May 16--The No. 7-seeded Gophers (41-12) host a four-team, double-elimination NCAA regional at Jane Sage Cowles Stadium from Friday through Sunday. The winner heads to a best-of-three super regional, and Minnesota would also host that if it advances. This is the Gophers’ highest NCAA tournament seed since 2005, when the current postseason format started. The Gophers’ only super regional appearance came in 2014.
Gophers vs. North Dakota State: Gophers coach Jamie Trachsel coached at North Dakota State from 2002-16, starting as a graduate assistant. She was NDSU’s co-head coach when the Gophers defeated the Bison in the 2014 and 2016 NCAA regionals. ... Bison catcher Maddie Hansen has 12 home runs and 45 RBI. Senior pitcher KK Leddy has a 2.22 ERA with 174 strikeouts in 186? innings. The Gophers, ranked No. 12 in the USA Today/NFCA coach poll, boast two big hitters in freshman Natalie DenHartog and sophomore Hope Brandner, who have combined for 34 home runs and 115 RBI.
Drake vs. Georgia: No. 143 Georgia (40-17) reached the College World Series last year. Pitcher Nicole Newman of No. 25 Drake (42-24) has a 0.88 ERA, 393 strikeouts and a record five perfect games this season. Georgia senior Alyssa DiCarlo leads her team with 21 homers and 54 RBI.
• Game 1: Drake vs. Georgia (6 p.m., ESPN2)
• Game 2: Gophers vs. North Dakota State (8:30 p.m. No TV, streamed on ESPN3)
• Game 3: Winners’ bracket: 3 p.m.
• Game 4: Losers’ bracket: 5:30 p.m.
• Game 5: Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner: 8 p.m.
• Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 5 winner: 3 p.m.
• Game 7 (if necessary): Same teams, 5:30 p.m.
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