Sophomore righthander Amber Fiser pitched a no-hitter and struck out 10 as the Gophers won their home opener 6-0 over Illinois on Friday afternoon in Big Ten softball and then returned to the circle and for six more shutout innings in a second 6-0 win over the Illini.
Reliever Carlie Brandt pitched the final inning.
Fiser gave up three hits in the second game for Minnesota (20-13, 3-2 Big Ten), but not before extending her hitless streak in the doubleheader to 9⅓ innings. It ended when Kate Gibbons of Illinois (22-13, 3-4) doubled with one out in the third.In the first game, Kendyl Lindaman hit a three-run homer and Maddie Houlihan a solo shot for Minnesota which, with the sweep, has won 27 games in a row at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium going back two seasons.
Houlihan and Danielle Parlich each had RBI singles in the second game to stake Fiser to a 2-0 lead after two innings, and Dani Wagner hit a solo homer in the fifth and a two-run double in the sixth.
U rallies in ninth
The Gophers rallied for five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to edge St. John’s (N.Y.) 9-8 in a nonconference baseball game at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Two of Minnesota’s runs in the final inning — when four batters reached base on walks and another was hit by a pitch — came on balks, including the winning run. Ben Mezzenga’s infield single drove in the first run of the inning, Terrin Vavra’s single the second, and in-between the runs scoring on balks, Eli Wilson had a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 8-8.
The Gophers are now 17-10 overall, the Red Storm 13-8.
• The Gophers men’s golf team was in 18th place out of 26 teams after the second round of The Goodwin in San Francisco with a 15-over 583. Minnesota’s top golfer was Riley Johnson, tied for 47th with a 2-over 144.
• No. 2-ranked Ohio State (17-2, 4-0 Big Ten) defeated the host Gophers 5-2 in men’s tennis. Matic Spec beat JJ Wolf 6-2, 6-3 at No. 2 singles for Minnesota (10-5, 3-1) and Stefan Milicevic beat John McNally 6-3, 6-4 at No. 3 singles.
• Kieran McKeag of the Gophers won the hammer throw (204-10), Shane Streich the mile run (4:04.35) and Nick Rink the 3,000-meter steeplechase (8:59.82) at UCLA’s Bob Larsen Distance Carnival.