MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Gopher softball team has been impressive again, winning its way to the NCAA Super Regional.
And that is where the next challenge becomes significant. They are thrilled to be practicing this week, which means the program has again advanced.
It’s a trek that really started with success a year ago, according to pitcher Sarah Moulton.
“Last year was a stepping stone for us. Everyone put in the work in the off season because we went to regionals last year and we fell a little bit short,” Moulton said. “And we wanted to come back to regionals this year and we put in the work, and now we’re going to supers and we’re really excited about it.”
Make no mistake, the improvement in the program is because Coach Jessica Allister’s daily commitment to the basics. She is a throw-back fundamentalist.
“You got to field the ball,” Allister said.
The good news is that they’re alive in the NCAA tournament. The more difficult news is that their next opponent has been about as good as it gets in 2014.
The University of Oregon Ducks are the team to beat in the region and in the country, says Gopher infielder Kaitlyn Richardson.
“They’re a great team. And I think it’s exciting to be a 16th seed and have to opportunity to go in and be a huge upset, make a huge upset for the tournament,” Richardson said. “I think that people probably assume that Oregon’s going to win, and I think we’re gonna give them a run for their money. We’ve been the underdog all year.”
So they’ve believed so far, and it’s worked so far. So why not dream that this is the season?
“The goal coming in was win regionals, go onto super regionals and then we’re gonna take the College World Series,” said pitcher Nikki Anderson. “That’s what we’re gonna do.”