MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota, ranked 19th, toppled No. 4 Michigan in its home opener, 9-1, in six innings Friday night at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium. The victory secured head coach Jessica Allister's fifth 30-plus win campaign in as many seasons with the Gophers, upping the team's record to 30-5.
The triumph also upped the Maroon and Gold's Big Ten record to 6-1. It was their 11th run-rule win of the season.
Tyler Walker got the scoring starting by leading off the bottom of the first with her team-leading 10th home run of the season. It was the 43rd long ball of her career, tying her for second on the Gophers' all-time list.
A Sierra Romero single knotted the score in the third inning, but Sara Groenewegen singled home Walker and Sam Macken in the bottom of the inning to give Minnesota the lead for good. The Gophers went on to score one more run in the third and made it 5-1 in the next stanza with a solo blast from Sam Macken.
Following a scoreless fifth, Minnesota walked off by posting four runs in the bottom of the sixth.
With two outs, Kayla Wenner turned a long bases-loaded at bat into a run when Wolverine pitcher Megan Betsa hit her with a pitch. The game end when Danielle Parlich singled home two runs and a third run scored on an errant throw by home.
In addition to her production at the plate, Groenewegen dazzled in the circle, striking out 10 Wolverines en route to her 19th win of the season. She conceded just four hits. Betsa dropped to 14-4 with the loss.