Minnesota Wins Big Ten Softball Tournament Championship
Golden Gophers earn third title in four years and Big Ten’s automatic berth to NCAA Tournament
ROSEMONT, Ill. — The top-seeded Minnesota softball team won its second straight Big Ten Tournament Championship, third in four years and fourth in school history on Saturday with a 6-0 win over No. 3 seed Ohio State in the title game at the Wilpon Complex/Alumni Field in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
The Golden Gophers (54-3) took a 3-0 lead in the fifth inning on Sydney Dwyer’s two-run home run to left field and Sam Macken’s bases-loaded walk. Macken then helped Minnesota double its lead in the seventh with a two-run double before scoring her team’s final run on Makenna Partain’s infield single.
Sara Groenewegen earned her third win in as many outings at the 2017 Big Ten Tournament, tossing a two-hit shutout and striking out 12 batters. Groenewegen was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after allowing just one run and two hits with 24 strikeouts and two walks in her three appearances, including two complete-game wins and the first no-hitter in tournament history (a 5-1 win over Northwestern in the quarterfinals on Friday).
With the victory, Minnesota earns the Big Ten’s automatic berth into this year’s NCAA Tournament, with the complete 64-team NCAA field revealed at 10 p.m. (ET) Sunday live on ESPN2.
The 2017 Big Ten All-Tournament Team was as follows:
Most Outstanding Player: Sara Groenewegen, Minnesota
Stephanie Abello, Illinois
Alyssa Gunther, Illinois
Sydney Dwyer, Minnesota
Sara Groenewegen, Minnesota
Kendyl Lindaman, Minnesota
Lea Foerster, Michigan State
Kaitlyn Eveland, Michigan State
Emily Clark, Ohio State
Shelby Hursh, Ohio State
Lilli Piper, Ohio State
Rebecca Ziegler, Penn State
Kaitlyn Menz, Wisconsin