Maybe the Gophers softball team should play more home games at the University of St. Thomas.
The Gophers swept Illinois there 8-0 and 7-0 Saturday behind strong pitching performances by freshman Sara Groenewegen and senior Sara Moulton. Minnesota won the series opener 8-3 on Friday. The first home series of the season was moved off campus because Jane Sage Cowles Stadium wasn’t usable yet.
Groenewegen threw a four-hitter, struck out 10 and hit a home run in the first game of the doubleheader.
No. 15 Minnesota (27-4, 5-1 Big Ten) took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, scoring a single run on an error, a fielder’s choice and two wild pitches.
Moulton limited the Illini (16-13, 1-5) to one hit the first six innings of the second game. Taylor LeMay had a solo homer and Hannah Granger a two-run home.
But the big hit was Kaitlyn Richardson’s three-run double in the fifth, which put Minnesota ahead 4-0.
Groenewegen is 7-0 and Moulton 18-3 for the Gophers, off to their best start ever.
U wins Siebert opener
The Gophers defeated Michigan State 4-2 Saturday in their home opener in baseball at Siebert Field. Alec Crawford got the victory, giving up only two runs and five hits in seven innings. He struck out seven, walked three. Dalton Sawyer pitched two innings for the save.
The Spartans had the leadoff runner on base in six innings and stole five bases but scored only two runs, one on a sacrifice fly.
Minnesota (13-7, 3-1 Big Ten) took a 1-0 lead over the Spartans (10-11, 1-3) in the first inning when Tony Skjefte doubled and scored on a groundout. Jordan Smith singled in the fifth and eventually scored on a groundout to put the Gophers ahead 2-1.
Mark Tatera’s sacrifice fly and Smith’s single scored two more runs in the sixth for a 4-1 lead.
Swarm lose in Calgary
Darryl Veltman had a hat trick and three teammates scored two goals as the Calgary Roughnecks defeated the visiting Minnesota Swarm 15-11 on Saturday in the National Lacrosse League.
Shayne Jackson of the Swarm (3-10) also scored three goals. Teammate Callum Crawford had six points on a goal and five assists. Crawford’s goal came in the fourth period and got the Swarm within 11-10. It also was the 500th point of his career.