I’m still trying to rub the chill out of my bones having just gotten home after watching the first game of softball’s double header against the Hampton Lady Pirates and the first three inning s of the nightcap. Since the second game is still in progress, I’ll lead off with what happened across campus where the baseball team took on the Marist Red Foxes. This meeting was also scheduled as a double bill but the morning rain prompted a late start and the cancellation of one of the two games. Still, they succeeded in completing one game and the Terps ran their home record to 9-0 with a 9-3 thumping of the visitors from Poughkeepsie.
Maryland fell behind early when Marist scored two in the top of the first. The Terrapins promptly halved the lead in the bottom of the inning scoring off right fielder Jordan Hagel’s one out double followed by Kyle Convissar’s rbi single. Maryland evened things up in the bottom of the sixth when Kevin Martir’s double knocked in LaMonte Wade, Jr. but the visitors recaptured the lead scoring once in the top of the seventh. In the bottom half of the inning, the Terps exploded for seven runs in typical small ball fashion on only three hits. The inning included three hit batters and a Marist error. Hagel’s bases loaded single to right with no one out knocked in two of the Terps seven scores. Maryland gat a strong effort from their bullpen as starter Jake Drosser lasted only one inning. Jamie Pashuck kept the Terps in the game with three scoreless innings while Brendan Casas recorded the win as the beneficiary of the seven run seventh. Next up for Maryland, a three game set at home with the 5th ranked and undefeated Florida State Seminoles.
After the morning rain, the sun came out but the wind kicked up and the temperature dropped as the Terps took the field to face Hampton in a twin bill. The Terps run ruled the visitors in the opener 14-6. (The run rule ends the game for the team ahead by 12 runs after 3 innings, 10 after 4, or 8 after 5.) Hampton scored once in the top of the first but Maryland answered quickly scoring 4 in the bottom of the inning highlighted by left fielder Nikki Maier’s three run shot down the left field line. The Terps padded their lead in the second. Juli Strange led off with a double down the left field line and scored on Amanda McCann’s triple. Hampton’s first baseman made the defensive play of the game snagging Sara Acosta’s foul pop up while tumbling head first into the visitor’s dugout. The fall provided enough opportunity for McCann to tag up and score as the Terps took a 6-1 lead. Maryland continued to score steadily posting two in the third and one in the fourth. Sadly for those of us hoping for a quick run rule, the visitors scored four in their half of the fourth as starter Maddie Martin was the victim of two Maryland errors. The Terrapins led 9-5 at the end of four and Hampton narrowed the gap to three scoring in the top of the fifth. Maryland answered with three more in the bottom of the fifth highlighted by freshman shortstop Lindsey Schmeiser’s two run triple. When the Terps added two more in the sixth, their eight run lead ended the game.
The Terps upped their record to 8-14 with another run rule win in the nightcap by a final of 13-5. Maryland opened the scoring in the bottom of the second on a mammoth home run off the bat of first baseman Mandy Gardner that cleared the scoreboard at Taylor Stadium. Hampton tied things up in the top of the third but the Terrapins answered with four in the bottom half of the inning. Junior center fielder Sara Acosta opened the inning with a bunt single. She scored on Schmeiser’s ground ball triple just over the bag at third. Schmeiser then scored on catcher Shannon Bustillos’s lined shot over the fence in right center. Maryland added one more run a Candace Beards scored on a ground out putting the Terps up 6-2. As they had in the opener, once they started scoring, the Terps continued to add to their run total tallying three in the fourth and two each in the fifth and sixth and reaching the eight run lead need to bring an early end to the game. As you can imagine when a team scores 27 runs in two games the offensive accolades are many. Here’s a sampling: Lindsey Schmeiser 5-6 with 4 rbi; Nikki Maier 5-7 with 4 rbi and a home run; Shannon Bustillos also had 4 rbi and a home run while going 4-8 at the plate. Maddie Martin picked up the win while giving up only 2 earned runs in the first game and Lindsey’s big sister Kaitlyn notched the win in the night cap. Maryland travels to Florida for a five game weekend set in the USF Under Armor Invitational before opening ACC play at home starting March 23 against the Virginia Cavaliers.
Todd Carton (AKA FHFAN)