Redshirt sophomore lefthander Jack Liffrig of the Gophers was named the Big Ten pitcher of the week. Starting game two of a three-game series against then-No. 25 Michigan, Liffrig pitched seven shutout innings, giving up two hits and one walk while striking out a career-high eight. Liffrig's seven innings pitched tied his previous career best.

Although Liffrig got a no-decison, his performance lowered his season ERA to 4.24 in 40⅓ innings. Liffrig, of Highlands Ranch, Colo., has pitched five or more innings in all seven of his starts this year, allowing three earned runs or fewer in five of his past six outings.

The Gophers (4-20 overall and in Big Ten) play a three-game series at Indiana this weekend starting Friday.

U softball catcher honored

Gophers freshman Sara Kinch was named the Big Ten softball freshman of the week, the conference announced.

Kinch, a catcher from Temecula, Calif., hit .600 last weekend against Nebraska, going 6-for-10 with four runs scored. She hit three home runs — doubling her season total — and collected six RBI. Kinch also had four walks, a .714 on-base percentage and a 1.600 slugging percentage. Behind the plate, she had 20 putouts, one assist and no errors.

Minnesota won three of four games against the Cornhuskers. The Gophers (22-6 overall/Big Ten), who remained No. 24 in the latest USA Today/NFCA rankings, will play Iowa (15-13) in a four-game series at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium, starting at 5 p.m. Friday.

Tennis pairing for U set

The Gophers, seeded 11th, will open the Big Ten women's tennis tournament in Madison, Wis., against No. 14 seed Indiana at 10 a.m. on April 28.