 9-3 on the season.
Minnesota won four of six singles matches and two of three doubles matches against Drake.
Sauska won at the No. 1 position, needing three sets to beat Cecily Debusker, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2. Simonsen, Rangsithienchai and Elkins all won in straight sets.
Simonsen and Hrdinova won their No. 1 doubles match 8-3. Elkins and Rangsithienchai also won their match at No. 2, 8-3.
Against Iowa State, the Gophers won six singles matches in straight sets, then won all three doubles matches.
The Gophers will travel to Texas Christian March 25.