Northwestern softball ended its season on Friday after a 5-1 loss to Minnesota in the Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinal. The Wildcats ended their season at 25-29 while the Gophers head into the conference semifinal at 52-3, ranked first in Big Ten play and second in the nation.
Nicole Bond started for the third time this season but faced a tough offense. Minnesota entered the game averaging 7.5 runs per game and batting .351 collectively. She allowed five runs on 10 singles and six walks. In the bottom of the sixth, freshman Morgan Newport entered in relief, and tallied a walk and one strikeout.
Both teams were scoreless in the first inning, but the Gophers picked up a run in the bottom of the second from All-American and Big Ten Pitcher of the Year Sara Groenewegen. The score remained 1-0 through the bottom of the fifth, when Groenewegen scored again, before the Gophers got hot in the sixth inning and went up by five.
Sophomore Morgan Nelson hit a sacrifice fly into left field, allowing junior Sabrina Rabin to find home plate and get Northwestern on the plate in the final inning. With two outs, junior Marissa Panko got to third base during a pass, but Groenewegen quickly ended the inning and tallied her eighth career no-hitter.
This was the final game for seniors Krista Williams, Anna Petersen and Alcy Bush. Williams played in every game for Northwestern over the past two seasons and Petersen racked up 14 doubles this year. Petersen was named Big Ten Player of the Week just over a month ago, and Bush won All-Big Ten Defensive honors for her performance at first base this season.