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UMN softball go 5-0 at Gopher Indoor Classic

The Gophers improve to 16-9 on the season as they near conference play.
The Gophers will take on the Wisconsin Badgers next starting Wednesday.

This past weekend, the Gopher Indoor Classic took place at U.S. Bank Stadium, including six teams from different conferences.

Minnesota had a great weekend both at the plate and in the circle. The pitching staff shut down opposing offenses, holding opponents in the five games to only three runs total.

March 10 vs. North Dakota State

During Minnesota’s first game of the weekend, Autumn Pease tossed a complete shutout game, only allowing three hits.

Maddy Ehlke rewarded Pease’s pitching with the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fourth inning on a double that scored Jess Oakland.

Kayla Chavez added an insurance run in the sixth inning on a double that scored leadoff hitter Natalie DenHartog.

The Gophers only managed four hits in the game, but they were enough with the incredible pitching in the circle by Pease to win 2-0.

March 11 vs. Central Michigan

Game 1 of a doubleheader on Saturday saw the Gophers take down Central Michigan 2-1 in style with a walk-off home run by Chavez.

Jacie Hambrick started in the circle for the Gophers, going three innings, only allowing one hit and no runs. The win would go to Pease, who came in for Bri Enter during the sixth inning and threw two scoreless innings.

The Chavez home run sparked the team as they went on to outscore their opponents 24-2 in the next three games.

March 11 vs. Idaho State

In the second game of the doubleheader, the Gophers made quick work of the Idaho Bengals, winning 9-0 in just six innings.

Ehlke repeated what she had done on Friday with a double that scored Oakland and went on to have a 2/3 day at the plate.

Minnesota got some help from its bench, as Clare Ceynowa came in as a pinch hitter and sent one over the fence for a two-run home run in the fifth inning.

Shortstop Oakland had a great game at the plate, going 2/4 with a three-run home run that would end the game in the sixth inning.

All of this hitting could not outshine the master class put on by Pease in the circle, again finishing the weekend with a 3-0 record (named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week).

These successes culminated in another complete game shutout, the second of the weekend, with only one hit, no walks and 12 strikes delivered to the Bengals.

March 12 vs. Drake

The second straight day with two games for the Gophers was even better than the first. In their first matchup of the day against Drake, the Gophers won 7-2.

The Gophers jumped out to an early lead in the first on an Oakland RBI single and never looked back.

Adding six more runs over the next five innings, the Gophers built a 7-0 lead going into the final frame.

The Drake Bulldogs put up a fight, scratching in two runs in the final half-inning off of Sydney Schwartz. Coming on in relief, Schwartz wavered but never folded and guided the Gophers to their fourth victory of the Gopher Indoor Classic.

March 12 vs. St. Thomas

The final game of the 15 played in the Gopher Indoor Classic was a tale of two teams.

Going into the showdown between the two schools separated by roughly three miles, St. Thomas came in 0-4, while the Gophers held a record of 4-0.

The result was a to-be-expected Maroon & Gold domination, the Gophers winning in just five innings by a score of 8-0 off the back of three home runs from Ehlke, Breezy Burnett and Oakland.

Hambrick tossed her second victory in her second game of the day, this one better than the first, a complete game shutout, only allowing one hit.

Chavez continued her stellar weekend with a 3/3 performance that included an RBI double in the second inning scoring Amani Bradley.

Next up for the Gophers is a road trip to Kansas to play in the Wichita State Tournament starting on Friday — a crucial five games, which lead directly into conference play the following week against Northwestern.

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