Gophers softball wins three of four during Partain’s record-breaking weekend

In 2019, Partain broke the single-season runs record with 66.

MaKenna Partain waits to bat on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at the Jane Sage Cowles Stadium.

Jasmin Kemp

MaKenna Partain waits to bat on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at the Jane Sage Cowles Stadium.

Matthew Kennedy

During a 9-5 victory against Illinois on Saturday that extended the Gophers softball team’s winning streak to nine games, infielder MaKenna Partain broke the all-time program record for career runs scored with her 198th.

This broke Tyler Walker’s previous record of 197. Walker was a First Team All-Big Ten athlete and Minnesota’s first three-time first team all-conference selection. The career runs record is the latest of accolades for Partain, who also holds the Gophers’ single-season runs record with 66 in 2019.

“It felt pretty good once I realized it (the record) was actually a thing,” Partain said. “I didn’t know what everybody was talking about at first. So that was pretty cool. I have a lot of respect for Tyler Walker. For me, being able to break something that she exceeded to do in four years is pretty cool. I’m really grateful.”

Partain has been a consistent force for the Gophers throughout her career, posting a career .375 batting average on the Gophers since she joined the program in 2017. Partain attributes her success to having a solid strike zone awareness and the ability to draw walks because of it.

“It’s definitely the biggest thing that I tried to incorporate in my game because even though it’s a walk, there’s going to be somebody behind me in the two, three or cleanup spot that gets me in it no matter what,” she said.

In addition to Partain’s achievement, the Gophers put together a solid weekend, beating the Fighting Illini in three of four matchups this past weekend. The Gophers currently sit third in the Big Ten behind Michigan and Northwestern with a 12-4 record.

Minnesota will retake the field on Friday for a four-game series against Purdue. It will be the first time since 2019 the Gophers will be back on their home field of Jane Sage Cowles Stadium after last season was called off early amid the pandemic.