The Maryland softball team took the long bus ride to Atlanta to take on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets for a double header on Saturday as they come down the home stretch of the 2013 ACC season.
The Terps mounted a bit of a threat in the top of the first. Lead off hitter Amanda McCann drew a walk and promptly stole second. She moved up to third on Juli Strange’s sacrifice bunt. Lindsey Schmeiser reached on an error with McCann holding at third. Schmeiser was caught stealing and Bustillos ground out to end the inning with McCann stranded on third. Georgia Tech took advantage of the Terps inability to push a run across and scored in the bottom of the first to take a 1-0 lead. In their half of the second, Maryland got another lead off walk – this one to Candice Beards – and another sac bunt this time from Melissa Mancuso but Beards was left on second. Tech got a runner to third in the second but Kaitlyn Schmeiser got out of the jam with her second strikeout of the inning.
The Terps got on the scoreboard in the third. Sara Acosta led of with an infield single. McCann followed with a bouncer back to the pitcher but her throw went wide and McCann reached on the two base error with Acosta taking third. Strange then lined a single to right driving in Acosta and McCann. Maryland stretched the lead to 3-1 in the fifth on a one out walk to Lindsey Schmeiser, a single from Bustillos, and a clutch two out ground ball single to right off the bat of Mancuso. The good fortune didn’t last long as the Yellow Jackets struck for three in the bottom of the inning to regain the advantage at 4-3. Looking for an answer in the top of the sixth, the Terps found it when Sara Acosta agaon got things started with a lead off single. McCann followed with a base hit up the middle and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. The two runners scored, as nearly as I can determine, on a groundball by Strange who appears to have reached on an error. The Terps added a third run to take a 6-4 lead. Tech scratched out another run in the bottom of the inning but Maryland scored twice in the seventh and would eventually close out the game by an 8-6 final. The win ended a 20 game Georgia Tech winning strak against the Terrapins.
Despite falling behind 1-0 again in the first inning of the second game, the Terps pushed to complete a sweep of the double header in a back and forth game that would end with Tech getting the split. Tech extended the margin to two in the third but Maryland came back to tie the score in the top of the fourth. The inning opened with a walk to Lindsey Schmeiser. After Bustillos skied out to left, Candice Beards double to left putting runners on second and third. With pitcher Lexi Carroll at the plate, Schmeiser scored on a wild pitch and Beards moved up to third. She scored on Carroll’s sacrifice fly to center. The Jackets moved back in front with a single run in their half of the fourth. Juli Strange brought the Terps back to even with a lead off homer in the top of the fifth. Bridget Hawvermale followed with a single to center and McCann drew a walk. Acost laid down a bunt to advance the runners to second and third. Hawvermale scored on Lindsey Schmeiser’s sac fly and the Terps had the lead for the first time in the game. They didn’t survive the sixth with the lead as the home team notched two to take a 5-4 lead into the seventh. Though McCann drew a one out walk, Acosta grounded into a double play to end the game. The Terps will take on Tech in the final game of the series tomorrow.
In College Park, it was a rough night on the diamond for the Terrapin baseball squad as they never led in dropping their second consecutive game to the Miami Hurricanes. The visitors got out to a 1-0 lead in the second with a bases empty home run off Maryland started Brady Kirkpatrick. The Terps trailed 3-0 going into the bottom of the sixth when they finally broke through after being held scoreless for 15 consecutive by the Miami pitching staff. The inning started with a Charlie White single to left. Jordan Hagel followed with an opposite field double to right. Kyle Convissar also went the opposite way driving in White with a ground out to second. Kevin Martir also ground out on a come backer to the pitcher but Hagel took third on the play and scored on LaMonte Wade’s line drive single to left. The Terps loaded the bases without benefit of a hit as K.J. Hockaday was hit by a pitch and Anthony Papio drew a two out walk. However, as they had done too often in Friday night’s loss, Maryland failed to get a clutch two out hit and left the bases loaded. The Terps trailed 3-2 at the end of six.
A lead off double in the top of the seventh finished Kirkpatirck’s night as Bobby Rise came on to pitch. Ruse retired the first two batters he faced but gave up a run scoring single before getting out of the inning with no further damage. Again trailing by two, the Terps rallied in the bottom of the seventh to close the gap to one. Jose Cuas started the inning with a good at bat, fouling off several pitches before drawing a walk. Cuas moved to second on White’s ground out and Hagel followed by striking out. This time Maryland did get a two out hit as Convissar pulled a double down the left field line scoring Cuas bringing the Terps within one at 4-3. The Terrapins came no closer as Martir grounded out to end the inning. Miami added an insurance run in the eighth and the Terps never threatened. Maryland will try to salvage one game of the series closing out the set with a 1:00 p.m. game on Sunday.
The men’s lacrosse game against Johns Hopkins (which I was unable to attend due to other commitments) is available on an ESPN3 replay but I’m not certain I want to put myself through watching a rerun of the 7-4 loss unless my readers demand it. Here’s a link if you want to read about the game:
And here’s another:
Todd Carton (AKA FHFAN)