Minnesota Softball legend Sara Groenewegen made history on Tuesday becoming the first Golden Gopher to win a softball Olympic medal as Canada defeated Mexico 3-2 at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Groenewegen was clutch throughout the entire competition, leading the Canadians in innings pitched (12.1) strikeouts (14).
“We are beyond excited for Sara Groenewegen and the entire Canadian national team for their performance at the Olympics,” Minnesota Softball head coach Piper Ritter said. “Sara has been resilient all her life and taking home the bronze is proof of that. She made history time and time again while wearing the Maroon and Gold, and we are proud that she continues to do so as the first Gopher softball player to medal in the Olympics. She represented Canada and the Gophers with pride.”
Throughout the 2020 Olympics Groenewegen pitched a total of 12.1 innings, striking out 14 batters while allowing just two runs to hold an ERA of 1.46. She was the winning pitcher for the Canadians in their opening round win over Mexico where she had her longest outing of four innings. Groenewegen started in the circle for Canada four of the six games and also stepped up at the plate during the team’s bronze medal run, highlighted by an impressive extra-base hit against Team USA that nearly tied the game late.
Groenewegen’s medal makes it two for the Gophers thus far in Tokyo as the Canadian’s bronze medal joins Bowe Becker’s gold medal as a member of Team USA’s 4x100m freestyle relay on Sunday. The University of Minnesota has a total of 14 current or former student-athletes either named to rosters or will participate in Tokyo during the 32nd Olympiad.
(info and photo courtesy of Gopher Sports)