Maddie Houlihan hit her ninth homer of the season to start a five-run rally in the second inning as the Gophers beat visiting Maryland 11-1 in five innings Saturday in Big Ten softball.
Houlihan, a freshman first baseman, was 2-for-2 with two RBI and two runs scored as was Kayla Wenner. Sydney Fabian added a two-run double. Minnesota (34-12, 15-3 Big Ten), ranked No. 23 by ESPN.com/USA Softball, won its seventh game in a row.
“Maddie Houlihan put together a great at-bat to tie the game, and we strung together great at-bats after to put the game away,” Gophers coach Jessica Allister said.
Senior Nikki Anderson got the win, giving up one run and five hits in four innings.
The Terrapins (11-37, 3-16) took a 1-0 lead on an unearned run in the first inning.
• The Gophers’ medley relay team of Christian Skaret, Nate Roese, Goaner Deng and Derek Wiebke took third place at the Drake Relays in 9 minutes, 49.21 seconds. … Teammate Sean Donnelly remained unbeaten in six meets in the hammer throw, taking first at Kansas’ Rock Chalk Classic with a toss of 228 feet, 6 inches.
• The Gophers women won the 4x100 and 4x400-meter relays at the Rock Chalk Classic and two individual titles: Titania Markland in the 400 (53.25) and Kimberly Golding in the 100 hurdles (13.11 wind-aided).
• The Gophers volleyball team played North Dakota State in a spring scrimmage at the Sports Pavilion. Minnesota, which won the Big Ten title last fall and reached the semifinals of the Final Four, won the first four sets 25-7, 25-11, 25-6, 25-13 but lost the fifth 9-15.
• Conference-leading St. Thomas scored four runs in the bottom of the 10th inning to beat Bethel 4-1 in softball. Kierstin Anderson-Glass’ RBI single for the Tommies (32-5, 19-2 MIAC) tied the score at 2-2 before Morgan Murphy hit a three-run homer. Anderson-Glass pitched a seven-hitter.