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Maryland Softball creates new zip code in run rule win over Iowa

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There was no miracle comeback on Saturday for Maryland softball but Sunday was a different tale altogether as the Terps captured two of three in Iowa in their first Big Ten conference series.

Maryland's comeback win from 10 runs behind against the Iowa Hawkeyes Friday was little short of a softball miracle. The Terps fell behind early again on Saturday but their comeback effort fell well short. Sunday, Maryland hammered the Hawkeyes about as thoroughly as possible in a 19-0 run rule win. We'll get to that (and solve the mystery of the headline) after a brief look at Saturday's loss.

Saturday - Iowa 8 - Maryland 4 - No miracles in store

Friday night, Maryland twice eked out one run leads before Iowa exploded for 11 runs in the home half of the third inning and Maryland eventually clawed all the way back to wrest a 15-14 victory from the proverbial jaws of defeat. Saturday, the Hawkeyes jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and although the Terrapins fought back, they never crested the butte.

Iowa put together a three run first inning against Terrapins starter Brenna Nation using a walk, a double, a pair of singles and a Maryland error to post that crooked number. They added another run on a solo home run by Allie Wood in the fourth off reliever Jaymie Bautista-Geiger. Meanwhile, Hawkeyes starter Shayla Starkenburg silenced the Terps' bats hurling four innings of no hit ball before catcher Shannon Bustillos ended the no hitter and the shutout with a single swing of her bat leading off the top of the fifth.

Later in the inning, Maryland added a second run without benefit of a hit as Starkenburg walked three and saw her defense let her down as the Terps scored an unearned run on an error by second baseman Claire Fritsch. Unfortunately, Maryland couldn't  get a clutch two out hit and left the bases loaded. Then Hannah Dewey, pitching in relief of Bautista-Geiger, gave up a fifth Iowa run in the bottom of the inning.

In the top of the sixth, the Terps again closed to within one starting with Bustillos' second home run in consecutive at bats. Maryland scratched out another small ball run and trailed 5-4 at the end of five and a half. Kaitlyn Schmeiser had come on to get the last two outs of the fifth inning relieving Dewey. However, the senior was ineffective in the sixth and Iowa added three runs to stretch their lead lead to 8-4.

The Terrapins mounted a minor threat in the seventh after two were out. Bridget Hawvermale doubled and Bustillos walked but Juli Strange popped up to short and Iowa handed Maryland their first Big Ten loss by an 8-4 final.

Sunday - Maryland 19 - Iowa 0

Your zip code question answered

The zip code for Albuquerque, NM is 87102. The USPS data base lists no 87202 so Maryland's softball squad created it for them and relocated it from the southwest to the east in Sunday's 19-0 run rule demolition of the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Terps scored 8 in the first; 7 in the second; 2 in the third; 0 in the fourth and; 2 in the fifth. So the Terrapins' line on the scoreboard read:

Maryland............ 872 02

The temperature was in the low 40s at Bob Pearl Field in Iowa City but a stiff wind was blowing in from right making  the day feel much colder. While the day was cold the Terrapins' bats were as they say at El Pollo Kiki-Riki, en fuego.

Here are the highlights of Maryland's eight run first. Lindsey 'Lu' Schmeiser continued her torrid hitting with a lead off double ripping a line drive down the left field line. A walk and a hit batter followed loading the bases with none out for Erin Pronobis. For the second time in the series, E Money as her teammates call her, cashed a grand slam this time powering one through the wind over the fence in right center.

The next two batters reached and Kaitlyn 'KK' Schmeiser, who would be in the circle to start the game aided her own cause lining a two run double to left center. Juli Strange picked up Schmeiser with a single down the left field line and she eventually came around to score on Hannah Dewey's single that wrapped up the eight run first.

Unlike the first inning where the Terps got started early, everything in the second inning happened after Iowa pitching retired the first two batters. KK started the rally with her second consecutive double and with what would be the only extra base hit of the inning. Following KK's double, the next nine Maryland batters reached on a combination of four singles and five walks. By the time the inning ended, the Terps had seven more runs and a 15-0 lead.

Strange led off the Maryland third with a triple to right center. Lu followed with her second double of the day notching the RBI. She came in to score after an infield single and a ground out. At the end of three innings, the Terrapins had put up the equivalent of two touchdowns and a field goal.

After a three up three down fourth, the Terps padded two more onto their total in the top of  the fifth. They managed only one hit - Lu's single - with both runs scoring on bases loaded walks as the Hawkeyes' pitchers walked four more Terrapins hitters.

Meanwhile, KK, who had struggled in the circle in the two previous games, simply plowed through the Iowa lineup giving up just one walk and a pair of harmless singles the second of which came in the bottom of the fifth. However, just as she induced a double play to end Friday's win, KK did the same on Sunday with a conventional third to second to first twin killing.

Maryland improves to 19-12 for the season and 2-1 in Big Ten play. The Terps return home for a Wednesday doubleheader against the Dartmouth Big Green before they host the Ohio State Buckeyes in their first home Big Ten series with three games beginning Friday evening at 6:00 pm.