Gopher’s Record Setting Softball Season is Over
Tuscaloosa, AL (Gophersports.com) - The University of Minnesota Gophers topped La Tech 5-2 in extra innings this afternoon before losing 1-0 to Alabama to end their historic season.
The Gophers finished 56-5 overall. The 56 wins is seven more than their previous record high for wins in a season and their five losses is six less than the previous program record.
Minnesota clawed their way to a nine inning victory over La Tech to start the day. They grinded their way to three nine inning runs. Allie Arneson and Kendyl Lindaman each had shining moments at the plate in the game.
Amber Fiser got the start in the circle and was solid. She went five innings and only allowed two hits and one run. Sara Groenewegen closed the door in the final four innings. She only allowed one hit, a seventh inning home run, and struck out eight batters.
Groenewegen was again dominant against Alabama in a must win game. She went the distance and only allowed five hits and one run which came in the first inning. She had seven strikeouts and finishes as the Gophers career strikeout record holder with 1,215. Groenewegen finished with her third straight 30 win season going 31-4 this year.
The Gophers managed five hits and were able to get a runner to third twice but could never punch a run across against the duo of Sydney Littlejohn and Alexis Osorio in the circle.
The Gophers broke many team and individual records this season. They won a program record 15 All-Big Ten Team and Individual Awards. Head coach Jessica Allister won B1G Coach of the Year, Lindaman was named the Freshman and Player of the Year and Groenewegen won Pitcher of the Year.
A program record four Gophers earned NFCA Great Lakes All-Region first team honors with seven total being named to an All-Region team.
Minnesota won its first Big Ten regular season title since 1991 and their third Big Ten Tournament championship in four years. They set a Jane Sage Cowles single game attendance record with 1,389 fans at a game and went 16-0 in front of the home crowd.
Three seniors played their final game in the Maroon and Gold. Groenewegen, Sam Macken and Tori Finucane all led the team to new heights this season. Groenewegen and Macken have been a part of three Big Ten Tournament championships, a regular season title and the Gophers first ever super regional appearance in their careers.