Minnesota softball wins series over Nebraska

The Gophers won all three games against the Cornhuskers, outscoring Nebraska 21-2.

Infielder Allie Arneson swings at bat at the Jane Sage Cowles Stadium on Saturday, April 21, 2018. The Gophers defeated Nebraska 6-0.

Jack Rodgers

Infielder Allie Arneson swings at bat at the Jane Sage Cowles Stadium on Saturday, April 21, 2018. The Gophers defeated Nebraska 6-0.

by Drew Cove

Minnesota is on a roll since Big Ten play began. 

The Gophers swept Nebraska (30-17, 8-7 Big Ten) at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium over the weekend for the team’s second consecutive series sweep.

Minnesota beat the Cornhuskers 10-1 in a shortened first game Friday, won in a shutout 6-0 on Saturday and closed out the series with a 5-1 victory Sunday. Minnesota (27-14, 10-3 Big Ten) is on a seven-game win streak, with all of those games in conference.

“We’re playing well and we’re playing well in a lot of different areas,” head coach Jamie Trachsel said. “When you have a collective group doing that, you’re going to play some pretty good ball.”

The winning and offensive onslaught started in the first inning of the first game.

Minnesota scored 10 runs in the first three innings. The game ended in the fifth inning because of the eight-run rule. Two Gophers seniors had three RBI each in the game: Danielle Parlich and Dani Wagner. Wagner went 1-2 and she said the offense found success early.

“As the game goes on, you gain confidence in each at bat,” Wagner said Friday. “I think we were just attacking strikes and getting them to fall.”

Defensively, Wagner made a throw from center field to catcher Kendyl Lindaman at the plate that tagged out a Nebraska runner trying to score. Outfielder Maddie Houlihan made a running catch in right field on the warning track into the wall that saved a potential extra-base hit.

“[Wagner] called it at the last second, we both just mumbled something and we were able to make it work,” Houlihan said Friday. “We trust each other out there and we really know how each other plays, so it was really good we were able to come up with that catch.”

Series win on Saturday

Minnesota had a 6-0 shutout against Nebraska Saturday. In only the fourth game at their home stadium this season, the Gophers looked like they had a home field advantage on offense. 

The Gophers scored three runs in both the second and third innings — same as Friday’s game — en route to the victory. 

“We were really working together, pulling through,” shortstop Carlie Brandt said Saturday. “Helping our pitching staff always makes it easier on defense if you can produce those runs.”

Batting in the eighth spot, Brandt was 1-1 Saturday with two RBIs on a double to left field. Four RBIs came from the bottom of the batting order and two came from the top of the order in similar fashion.

Lindaman led off the third inning when she hit a blast to center field for a home run on the first pitch. The next batter, Houlihan, hit another long ball, this time to left field, on the first pitch of her at-bat.

Sunday finale

Minnesota continued its early inning offense, as Lindaman recorded her 17th home run of the season — three shy of the record she set last year — in the first inning and the team won 5-1.

Minnesota outscored Nebraska 21-2 in three games.

“You want to be playing your best when it matters most,” Trachsel said Sunday. “We still have room to get better and we will.”