INDIANAPOLIS, IND.- The No 12/7 University of Minnesota Gophers topped Purdue 4-3 in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals in the final game of the evening.
The Gophers came out swinging in the second inning with two home runs to jump out to an early 3-0 lead. Natalie DenHartog swung at the first pitch she saw and sent it to the right field for her 16th home run on the season. That is tied for the team lead on the year and is second most in a single season in program history.
Up 1-0, Katelyn Kemmetmueller stepped up to the plate later in the frame and hit a two-run home run to left. It was her sixth of the season.
Purdue pulled within one in the top of the fourth. They scored two runs with some aggressive baserunning and a single to shortstop.
Purdue’s heart of the order was up in the fifth after quickly sitting the Gophers down in the fourth. They had all the momentum with one on and two outs but Sydney Smith fired in one of her biggest strikeouts of the season to get off the field.
Smith picked up the win in the circle. She went five innings and had four strikeouts while only allowing two runs. Amber Fiser took over in the top of the sixth and struck out one batter in the frame.
Senior shortstop Allie Arneson stepped up big time in the bottom of the sixth. She added insurance with a solo shot to make it 4-2 Gophers on just her second home run of the season.
The Boilermakers put the pressure on in the top of the seventh when they loaded up the bases and tacked on one run after a batter was hit by a pitch. Fiser struck out the the next batter to secure the win and pick up the save. The Gophers have now won 10 straight Big Ten Tournament games going back to the 2016 season.
Fiser struck out four batters in two innings of work in her third save of the season. The Gophers take on Northwestern for the fourth time in an eight day span tomorrow and will be the visitor. They picked up the series win over the Wildcats last weekend after dropping Friday’s game with an 8-0 win on Saturday and a 4-0 victory on Sunday. Minnesota has won the last three Big Ten Tournament championships and four out of the last five.
MINNEAPOLIS – The Gopher Baseball team suffered a pair of setbacks with their ace leaving in the first inning before Maryland began the Big Ten Conference series with a 7-3 victory at Siebert Field on Friday night.
Max Meyer exited the game in the first with an apparent leg injury after running over a bat trying to cover home plate during a sacrifice fly by Maryland (24-25, 9-10 Big Ten) in the first. The Terrapins added a run in the third, the first allowed by left-hander Nick Lackney (2-4) at home this season.
Minnesota (22-24, 11-8 Big Ten) answered in the bottom of the inning against Hunter Parsons (9-3) with a double from Drew Hmielewski RBIs from Riley Smith and Zack Raabe. Maryland regained the lead in the top of the fourth, taking advantage of an error on the Gopher infield and chasing Lackney after 3.0 innings, allowing four runs but just one earned.
Eduardo Estrada Jr. came in to score on a grounder off the bat of Jack Wassel in the bottom of the sixth to trim the lead to 5-3, but the Terrapins added to the lead with a pair of runs in the top of the seventh against reliever Jake Stevenson. On the other side of the ledger, Parsons struck out seven batters in 7.0 innings of work, allowing three earned on five hits.
Nolan Burchill tossed the final 2.1 innings for Minnesota, scattering three hits while striking out five batters.