Softball Opens NCAA Tournament at Minnesota
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Making its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2005, the Green Bay softball team will begin play on Friday evening as it faces host Minnesota at 6:30 p.m.
Joining Green Bay (27-12) and No. 16/14 Minnesota (41-9) in the regional bracket are North Dakota State (35-14) and No. 22/21 Auburn (39-17-1). The Phoenix is 33-3 all-time against Minnesota, 0-4 versus the Bison and has never faced the Tigers. The double-elimination tourney starts at 4 p.m. with NDSU squaring off against Auburn. Live video and live stats will be available on gophersports.com. Below is the complete weekend schedule, along with ticketing information.
The Phoenix earned the Horizon League’s automatic berth into the tourney after going a perfect 3-0 in the conference tournament with wins over Youngstown State and Valparaiso. It was the second time the Phoenix won the HL tourney, also accomplishing the feat during the 2005 season.
Green Bay is 27-12 this season, tying a program record for most wins in a season while reaching the 20+ win plateau for the ninth time in program history. Picked to finish sixth in the conference pre-season poll, the Phoenix went on to finish first with a record of 11-5 en route to capturing the first regular-season title in program history. For their efforts, eight players collected All-Horizon League honors, while head coach Jean Rivett was tabbed as the coach of the year.
As the top seed in the conference tournament, Green Bay went a clean 3-0, capitalizing on strong hitting and pitching. The team hit an impressive .451 and outscored the opposition 23-3. In the circle, senior Ashley Nannemann (Burlington, Wis.) posted a 0.41 ERA, allowing just seven hits, three runs (one earned) and three walks while striking out seven in 17.0 innings of work. On the other side, the opposition hit just .117 while the pitching staffs posted a combined 7.50 ERA. Nannemann was named the tournament MVP, tournament top pitcher and placed on the all-tournament team where she was joined by senior Shannon Butts (Greenfield, Wis.), sophomores Marissa Michalkiewicz (Appleton, Wis.) and Kelli Hutchinson (Trevor, Wis.) and freshman Abby Brinkmeier (Eagan, Minn.).
Shannon Butts currently leads the team hitting .412, while senior Miranda Reinke (Milwaukee, Wis.) is hitting .361 with a team-leading 11 doubles and five home runs. Michalkiewicz follows batting .359 with a team-best 46 hits, four triples and 37 RBI, while junior Hailey Mohrfeld (Menomonee Falls, Wis.) is also hitting over .300 (.319) with a team-high 36 runs scored. In the circle, Nannemann has appeared in 23 games with 17 starts, going 11-7 with a 1.94 ERA, 12 complete games, three shutouts and three saves. Over 119.1 innings of work she has struck out 69 and has held the opposition to .233 hitting.
This season the Gophers posted their highest winning percentage in school history of .820, going 41-9 overall. Minnesota received an automatic bid into the tournament by winning the Big Ten Tournament last weekend, its second conference title in program history.
Kaitlyn Richardson leads the team hitting .433 with 18 doubles and 47 RBI. Tyler Walker is hitting .386 with a team-best 61 hits, 48 runs scored and seven triples while going 14-for-16 on stolen base attempts. In the circle, Sara Moulton has 34 appearances with 32 starts, posting a 26-6 record with a 1.59 ERA, 12 complete games, four shutouts and one save. In 185.0 innings she has struck out 222 batters and limited the opposition to .194 hitting.
Schedule of Games:
Friday, May 16
Game 1: 4:00 pm: Auburn vs. NDSU
Game 2: 6:30 pm: Green Bay vs. Minnesota
Saturday, May 17
Game 3: 1:30 pm (Game 1 Winner vs. Game 2 Winner)
Game 4: 4:00 pm (Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser)
Game 5: 6:30pm (Game 3 Loser vs. Game 4 Winner)
Sunday, May 18
Game 6: 1:30pm (Game 3 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner)
Game 7 (if necessary): 4:00pm
All Session Adult: $30
All Session Student/Youth/SR: $25
Single Session Adult: $15
Single Session Student/Youth/SR: $10
Single Session Group 10+: $8
All seating is General Admission. Re-entry will be allowed. Parking is available in the 4th St. Ramp. Gates will open 1 hour before first game of each day.
For the latest and most up-to-date information on Green Bay Athletics, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com.