Roman Augustoviz spends Minnesota's winters covering college hockey, specifically the Gophers, and other University of Minnesota sports. During the summer, he writes about the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, with a dose of U sports sprinkled in. Follow him on Twitter @RomanStrib.

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It's good to be a Gopher softball player

Posted by: Roman Augustoviz under Sports, Gophers Updated: February 7, 2014 - 2:40 AM

To be a Division I athlete in any sport has to be fulfilling.

But today, it's got to be especially nice to be a Gophers softball player. Fourth-year coach Jessica Allister has taken her squad to Baton Rouge, La., for a season-opening tournament. Allister needs two wins to reach 100 at the U of M.

Yes, they are out of the cold and snow for a while. Highs for the tournament are supposed to reach the low 60s. And everybody has to be excited. It's a team loaded with talent.

Three first-team, All-Big Ten players are the core of the team. In the circle most games will be senior Sara Moulton. She's in the top three in program history in wins with 85, strikeouts with 940 and innings with 807.2. Last season she was 32-12 with a 1.57 ERA and 308 strikeouts.

You have to have a pitcher in softball and the Gophers do.

You also have to be able to score a few runs. That's where the other two returning all-conference players come in. One is third baseman Kaitlyn Richardson, who is on the watch list for national player of the year. She hit .430 last season with 10 homers and 43 RBI. So she has some pop in her bat.

So does shortstop Tyler Walker who hit .379 with 12 homers and 32 RBI.

Those two batted leadoff and third in the Gophers' lineup. Their season came to an end when Minnesota lost 3-0 to Hawaii in the NCAA tournament on May 18 in Seattle.

The Gophers finished 36-19, 14-6 and tied for third in the Big Ten.

This team, on paper, should be better. Fourteen players return. Only two starters graduated, catcher Kari Dorle and designated player Alex Davis.

The infield is all back, the outfield is all back.

Here is the Gophers' schedule the first weekend in LSU's Tiger Classic:


Murray St., 3 p.m.

LSU, 5 p.m. ... Tigers are rated No. 17 in USA Today poll


Southern Illinois, 9 a.m.

Central Arkansas, 11 a.m.


Oklahoma State, 11 a.m.

After the trip to LSU, the Gophers make trips to Las Vegas, Greensboro, N.C., Tempe, Ariz., Stillwater, Okla., Conway, S.C., and Lincoln, Neb.

Then, weather permitting, they open at home March 28-30 versus Illinois.

They start so early because they have a 56-game regular-season to get in by May 4.


St. Louis 2
Pittsburgh 4 FINAL
Atlanta 2
Miami 7 FINAL
Washington 11
Detroit 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 4
Minnesota 6 FINAL
Baltimore 5
NY Yankees 7 FINAL
Houston 0
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Boston 3
Baltimore 4 FINAL
Toronto 2
Cincinnati 8 FINAL
LA Angels 6
Chicago Cubs 7 FINAL
Kansas City 0
Los Angeles 9 FINAL
San Francisco 11
Chicago WSox 4 FINAL
Cleveland 1
Milwaukee 0 FINAL
Oakland 7
Seattle 5 FINAL
San Diego 8
Texas 5 FINAL
Los Angeles 10
Colorado 11 FINAL
Arizona 10
Arizona 1 FINAL
Colorado 2
Houston 99 FINAL
Washington 91
LA Lakers 99 FINAL
Brooklyn 107
Minnesota 88 FINAL
New Orleans 110
Philadelphia 86 FINAL
Cleveland 87
Detroit 102 FINAL
Miami 109
LA Clippers 119 FINAL
Boston 106
Dallas 99 FINAL
Indiana 104
Memphis 89 FINAL
San Antonio 103
Oklahoma City 109 FINAL
Phoenix 97
Washington 5 FINAL
NY Rangers 2
Calgary 5 FINAL
Nashville 2
Boston 2 FINAL(OT)
Carolina 1
Detroit 4 FINAL
NY Islanders 5
Florida 4 FINAL
Ottawa 2
Anaheim 2 FINAL
New Jersey 1
Chicago 4 FINAL
Winnipeg 3
San Jose 2 FINAL(SO)
Pittsburgh 3
Michigan State 76 FINAL
Louisville 70
Gonzaga 52 FINAL
Duke 66
Philadelphia 0 FINAL
Chicago 1
Toronto FC 1 FINAL
Real Salt Lake 2
(7) Florida State 74 FINAL
(3) South Carolina 80
Villanova 70 FINAL
West Virginia 75
Michigan 69 FINAL
Southern Miss 60
Temple 69 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 57
Siena 50 FINAL
Louisiana 52
St Marys-CA 66 FINAL
(5) Baylor 68 FINAL
(2) Notre Dame 77
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