(East Lansing, MI) — The University of Minnesota softball team opens the Big Ten Softball Tournament on Wednesday afternoon in East Lansing, Michigan, taking on Wisconsin at 3:30 P-M. The Golden Gophers are 26-23-and-1 on the season and the nine-seed in the field, while the Badgers are the eight-seed at 27-18. Minnesota swept Wisconsin in a doubleheader last Wednesday in Minneapolis. The Gophers have won six of their last nine games, while the Badgers dropped the final six games of the regular season. The winning team on Wednesday will face top-seed Northwestern on Thursday. Minnesota senior outfielder Natalie DenHartog of Hopkins leads the way offensively with 18 home runs this season. The Gophers have won five Big Ten Tournament championships all-time, including four trophies between 2014 and 2018. The is the first Big Ten Tournament to be played since 2019 due to the pandemic. The winning team in the tourney will receive an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. The Gophers are an NCAA Tournament bubble team.
Gopher star outfielder Natalie DenHartog joined MNN sports director Mike Grimm to preview the Big Ten Tournament:
(photo credits – Gopher Sports – Brad Rempel)