Feb. 22, 2014
GREENSBORO, N.C. -Army's softball took on No. 20/21 Minnesota, the first of two NCAA Tournament Teams it opened against the second day of the Spartan Classic, with the Gophers dispatching the Black Knights in five innings, 12-1.
Sara Groenewegen (4-0) threw a three-hitter, struck out five and walked one over three innings to record the decision. She also helped her own cause driving in a pair of runs with her fourth homer of the season in the first inning. Tyler Walker went 2-for-4 with three RBI, to include a two-run homer.
Army third baseman Kasey McCravey stretched her hitting streak to 11 straight games, dating back to last season, and senior co-captain Amanda Nguyen broke the school career mark for hits with 231.
McCravey went 1-for-2 at the plate with a double and scored Army's lone run with Nguyen's sixth hit of the season breaking Nicki Robbins' mark of 250 set in 2002. Robbins is one of two Black Knights in the Army Hall of Fame.
The Gophers scored multiple runs in the first three innings capped by a six-run explosion in the third that was keyed by a pair of home runs that would force the game to be called on the mercy rule.
Trailing 5-0 after the Gophers scored twice in the first inning and three times in the top of the second, Army scored a run in the home half of the second inning. McCravey led off with a double (her fourth of the season) to right center field followed by Rachael Dehlinger's run-scoring infield single.
Groenewegen closed the door retiring the side on a line out to the third baseman and back-to-back strikeouts.
The final hit that Groenewegen yielded in the bottom of the third was a record setter as Nguyen became Army's all-time leader after beating out an infield single with one out. Following a walk, Groenewegen struck out the next batter followed by a pickoff at first base. Minnesota is one of three NCAA participants Army has played thus far this season.
Walker closed out Minnesota's six-run third with a two-run homer in her first blast of the year that put the game out of reach.
Dehlinger (0-1), drawing her first start of the season, pitched 2.2 innings as Minnesota banged out 11 hits off her. Kristen West pitched the final 2.1 innings and was touched for a hit and walked two batters.
Army takes on Hampton, an NCAA participant, at 5:30 p.m. in closing out the second day of the Spartan Class. Live state can be found on Army's website.
NOTES: Kasey McCravey, who has hit safely in all seven games this season, is batting .524 with 11 hits to including four doubles and a home run ... freshman Tyler McKinney is next at .333 with Amanda Nguyen batting .286 ... freshman Kristen West has draw the most time in the circle pitching 16 innings ... Rachael Dehlinger drove in Army's lone run in the game and the first in her collegiate career.