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U men's gymnasts peaking -- their scores say so

A baseball or football team sometimes has a game where everything goes right. Where the baseball has eyes and finds holes, where the fumble bounces right back to the ballcarrier, etc.

Well, the Gophers men's gymnastics team had such a meet Saturday night in Lincoln, Neb.

They scored 426.950 -- the highest score in the Big Ten this season and the third highest in the nation.

Nebraska, ranked No. 6 nationally, finished a distant second with a score of 425.550.

The Gophers set season highs on five different rotations:

Floor exercise, 77.800 ... senior Zach Liebler tied for second, 14.800.

Still rings, 70.700 ... sophomore Justin Karstadt won the event, 14.700.

Vault, 73.600 ... Joel Gagnon tied for second, 14.850.

High bar, 71.600 ... Gagnon won the event and his score of 14.650 is the highes in the nation this season.

Gophers softball team opens Big Ten play as favorite

The Gophers are 25-2 so far this softball season and haven't played a home game yet. This weekend they will be at Nebraska for a three-game series to open Big Ten play.

Minnesota is ranked No. 8 in the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association ratings and No. 11 in the RPI rankings. No other conference team is close to those rankings, although Wisconsin at 21-2 also has a gaudy record. Besides the Badgers, every other Big Ten team has seven losses or more, even perennial power Michigan.

In the coaches' poll, Michigan is No. 18, Wisconsin No. 21. In the RPI rankings,Ohio State is No. 16, Michigan No. 23 and Wisconsin No. 32.

So what makes the Gophers tick. A little bit of everything.

They can hit. Their team batting average is .342 -- tops in the Big Ten and 12th among all NCAA teams. Six players are hitting .350 or higher. They lead the conference with 50 doubles and a .431 on-base percentage.

Runs scored? Walks? The Gophers are first there with 183 runs and 98 walks.

Minnesota recently finished a West Coast road trip -- nine games in nine days -- with a 7-2 mark. No. 6 Washington ended their season-opening 19-game winning streak with a 3-2 win in a white knuckler, then blew out Minnesota two days later.

But the Gophers bounced back, winning the last four games by a combined score of 38-1.

Junior first baseman Sydney Dwyer is especially mashing the ball. She is hitting .434 and, with runners in scoring position, a lofty .568. That's why she has 40 RBI, the most of any Big Ten hitter and third most among all NCAA players.

These Gophers can pitch a little, too. The team ERA of 1.67 is the lowest in the Big Ten and is 16th in the NCAA.

Sara Groenewegen, the senior righthander from White Rock, British Columbia, is 11-1 with a 0.65 ERA and 99 Ks. She is the staff ace for the fourth year in a row.

But coach Jessica Allister has used four other pitchers with good results. Tori Finucane, a senior transfer from Missouri, is 4-0 an has throw a one-hitter and a two-hitter. Freshman Carlie Brandt, of Le Sueur, Minn., primarily a reliever, is 5-0 with a 0.91 ERA.

In fielding, the Gophers are second in the Big Ten at .910, trailing Michigan at .981.

Nebraska, their first Big Ten foe, certainly seems beatable. The Cornhuskers are a pedestrian 8-17 although they are 4-0 at home and coming off a 15-11 win over visiting Omaha -- the highest scoring game in Bowlin Stadium history.

Nebraska hit three homers in the slugfest and had 18 hits, putting up crooked numbers in four innings.

The Cornhuskers are led by the legendary Rhonda Revelle, in her 25th season. She has 921 career wins and has taken 20 teams to NCAA tournaments and three to World Series. Twenty times her teams have finished in the top 15. This club doesn't look like a powerhouse, though.

TV Listings

Local Schedule

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  • Twins at Pittsburgh (spring training)

    5:05 pm on 96.3-FM

  • Tampa Bay at Twins (spring training)

    12:05 pm on FSN

  • Timberwolves at Indiana

    6 pm on FSN PLUS, 830-AM

  • Washington at Wild

    7 pm on NHLN, 100.3-FM

  • Twins at Boston (spring training)

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  • Twins at Tampa Bay (spring training)

    12:05 pm

  • Ottawa at Wild

    7 pm on FSN PLUS, 100.3-FM

  • L.A. Lakers at Timberwolves

    7 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Rochester at Twins (exhibition)

    11:05 am

  • Wild at Nashville

    1 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Real Salt Lake at Minnesota United FC

    7 pm on Ch. 29, 1500-AM

  • Sacramento at Timberwolves

    7 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Colorado at Wild

    5 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

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Today's Scoreboard

  • Toronto

    Detroit

     

    - F

    4

    3

  • Boston

    Minnesota

     

    - F

    7

    2

  • Tampa Bay

    NY Yankees

     

    - F

    4

    7

  • Pittsburgh

    Philadelphia

     

    - F

    3

    6

  • Miami

    St. Louis

     

    - F

    0

    3

  • Houston

    Washington

     

    - F

    5

    1

  • Baltimore

    Toronto

     

    - F

    2

    1

  • Atlanta

    NY Mets

     

    - F

    2

    8

  • Cincinnati

    Chicago Cubs

     

    - F

    4

    22

  • San Diego

    Chicago Cubs

     

    - F

    9

    4

  • San Francisco

    Chicago White Sox

     

    - F

    3

    4

  • Seattle

    Cincinnati

     

    - F

    7

    6

  • Oakland

    Milwaukee

     

    - F

    11

    1

  • LA Dodgers

    Texas

     

    - F

    2

    3

  • Cleveland

    Arizona

     

    - F

    6

    5

  • Kansas City

    LA Angels

     

    - F

    8

    7

  • Colorado

    San Diego

     

    - F

    4

    1

No NFL games today

  • Brooklyn

    Atlanta

     

    - F

    107

    92

  • Phoenix

    Charlotte

     

    - F

    106

    120

  • Chicago

    Milwaukee

     

    - F

    109

    94

  • Oklahoma City

    Houston

     

    - F

    125

    137

  • Sacramento

    LA Clippers

     

    - F

    98

    97

  • Miami

    Boston

     

    - F

    108

    112

  • Philadelphia

    Indiana

     

    - F

    94

    107

  • Memphis

    Golden State

     

    - F

    94

    106

  • New Orleans

    Denver

     

    - F

    115

    90

  • Portland

    LA Lakers

     

    - F

    97

    81

  • Minnesota

    Detroit

     

    - F

    2

    3

  • Dallas

    New Jersey

     

    - F

    2

    1

  • Philadelphia

    Pittsburgh

     

    - F

    6

    2

  • Vancouver

    Winnipeg

     

    - F

    1

    2

  • NY Rangers

    Anaheim

     

    - F

    3

    6

No MLS games today