The never-ending winter of 2013-14 is forcing the Gophers softball team off campus this weekend for its first home series of the season.

No. 15-ranked Minnesota (24-4, 2-1 Big Ten), off to it best start in program history, will play Illinois (16-10, 1-2) at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul because of poor field conditions at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium.

The teams will play one game at 3 p.m. Friday and two starting at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Admission will be free, but seating will be limited and concessions not available. Fans should bring lawn chairs.


Home debut delayed

The Gophers baseball team will play its home opener against Michigan State at 2 p.m. Saturday, a day later than originally scheduled at Siebert Field because of inclement weather. The teams will play a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m. Sunday.

Last season the series between Minnesota (13-7, 2-1 Big Ten) and the Spartans (10-10, 1-2), set for April 19-21 at Siebert, was entirely canceled by poor weather.



• The No. 5 Gophers men’s gymnastics team will compete in the two-day Big Ten meet starting Friday in Lincoln, Neb. Minnesota placed third a year ago. Michigan is the defending champion.

• Gophers senior Derek Toomey placed fourth in the 50-yard freestyle (19.05 seconds) on Thursday in the NCAA men’s swimming and diving championships in Austin, Texas. He also led off the 200 freestyle relay (1:18.42), which placed 13th.