Gophers' Amber Fiser earns honors after pitching perfect game

- A season of adjusting is shaping into a promising year for the Gophers softball team. 

They seem to be hitting their stride as they enter the final stretch of the 2018 season. 

“Sometimes you just have to keep working through it to get to the success part,” Gophers softball head coach Jamie Trachsel said. “It’s just a credit to the kids who are here who kept us moving in the right direction.”

The Gophers have won 17 of their last 18 games and a big reason why they’ve been on fire is the play of sophomore pitcher Amber Fiser. 

“It’s a good feeling because I’ve been working my whole life to get to where I am today and it is slowly starting to pay off,” Fiser said.

Fiser is an all-around talent in the circle this season, and nothing proved that point more than her perfect game against Purdue last weekend.

“After the game everyone came up to me cheering and I was like, 'Wow, I just threw a perfect game!'” Fiser said. “But I have a lot of goals still ahead of me.”

An outing of perfection also led to “National Division I Pitcher of the Week” honors from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, but this season has been one of growth as she takes over for Sara Groenewegen. It is not easy to replace a program legend, but Fiser’s focus is on her own game as she takes over Minnesota’s top pitching role. 

“Sara set a lot of high expectations and obviously I want to reach those,” Fiser said. “I’m not Sara, I have to go my own way.”

“For [Amber] it was all about trusting who she is and that she doesn't have to be someone that she is not,” Trachsel said. “What she has is plenty good enough.”

The last few weeks have been excellent for Fiser and the Gophers as a whole, but no one on the team is satisfied yet with postseason aspirations still well within reach. 

“It’s big picture, small focus,” Trachsel added. “Every opportunity is a new opportunity, but we need to keep getting better.” 

The Gophers can still seal up a share of the Big Ten regular season championship. 

Minnesota will earn that co-Big Ten title if the Gophers sweep Penn State this weekend and Michigan loses one of their final four games of the regular season.

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