The No. 24 University of Minnesota softball team earned a 9-4 win over Iowa, today at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium. With the win, the Golden Gophers (25-7) solidified the series win against the Hawkeyes. Minnesota won Friday’s game and split the doubleheader before Sunday’s victory.
The Gophers and Hawkeyes combined for five home runs today, including two by MaKenna Partain. She went 2-4 with three RBIs, while Chloe Evans added a home run and was 1-3 with two runs scored. In her first at bat of the day, Sydney Strelow hit a bases-clearing double for three RBIs. Minnesota had 11 hits, six of which were extra bases. Defensively, the Gophers turned two double plays
Autumn Pease started and improved to 11-1 on the season. She struck out three and allowed three earned runs. Ava Dueck saw action in the seventh and allowed an unearned run and struck out one.
The Gophers scored a run in every inning except the sixth. Partain opened the contest with a two-run home run in the first. Partain hit one out past center field after Ellee Jensen singled to start the game. Megan Dray put the game at 3-0 in the second when her single and an Iowa error scored Emily Hansen.
Minnesota belted two solo home runs in the third, one coming from Partain and another from Evans. It was Partain’s second of the game and fifth of the year. Evans hit her third this season and second of the weekend.
The Hawkeyes added a home run of their own in the top of the fourth, on a two-run shot to left center. Minnesota however, plated a run of its own in the bottom of the frame when Ali Lindner had a stand-up double and scored Carlie Brandt, who walked to start the inning.
Iowa tacked on another run in the fifth on a RBI grounder, but the Gophers responded and scored three in the fifth. Natalie DenHartog started things off when she singled, followed by a Katelyn Kemmetmueller double to put two in scoring position. After the Hawkeyes intentionally walked Evans to load the bases, Strelow delivered a bases-clearing double to put Minnesota up, 9-3.
Iowa added one last run in the top of the seventh off an RBI single, but the Gophers closed out the game with a pair of grounders for their 25th win of the season.
-As a team, the Gophers hit .302 against Iowa this weekend. Individually, Partain hit .462 in the series when she went 6-13 with two doubles, two home runs and three RBIs. She also scored four runs.
Minnesota travels to Madison, Wis., as the Golden Gophers face the Wisconsin Badgers, April 30-May 2. Friday’s game is scheduled for 3 p.m., followed by a noon doubleheader on Saturday. The Sunday finale is a noon start.
(info and photo courtesy of Gopher Sports)