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“The Watchers” is a film adaptation of the 2022 book of the same name by A.M. Shine.
Review: “The Watchers”
Published June 13, 2024

Gophers softball win first Big Ten series of the season over Rutgers

Natalie DenHartog set a program record with her 52nd home run on Sunday.
Natalie Denhartog hits the ball on Friday, May 17, 2019 at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium in Minneapolis. The Gophers beat North Dakota State University 3-0.
Image by Courtney Deutz
Natalie Denhartog hits the ball on Friday, May 17, 2019 at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium in Minneapolis. The Gophers beat North Dakota State University 3-0.

The Minnesota Gophers softball team began conference play last weekend in Piscataway, N.J. against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. The Gophers beat the Scarlet Knights two games out of three to reach 15-12-1 overall on the season.

Game One: Rutgers 9, Minnesota 2

The Gophers allowed nine straight runs against the Scarlet Knights after jumping out to an early 2-0 lead from a Sydney Strelow double. Even though Minnesota totaled more hits than Rutgers, the Scarlet Knights capitalized with runners on base, most notably hitting a grand slam in the third inning to extend their 5-2 lead to 9-2. Autumn Pease would fall to 7-7 on the season for Minnesota after only pitching 1 and ⅔ innings, walking seven batters.

Game Two: Minnesota 11, Rutgers 7

Lauren Espalin had a career day on Saturday, blasting two home runs, one being a grand slam, to tie a program record that was set in 1999 with a whopping 7 RBIs. Espalin’s two bombs launched the Gophers out to an 11-1 lead. Barring a Scarlet Knight comeback effort, Minnesota would even the series at one game apiece, winning 11-7. Rutgers was down 11-2 in the fifth inning and a Kobi Hura three-run home run, with two strikes, helped Rutgers avoid losing in five innings due to the NCAA’s run rule, where if a team is losing by eight runs after the fifth inning, the game is called. Emily Leavitt earned her seventh win of the season as she pitched 6 innings giving up 5 runs and 9 hits.

Game Three: Minnesota 10, Rutgers 3

Minnesota’s bats were on fire Sunday as the Gophers’ offense exploded for six home runs. Natalie DenHartog was one of six Gophers to send the ball over the fence and in the fourth inning she broke the Minnesota all-time home run record at 52. The five other Gophers to go yard were Sara Kinch, Megan Dray, Sydney Strelow, Makenna Dowell, and Kayla Chavez. Pease pitched in a bounce-back effort from Friday’s loss, only allowing three runs and five hits to the Scarlet Knights through six innings.

DenHartog said on Twitter after the game, “ALWAYS been proud and grateful to wear this jersey and represent Minnesota. Today is no different.”

Minnesota plays its home opener Friday at 4 p.m. CST. They will host the Illinois Fighting Illini at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium for a three-game series.

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