The Gophers softball team closed the regular season with its 11th consecutive victory Sunday, a 12-0, five-inning triumph at Iowa. In that 11-game win streak the Gophers have outscored opponents 108-18, with six run-rule victories.
Danielle Parlich and Maddie Houlihan each went 3-for-4. Sara Groenewegen (27-5) and Nikki Anderson combined on a two-hitter.
“I thought we played good ball this weekend. We are excited to get back to work and get ready for the postseason,” Gophers coach Jessica Allister said. “You want to be playing your best softball this time of year.”
The Gophers will be the No. 2 seed in the Big Ten tournament, which starts Thursday in State College, Pa. The Gophers have a bye into Friday’s second round and will play the day’s second game, against the Michigan State-Illinois winner.
Also receiving byes were top-seeded Michigan, No. 3 Northwestern and No. 4 Penn State.
The Gophers were aggressive Sunday, racing to a 7-0 lead after the top of the first, recording seven hits while being helped by two Hawkeyes errors.
Sam Macken sneaked a bunt single down on the first pitch of the game and Danielle Parlich dropped a single down the first base line, with Macken reaching third on an error. Groenewegen’s double drove in both runners, giving her 37 RBI. Groenewegen scored when the Hawkeyes threw the ball away trying to catch Houlihan stealing.
Later in the inning Sydney Dwyer drove in a run with the bases loaded on a single to right field. Kayla Wenner came sprinting home on a wild pitch to score the next run. Sydney Fabian and Parlich drove in runs in the rally.