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After taking a big lead, the No. 7 Gophers lost to No. 9 Nebraska 21-18 on Friday in a Big Ten wrestling match in Lincoln, Neb. The defeat ended their dual meet winning streak at four.

Minnesota won the first three matches, starting with Sean Russell’s pin in the third period at 125 pounds, to take a 14-0 lead, but Nebraska won the next six to take an insurmountable 21-14 lead into the heavyweight match.

Freshman Gable Steveson, ranked No. 1, won the final match 13-5 over No. 10 David Jensen for a major decision and four points. He is 25-0.

U softball wins two

Sophomore first baseman Hope Brandner, a transfer from Oregon State, made a good first impression in the Gophers softball team’s opener.

Brandner, batting fourth, had a three-run double and a two-run homer — both in the fourth inning — as No. 21 Minnesota routed North Florida 13-0 on Friday in five innings in the first of its two games in the Friends of Jaclyn Tournament in Orlando, Fla.

The Gophers scored 11 runs in the fourth. Katelyn Kemmetmueller gave Minnesota a 2-0 lead on a bases-loaded double in the first.

Carlie Brandt pitched the first three innings, Rachel Lowary the last two. Brandt got the win, giving up the only two hits and striking out four.

In their second game, the Gophers beat host Central Florida 7-0. Junior Amber Fiser pitched the first five innings, giving up no hits and striking out nine. Freshman Ali Linder hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning, and Kemmetmueller had a sacrifice fly and a steal of home.

Reporter moves

Megan Ryan is taking over the college football beat for the Star Tribune, covering the Gophers, the Big Ten and the national scene. Ryan previously covered Minnesota United for the Star Tribune, and she covered Penn State football and Texas high school football at her previous newspapers. Jerry Zgoda is the new United beat writer, adding that beat to his roles as golf reporter and enterprise writer. Ryan is taking the college football baton from Randy Johnson, who after two seasons is moving to a new digital position in the sports department. More details of Johnson’s new role will be announced in mid-February.

Chris Carr

U golfers lose twice

The Gophers men’s golf team lost to Maryland 4-2 and to Indiana 3.5-2.5 in the Big Ten Match Play tournament in Palm Coast, Fla. Angus Flanagan and Evan Long won both their matches for Minnesota. Teammate Lincoln Johnson halved his match against the Hoosiers.