Minnesota Scene: U reaches NCAA softball tournament for first time since 2003

  • Article by: NEWS SERVICES
  • Updated: May 12, 2013 - 11:44 PM

The Gophers softball team will make its first NCAA regional appearance since 2003, the NCAA announced Sunday night.

The Gophers (35-17) will travel to Seattle for the Washington Regional, which begins on Friday. They will face Hawaii (43-11) on Friday, with No. 11 Washington playing Portland State in the other game.

Minnesota is coming off a second-place finish in the Big Ten tournament in Lincoln, Neb. The third-seeded Gophers fell to Wisconsin 9-3 in the championship game Sunday.

The Gophers started the season 3-6 but have gone 32-11 since. Minnesota went 14-6 in the Big Ten and finished third place, its best finish in the conference since a second-place finish in 1999.

The Big Ten has three other teams in the field: Michigan, Wisconsin and Nebraska.

U men second in Big Ten track

Harun Abda won the 800-meter run and Zach Siegmeier won the pole vault, helping the Gophers record a second-place finish in the Big Ten outdoor track and field championships in Columbus, Ohio. The Gophers scored 93 points, runner-up to Nebraska’s 131.5.

Abda posted a winning time of 1:48.64, edging Penn State’s Casimir Loxsom by 0.03 seconds. Gophers teammate Travis Burkstrand finished third in 1:49.74.

Siegmeier cleared 17 feet, 1 inch for his first Big Ten title. Gophers senior Oladipo Fagbemi took second in the triple jump at 50-10¾.

MSU Mankato lands baseball regional

After securing its second NSIC tournament title in a row, ninth-ranked Minnesota State (35-8) was announced as a host for the NCAA Division II Central Region tournament when the 48-team NCAA field was unveiled Sunday night.

The Mavericks, who are making their eighth consecutive trip to the NCAA postseason tournament, got the top seed and will face Missouri Southern (34-20) in the first round Thursday. St. Cloud State (34-9) also received a Central Region berth and will play second seed Central Missouri (35-11) in the first round.

Etc.

• The Gophers baseball team lost 8-0 Sunday to Nebraska, suffering its second shutout loss in the three-game series at Siebert Field. The Cornhuskers won 6-0 on Friday. The Gophers, who lost their first Big Ten series of the season, will conclude the regular season with a three-game series against Illinois at Siebert Field.

• Regular-season champion St. Thomas won the MIAC baseball tournament final 11-2 over Concordia (Moorhead) at Veterans Field in Minnetonka, securing an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III tournament.

•  Britt Stewart’s bases-loaded single in the bottom of the ninth inning gave Winona State a 4-3 softball victory over Minnesota State Mankato in an NCAA Division II Region 2 softball final in Mankato. Winning pitcher Ashley Walker improved to 20-2 for the Warriors (37-12), who advanced to the NCAA Super Regional for the second time in program history.

• Defending champion Clayton Rask of Elk River made an 8-foot par putt on the final hole for a one-stroke victory over Sammy Schmitz of Valleywood GC in the Minnesota Golf Champions tournament at Minneapolis Golf Club. Rask posted a final-round 70 for a three-day total of 6-under par 210.

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