The University of Minnesota Gophers are headed to Oklahoma City, Okla. for the Women’s College World Series for the first time in the NCAA softball era after a 3-0 win over LSU on Saturday. The Gophers became the first team to ever sweep LSU in a Super Regional. “It’s hard to put into words. Just proud,” head coach Jamie Trachsel said. “Minnesota is a place where you can chase your dreams. I am so happy for all of these kids and our seniors.”
The Gophers went undefeated in Regional and Super Regional play as the No. 7 seed in the tournament.
Amber Fiser pitched a complete game shutout with four strikeouts. She is now 31-7 on the season. She spoke with MNN Sports correspondent Corbu Stathes after Saturday’s win:
Minnesota and LSU were in a scoreless tie until Allie Arneson broke it in the top of the fifth with a solo shot home run over the wall in left. It was just the senior’s third home run of the season.
“It was a great feeling. I think we loosened up after that a little bit too, so that was nice,” Arneson said. “It’s just a great feeling.”
LSU put runners on third and second in the bottom of the fifth with one of the Tigers’ best hitters at the plate. With two outs, Emma Burns caught a foul ball for the final out to keep the Tigers off the board.
Hope Brandner recorded the only hit in the top of the sixth for the Gophers with a double to left center. Macy Gill came into pinch run, but was unable to score for Minnesota after Natalie DenHartog grounded out for the final out.
Minnesota added a few insurance runs in the top of the seventh to go up 3.-0. The first one came from Katelyn Kemmetmueller, who was punched across the bag by Burns with a single up the middle. Carlie Brandt smacked one to left field for an RBI single to send Burns home for the 3-0 lead.
Partain sealed the 3-0 win in the bottom of the seventh after recording the third and final out of the game to send the Gophers to the Women’s College World Series. “It’s a lot of pressure being the last out. It was pretty cool to make the final out,” Partain said. “You don’t get a ball like that if (Fiser) doesn’t throw a great pitch before it.
2019 NCAA Softball Minneapolis Super Regional Notes
Saturday, May 25 | Jane Sage Cowles Stadium | Minneapolis, Minn.
#7 Minnesota 3, #10 LSU 0 (Gophers advance to the WCWS)
–Minnesota wins its first-ever Super Regional at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium to advance to its first trip to the Womens College World Series (WCWS) in Oklahoma City! The Gophers improve to 46-12, going 5-0 in Regional play, while the Tigers end their season at 43-19.
-The Gophers won their fourth straight game in the series with LSU, improving to 4-0. This weekend’s games were the first-ever postseason contests between the teams, and also the first time the teams have played in Minneapolis.
–Minnesota improved to 25-27 all-time in NCAA Tournament play and 2-2 in Super Regionals, while LSU fell to 78-49 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and 10-12 in Super Regionals. Minnesota is the first team to sweep LSU in a Super Regional.
–The Gophers improved to 10-9 this season versus teams ranked in the Top 25.
–The Gophers have hit at least one home run in 14 of their past 16 games.
–Allie Arneson had the biggest hit of her career, as her solo home run in the top of the fifth inning provided the game-winning run for the Gophers. It was Arneson’s third home run this season and the 17th of her career (one year at Virginia, three at Minnesota). She went 2-for-4 with two RBIs on Friday.
–Over her career, Minnesota is now 11-0 when Arneson hits a home run.
–Maddie Houlihan went 1-for-3 today after going 2-for3 with her seventh home run of the season, two runs scored and a pair of RBIs on Friday.
–Hope Brandner was 2-for-3 with her ninth double of the season.
–Minnesota starting pitcher Amber Fiser went the distance for the fifth time this postseason, allowing just three singles, and striking out four in her 10th shutout of the season. Through five postseason complete games, Fiser has worked 36.0 innings, allowing 21 hits and just three earned runs (0.70 ERA), while striking out 38 and walking eight batters.
–Fiser improved to 31-7 this season, increasing her personal best for wins in a season after winning 27 times as a sophomore. Fiser’s 31 wins tie Sara Groenwegen as the second-most in a single season at Minnesota. Sara Moulton holds the record with 32 wins, while Groenwegen recorded 31 wins three times in her career. Those three are the only Minnesota pitchers with 30 or more wins in a season.
–Fiser combined to throw 559 pitches during Minnesota’s NCAA Regional (321) and Super Regional (238).
(info and photo courtesy of Gopher Sports)