Gophers Headed to World Series for the First Time
Minneapolis (gophersports.com) - The University of Minnesota Gophers are headed to Oklahoma City, Okla. for the Women's College World Series for the first time in the NCAA softball era after a 3-0 win over LSU on Saturday.
The Gophers became the first team to ever sweep LSU in a Super Regional.
"It's hard to put into words. Just proud," head coach Jamie Trachsel said. "Minnesota is a place where you can chase your dreams. I am so happy for all of these kids and our seniors."
The Gophers went undefeated in Regional and Super Regional play as the No. 7 seed in the tournament.
Amber Fiser pitched a complete game shutout with four strikeouts. She is now 31-7 on the season.
Minnesota and LSU were in a scoreless tie until Allie Arneson broke it in the top of the fifth with a solo shot home run over the wall in left. It was just the senior's third home run of the season.
"It was a great feeling. I think we loosened up after that a little bit too, so that was nice," Arneson said. "It's just a great feeling."
LSU put runners on third and second in the bottom of the fifth with one of the Tigers' best hitters at the plate. With two outs, Emma Burns caught a foul ball for the final out to keep the Tigers off the board.
Hope Brandner recorded the only hit in the top of the sixth for the Gophers with a double to left center. Macy Gill came into pinch run, but was unable to score for Minnesota after Natalie DenHartog grounded out for the final out.
Minnesota added a few insurance runs in the top of the seventh to go up 3.-0. The first one came from Katelyn Kemmetmueller, who was punched across the bag by Burns with a single up the middle. Carlie Brandt smacked one to left field for an RBI single to send Burns home for the 3-0 lead.
Partain sealed the 3-0 win in the bottom of the seventh after recording the third and final out of the game to send the Gophers to the Women's College World Series.
"It's a lot of pressure being the last out. It was pretty cool to make the final out," Partain said. "You don't get a ball like that if (Fiser) doesn't throw a great pitch before it."