The Gophers took a big step toward a fourth consecutive title on Friday in the Big Ten women's swimming and diving meet in Columbus, Ohio

After leading only by 36 points over second-place Michigan after Day 2, the Gophers won three individual events and placed three in the top eight of the 100-yard butterfly to expand their lead to 47.5 points into the final day.

The Gophers had 421.5 points, followed by Indiana (374) and the Wolverines (331.5).

Freshman Brooke Zeiger won the 400 individual medley (4:03.28) by almost five seconds and junior Kierra Smith took first in the 100 breaststroke (59.32).

Yu Zhou, who won the 1-meter diving event on Thursday, took first in the 3-meter diving as well with 411.55 points.

And in the butterfly, Rebecca Weiland finished fourth (52.35) while Tori Simenec and Danielle Nack were sixth and seventh, respectively, giving Minnesota 40 points or twice as many as the winner earned. Those three butterfliers and Smith also swam on the fourth-place 400 medley relay.

U softball wins two

The No. 15 Gophers softball team won two games Friday in the Diamond Devil Invitational in Tempe, Ariz., to improve to 10-1.

Sophomore righthander Sara Groenewegen threw a four-hitter and struck out 11 as Minnesota beat New Mexico State 6-1. Taylor LeMay and Erica Meyer hit solo homers and Richardson had three hits and two RBI.

The Gophers beat Boise State 8-3 in their second game on five homers. Richardson hit two, including a two-run shot in the first inning. Meyer and Sam Macken had solo homers and Sydney Fabian a three-run blast. Junior lefthander Nikki Anderson got the victory, scattering eight hits.

Texas routs Gophers

Texas, rated No. 10 by Baseball America, routed the Gophers 13-2 in a nonconference game in Austin, Texas.

Minnesota (0-4) got its first run in the fourth when Connor Schaefbauer doubled and scored on a passed ball and its second in the ninth on an error.

The Longhorns scored two runs in the first, two in the second, four in the fifth and five in the eighth.

Texas amassed 17 hits, the Gophers had just four.

U tennis teams split

The Gophers men's tennis team (7-2) lost 4-3 to No. 23 Vanderbilt (8-2) in Cambridge, Mass. The Commodores went 2-1 in doubles to take a 1-0 lead and won three-set matches at first and sixth singles.

Minnesota's Leandro Toledo, ranked No. 25, lost 7-6, 5-7, 6-1 to No. 8 Gonzales Austin at first singles. And Mathieu Froment of the Gophers lost 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 at sixth singles.

In women's tennis, the Gophers beat visiting Drake 5-2.

Tereza Brichacova of the Gophers lost to Mariel Ante 7-6, 4-6, 0-1 at first singles.