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    HomeSportsGophers softball tops Ohio State in extras, advancing to Big Ten semis

    Gophers softball tops Ohio State in extras, advancing to Big Ten semis

    Breezy Burnett’s two-out single in the bottom of the eighth inning scored Sydney Strelow from second base and lifted the No. 3 seed Gophers to a 3-2 victory over No. 6 Ohio State in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals Thursday in Urbana, Ill.

    The win, Minnesota’s 12th in a row, advanced the Gophers (37-16) into Friday’s 5 p.m. semifinal against either No. 7 seed Penn State or No. 2 Indiana.

    Starting pitcher Autumn Pease went the distance for the Gophers. The Big Ten pitcher of the year improved to 26-6 after giving up two runs and four hits while striking out nine and walking one.

    The Gophers scored the winner after Strelow led off the bottom of the eighth with a sharp single to left-center and took second on Maddy Ehlke’s sacrifice bunt. After pinch hitter Delanie Cox flied out to left, Burnett laced her single to left and Strelow easily beat a high throw home.

    “I just wanted to help out Autumn,” Burnett said in a BTN postgame interview. “She’s been pitching her butt off all year.”

    Reliever Emily Ruck took the loss for the Buckeyes (33-20).

    The Gophers got off to a quick start when Kayla Chavez hit a leadoff homer in the first off Buckeyes starter Allison Smith.

    Ohio State responded in the fifth to take a 2-1 lead. McKenzie Bump hit a one-out single to center off Pease, and Kaitlyn Farley followed with a two-run homer to center.

    Minnesota tied the score 2-2 in the bottom of the fifth. Chavez hit a leadoff single to center and took second on Amani Bradley’s groundout. Natalie DenHartog singled to left to score Chavez, but the Gophers couldn’t capitalize further when Ruck got Taylor Krapf to hit into an inning-ending double play.

    The Gophers threatened in the seventh but did not score. After Bradley hit a one-out single to center, Jess Oakland followed by beating out a single to second on a play that originally was ruled an out but overturned after a video review on a challenge by Gophers coach Piper Ritter. Ruck, however, got out of the jam when DenHartog struck out and Krapf flied out to deep center, sending the game to extra innings.

    The Star Tribune did not send the writer of this article to the game. This was written using a broadcast, interviews and other material.

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