Softball team headed to College World Series

The Gopher softball team stands behind its Super Regional championship banner.

Two years after its head coach left for Stanford and a year after its star player transferred to Florida, the Golden Gopher softball team has turned the 2019 season into an improbable dream ride with a new destination: Oklahoma City for its first-ever Women’s College World Series.

The No. 7 seed Gophers dispatched of No. 10 LSU 3-0 on Saturday to sweep their best-of-three Super Regional at a packed and boisterous Jane Sage Cowles Stadium. Now Minnesota (46-12) will join the elite eight-team field at the CWS and gain even more national exposure.

"It's hard to put into words. Just proud," said head coach Jamie Trachsel after the game. "Minnesota is a place where you can chase your dreams. I am so happy for all of these kids and our seniors."

Minnesota staged a comeback to win Friday’s opening game 5-3. Saturday’s contest was scoreless until Allie Arneson launched a fifth-inning solo home run over the wall in left field, just her third of the season. The Gophers tacked on two insurance runs in the top of the seventh on RBI singles by Emma Burns and Carlie Brandt.

Amber Fiser pitched a complete game shutout against the Tigers, who twice in the last three years came back from one game down to win their Super Regional. And Fiser had one more pitch in her the following day—the first pitch before the Minnesota Twins game at Target Field.

Minnesota will open the Women’s College World Series against No. 2 seed UCLA on Thursday at 1:30 p.m. The game will air live on ESPN.
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities