STrib: California Quartet Sparks Gopher Softball

Ignatius L Hoops

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Sep 9, 2015
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Marcus Fuller:

Four players on the Gophers softball roster will be much closer to home when the team opens NCAA regional play Friday in Seattle.

Big Ten pitcher of the year Autumn Pease is a California native. So are All-Big Ten first teamers Jess Oakland and Kayla Chavez and team steals leader Amani Bradley.

In the last two seasons combined, the Gophers have had eight players from California. The last time U softball didn't have at least one Californian on the roster was in 2017.

The current Golden State foursome's impact in Seattle could be a determining factor, as Minnesota tries to advance to its first Super Regional since the World Series run in 2019.

"This team is very family-oriented and when I was getting recruited, that's what it felt like," Oakland said. "When I saw they had a lot of California kids, I was like, they must be doing something right if they're coming all the way out here and loving it."

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