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After storm, Gophers rally falls short against Washington at Women's College World Series

It's the first appearance in the Women's College World Series for the Gophers.

After a long severe weather delay, the Gopher softball team rallied but fell just short in a season-ending loss to Washington at the Women's College World Series on Saturday. 

Trailing 3-1 through five innings, a severe thunderstorm blasted through Oklahoma City around 1 p.m. and delayed the game until they were able to safely resume at 4 p.m. That's when Washington picked up where they left off, plating a pair of runs in the top of the sixth to take a 5-1 lead. 

The Gophers came up empty in the sixth, but put together a rallying charge in the final inning. 

Back-to-back walks loaded the bases and Carlie Brandt ripped a two-run double to cut the deficit to two. It set the table for leading hitter Mackenna Partain with runners at second and third and two out, but Partain struck out to end the game and the season. 

Minnesota ends the season with a final record of 46 wins and 14 losses – and this is the second consecutive season they've ended the season with a loss to Washington. The Huskies defeated Minnesota in the regional round of the NCAA tournament in 2018. 

The Gophers advanced to the Women's College World Series by winning the Minneapolis Regional, and then sweeping LSU in the Super Regional round in Minneapolis. They lost 7-2 to No. 2 national seed UCLA in the opening round of the WCWS on Thursday. 

Good news: Fiser, an All-American junior, will be back next season as a senior to again lead what should be another Women's College World Series-caliber team.

Only four seniors graduate: Maddie Houlihan, Allie Arneson, Sydney Smith, Taylor Chell

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