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Fiser leads Gophers past NDSU in NCAA Regional opener

FILE PHOTO: Jane Sage Cowles Stadium, home of the Gophers softball team. Photo: KSTP Sports
FILE PHOTO: Jane Sage Cowles Stadium, home of the Gophers softball team.

May 18, 2019 12:16 AM

The No. 12/8 University of Minnesota Gophers earned a 3-0 shutout over North Dakota State in the NCAA Minneapolis Regional opener behind a complete game gem from Amber Fiser this evening. 

"When (Fiser) has the ball, we know we have a chance," head coach Jamie Trachsel said. "I thought she was very mature in the circle. She gave us a chance to win, including in the seventh inning when we needed to get a couple of extra outs." 

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The Gophers advance to the winner's bracket and will face Georgia tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. TV channels will be announced in the morning. Georgia defeated Drake 6-4 on a walk-off in the eighth inning to advance in the first game of the evening. 

"I love playing under the lights and the team embraces that," said Fiser. "We haven't been able to do that much this year. Being out there under the lights in this big atmosphere with all these fans supporting us, it's amazing."

Fiser got the nod in the circle and struck out 12 batters while not allowing a single walk. This is the 14th time this season that she has hit double-digit strikeouts. The junior ace gave up only three hits and didn't allow a single walk. With the shutout win, she improves to 27-7 on the season with a 1.20 ERA. 

After a scoreless first inning for both teams, the Gophers plated a run in the bottom of the second to take an early 1-0 lead. Katelyn Kemmetmueller scored the run for the Gophers. She was hit by a pitch, advanced to third on an error and scored on a passed ball. 

Minnesota tacked on another run in the bottom of the fifth to extend their lead to 2-0. Carlie Brandt blooped a single to shortstop and moved to third on a throwing error on the next play. She was sent home on Maddie Houlihan's sacrifice fly to center field. 

The Gophers loaded the bases in the fifth inning and were a few feet away from breaking the game open. Kemmetmueller hit a deep fly to the warning track in cente with two outs on the board. 

The Maroon and Gold loaded up the bases again in the bottom of the sixth. Hope Brandner drew an RBI-walk to score Ali Lindner for some insurance. 

With rain pouring down and two outs on the board Fiser fired in her 11th strikeout of the game but it hit the dirt and scooted away to keep NDSU alive. She came right back with her 12th strikeout to officially seal the victory.   
 

Courtesy: University of Minnesota Sports Information

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