Senior third baseman Kaitlyn Richardson and sophomore pitcher Sara Groenewegen of the Gophers were named to the Player of the Year Award Top 50 Watch List by the Amateur Softball Association of America and USA Softball.

Richardson, a two-time All-America pick had the highest slugging percentage (.752), the second-most doubles (21) and the fourth-best batting average (.418) in Gophers' program history last season. Groenewegen was the Big Ten pitcher and rookie of the year. She was 14-3 with a 2.23 ERA. And her 11.6 strikeouts per seven innings was a Division I best.


• Winona State was the top pick to win the NSIC softball title in the preseason conference coaches' poll. Minnesota State Mankato and Augustana tied for second.

• Two former Buck Hill skiers, LindsayVonn and Paula Moltzan, were named to the U.S. Alpine ski team that will compete in the world championships next week in Beaver Creek, Colo.

A Lakeville native who began her racing career at Buck Hill, Moltzan, 20, is in her fourth year on the U.S. Ski Team. She finished fourth in slalom and sixth in giant slalom at the 2014 junior world championships and has competed in six slalom events on the World Cup tour this season.

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