Gophers win Big Ten softball title with a walk-off

  • Updated: May 10, 2014 - 11:35 PM

– After getting two strikes on her, freshman Sam Macken hit a hard grounder that the Michigan second baseman couldn’t handle.

And the celebration began.

Macken’s run-scoring, walk-off single gave the Gophers a 3-2 victory over the top-seeded Wolverines and the Big Ten tournament championship. Minnesota had won this tournament only once before, in 1999 when it also beat the Wolverines.

Michigan (42-12) had beaten the Gophers two out of three in a series in Ann Arbor and was the conference co-champion. The Gophers had finished third and were the No. 3 seed.

No matter. Erica Meyer led off the Gophers’ seventh with a walk. She stole second base after a botched sacrifice bunt and moved to third on a wild pitch.

Leadoff hitter Tyler Walker, who slugged two homers earlier in the day in the Gophers’ 9-0 rout of Ohio State in five innings in the semifinals, was intentionally walked.

Up came Macken, a .257 hitter with only three RBI. She made good contact and Walker, running to second base, might have bothered the fielder. Game over.

The Wolverines (42-11) threatened in the top of the seventh on Lyndsay Doyle’s two-out double, but Walker made a diving catch at shortstop on the next batter.

Michigan took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning. Caitlan Blanchard doubled and, after an error and a wild pitch, Michigan had runners on second and third base. Lauren Sweet’s singled scored both.

In the bottom of the fourth, Kaitlyn Richardson — the tournament MVP — and pitcher Sara Groenewegen hit solo homers, one batter apart, to tie the score at 2-2. The Gophers hit eight homers in three tournament games, giving them a single-season team record of 63.

Against OSU, they hit four. Walker led off the game with a homer and hit another in the third. Bree Blanchette and Meyer had two-run homers in the second and fifth innings, respectively.

Senior righthander Sara Moulton threw a one-hitter for her 12th shutout of the season.

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Toronto - LP: M. Stroman 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: W. Chen 5
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: E. Santana 2
Miami - WP: S. Dyson 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Familia 5
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Peralta 1
Cincinnati - LP: P. Villarreal 0 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: H. Rondon 1
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Petricka 3 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: W. Davis 4
Cleveland - LP: Z. McAllister 1 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 3
Detroit - WP: K. Ryan 8 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: C. Fien 6
Los Angeles - WP: J. Wright 11 FINAL
Colorado - LP: C. Bergman 3
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 2 FINAL
Arizona - WP: W. Miley 6
Seattle - LP: H. Iwakuma 1 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: M. Shoemaker 8
Philadelphia - LP: J. Williams 0 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 1
Philadelphia 30 FINAL
Indianapolis 27
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

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