FanPost

A Grand Slam of Apologies from me to: Gymnastics, Baseball, WLAX, and Softball

Tonight I’m writing a post filled with apologies. My first apology goes to Coach Nelligan and the Maryland gymnastics team for my tumble Saturday night in omitting them without even a mention from my Saturday recap. As those of you who read my posts know, Saturday was such a busy day for me - attending four events on campus and recapping six – that I didn’t finish that post until after 11:00 pm. And because they weren’t on campus, I somehow overlooked the gymnastics squad. Saturday, the Terps were in Chapel Hill competing in the Eastern Atlantic Gymnastics League (EAGL) Tournament where they captured second place falling by just .075 points to N.C. State. Terrapin gymnasts finished first and second in the vault with Ally Kirkorian besting teammate Katy Dodds. Kirkorian scored 9.925 and Dodds 9.90. Karen Tang placed second on the uneven bars with a score of 9.825. Stephanie Giameo’s 9.850 on the balance beam matched Tang’s second place finish. The sophomore from Roselle Park, New Jersey was the Terps highest finisher in the all-around placing seventh with a score of 39.075.

The Terps travel to Gainesville for the NCAA Regional Competition on April sixth. Maryland has reached the NCAA Regionals. In each of Coach Brett Nelligan’s four years as head coach and 2013 marks their fifth consecutive appearance. The other teams in this region are top-ranked University of Florida, Auburn, Minnesota, Bridgeport, and Pittsburgh. The Terps dropped a dual meet competition at twelfth ranked Auburn earlier in the season. The top two finishers from the Regional will move on to the National Championship at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion beginning April nineteenth.

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Coming out of the on deck circle into the apology batter’s box is the Maryland baseball team. I failed to report on last night’s 3-2 loss to George Mason. Mason came in for a one game visit to College Park and left with the narrow victory. The Patriots scored first in the top of the fifth scratching out an unearned run. The Terps tied it up in the bottom of the sixth when K.J. Hockaday scored on Tim Kiene’s double to left. Kiene’s return should be a welcome sight for Terp fans as the junior from South Windsor, Connecticut should add some pop to the Terrapin line up. He went 3 for 4 with an rbi in his debut. After six strong innings from starter and two from reliever Bobby Ruse, the score remained tied at one heading into the ninth. Mason took a 3-1 lead with two more unearned runs in the top if the inning. After fouling off five pitches, Mike Monteville led off the bottom of the ninth with an infield single. Monteville was forced at second by Charlie White who scored on Kyle Convissar’s two out double down the right field line. Convissar was stranded at second when Hockaday popped out to end the game. The Terps record dropped to 14-10 with the loss and they will look to end their three game skid when they head to Raleigh for a three game weekend series at NC State starting Friday night at 6:30. The game is scheduled for broadcast on ESPN3.

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Another way the second night of Passover crossed me up was that I also missed the women’s lacrosse game at Towson. So apology number three goes to Coach Reese and her team. Ben provided a link in the Maryland Minute to the UMTerps.com recap which, since it was presumably written by someone who saw the game, should surpass my day late Gametracker reconstruction. The top ranked and undefeated Terrapins racked up their twelfth consecutive win of the season taming the Tigers by a surprisingly close 11-8 score. Maryland was led by senior attacking midfielder Katie Schwarzmann who erupted for 5 goals. After Maryland took a narrow 6-5 lead into the locker room at halftime, the Terps scored the first 5 goals of the second half needing an almost glacially long eleven and a half minutes to do so. Towson scored the last three goals to account for the final margin. Schwarzmann’s five goals giver her 33 for the season good for second on the team behind fellow senior Alex Aust’s 37. The Terps return home for a Saturday match up against the University or Pennsylvania Quakers who come into College Park riding a four game win streak that includes a victory over tenth ranked Cornell. First draw is scheduled for 1:00 pm.

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The clean up apology goes to Coach Laura Watten and the Terrapin softball team who swept a Wednesday night double header against an overmatched and undermanned team from Howard University with two run rule wins and two no hitters. By the time I’d fought my way through Beltway traffic to reach Robert Taylor Stadium, the Terps were in the middle of a 12 run first inning in the opener the highlight of which was a bases loaded triple by designated player Candice Beards. As the temperature started to drop and the wind continued to whip around the stadium, I gave up taking notes and just let the scene play out in front of me. In the second inning while the Terps were in the middle of adding to their twelve run first, the partisan Maryland crown sighed sympathetically when the Bison left fielder dropped a fairly routine fly ball for Howard’s fourth error of the game. Maryland would not score again and the game ended after the top of the fifth when freshman Maddie Martin retired her 15th consecutive batter on a groundout to third to notch the first no hitter and perfect game of her Maryland career.

So why am I apologizing? Because I didn’t stay for the nightcap. I left the players, and coaches to suffer the cold and wind and trundled off to the warmth of my house. Lexi Carroll gave the Terps five strong innings though she did allow The only Bison runner of the double bill when she gave up a two out fourth inning walk. Freshman pitcher Samantha Schweikhardt got her first action of the season tossing a perfect ninth in relief of Carroll. On the offensive side, Nikki Maier hit her team leading seventh home run of the season while sophomore catcher Shannon Bustillos also went long for the fourth time this season. The Terps saved their largest outburst for the bottom of the fourth when they scored six times to add to the 7-0 lead they had built in the first three innings. With Maryland now comfortably over the 8 run margin needed to invoke the run rule the game ended when Schweikhardt retired the side in order in the top of the fifth. The Terps will look to add to their current winning streak of five and to improve on their perfect 3-0 record in ACC play when the take on the Florida State Seminoles in a Saturday double bill in College Park. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 pm.

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In an unrelated note but something I feel compelled to mention, Brenda Frese (who had to share ACC Coach of the Year with Duke's coach) was named Regional Coach of the Year by the Women's Coaches Basketball Association making her one of eight finalists for the national COTY. award (no Dukies in sight). Alyssa Thomas who shared one of the ACC Player of the Year awards with Duke's Chelsea Gray was named one of twelve finalists for the State Farm Wade Trophy (again nary a Dukie in sight).

Todd Carton (AKA FHFAN)

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