The College Park campus hosted two Terrapin sports Sunday. At Robert E. Taylor Stadium over by the Comcast Center, the softball team hosted the Boston College Eagles and across campus at Shipley Field at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium, baseball took on the Virginia Tech Hokies. Each game was the rubber match of a three game set. Softball won their series while baseball dropped theirs. I split my time between the two games starting at softball.
Unlike the second game of the BC series, the Terps jumped on top after starter Kaitlyn Schmeiser picked up more or less where she finished on Saturday retiring the Eagles in order in the top of the first. Amanda McCann led off the game for Maryland with a single up the middle. After a fly out, she moved to second on a passed ball. Freshman shortstop Lindsey Schmeiser rapped a hard ground single to left putting runners on the corners. Schmeiser stole second and both runners scored when catcher Shannon Bustillos drove a single to left. Bustillos took second on the throw to the plate. Candice Beards hit a ground ball to second that the BC second baseman misplayed and as the ball rolled into right field, Bustillos scored to give the Terps a 3-0 lead at the end of the first. Boston College put together a string of hits to score a single run in the top of the second. Maryland responded by putting two more on the board in their half of the second – an inning that took a strange (Strange?) turn of events. Melissa Mancuso led off the inning and tried to bunt her way on but ran into the ball in fair territory and was called out for interference. Second baseman Juli Strange then lifted a towering fly ball that cleared (or as I like to sometimes say Shaq’ed) the fence in center field giving the Terps a 4-1 advantage. But Maryland wasn’t quite through. Sophomore Bridget Hawvermale drew a walk and McCann followed with a double to right putting runners on second and third. Sara Acosta then tried to bunt but her rolling bat caught up with the ball and hit it a second time resulting in the second interference out of the inning. With L. Schmeiser at the plate, the BC pitcher uncorked a wild pitch. Hawvermale came home and when the catcher’s throw got past the pitcher, McCann tried to score but was thrown out by the BC third baseman who was backing up the play. Even with three unusual outs, the Terps led 5-1 at the end of two. Neither team scored in the third and. Feeling confident in K. Schmeiser’s strong right arm, I set out across campus to see how the baseball team was faring.
I walked into the stadium in the top of the fifth just in time to see a Virginia Tech batter drill a two out RBI double into the right field corner. Tech had also scored a single run in the top of the fourth and held that 2-0 lead as the Terrapins came to bat in the bottom of the fifth. Shortstop Blake Schmit led off for Maryland with an opposite field fly ball that kept drifting away from the Hokies right fielder and landed just inside the foul line getting past the outfielder and turning into a triple. Center fielder Charlie White picked up an RBI following Schmit with a triple of his own also into the right field corner. White’s hit was a sharp line drive that stood in clear contrast to Schmit’s. White scored to tie things up on Jordan Hagel’s sacrifice fly. After a scoreless sixth, the visitors scratched out the go ahead run in the seventh on a single, a walk, and another single. Maryland looked to even things up in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Schmit reached on an infield single to deep short. White’s roller to first forced Schmit at second but he was able to beat the throw and avert the double play. Concerned with White’s speed, the Hokies pitcher made several throws to first before throwing a pitch to Hagel. The third attempt was low and skittered past the first baseman toward the visitor’s bullpen. White raced all the way to third on the play. Hagel walked putting runners on the corners with two outs but Lamonte Wade, swinging at the first pitch, popped out to shallow center. The Terps would not threaten again and fell to the Hokies 3-2. Next up, Maryland hosts Liberty in a 4:00 p.m. start on Tuesday.
Back at Taylor Stadium, Maryland took a 5-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth. The inning started quietly enough as Acosta skied out to left. L.Schmeiser and Bustillos put together back to back singles and Bria Taylor, running for Bustillos, stole second to put runners on second and third for Beards. Beards lofted a fly ball to right that got beyond the right fielder resulting in a triple and two RBI for the Terrapins first baseman. Lexi Carroll singled to left to drive in Beards and open Maryland’s lead to seven. After pinch hitter Corey Schwartz flied out to left, the game turned Strange once again as the second baseman powered a second shot over the center field fence. The two run blast made the score 10-1 and gave the Terps a much needed run rule shortened win. The Terps tackle Delaware State in a mid-week double header on Wednesday before hosting the second place UNC Tar Heels in a big three game weekend series starting Saturday.
Todd Carton (AKA FHFAN)