Maryland softball had a difficult weekend at the District Invite in Washington, D.C., dropping three straight games before a wild win on Sunday. Here’s the weekly recap:
Brenna Nation’s slow start continued, as the junior surrendered 3 runs before being pulled with one out in the first inning. Maryland clawed back to within 3-2 on sacrifice flies in the fourth and fifth, but Georgetown’s Samantha Giovanniello socked a two-run homer off Madison Martin in the bottom of the fifth.
The Terps trailed 5-2 entering the seventh, but singles by Skylynne Ellazar and Kylie Datil gave them runners on the corners with no outs. Hannah Dewey drove in Ellazar with a groundout to second, and Kristina Dillard pushed Datil to third with a single of her own. Corey Schwartz followed with an RBI single to right, and the score was 5-4. But with the tying run on second, Sarah Lang and Emily Libero couldn’t deliver, and that was that.
Hannah Dewey allowed 7 runs in 3 innings, and the Terps didn’t have nearly enough firepower to come back. They opened the fourth with four straight hits and 2 runs, but that was all they got. Freshman pitcher Sami Main was effective in her first 2.2 innings of relief, but a double-single-single-homer sequence put the mercy rule in effect.
The Maryland bats came alive with 2 runs in the first and 2 in the second. However, thanks to a pair of errors that led to 3 unearned runs, the teams were knotted at 4-4 after three innings. The Terps scored in the top of the fifth, but Madison Martin surrendered a homer to lead off the bottom. Brenna Nation came on with one out and a Colonial on second. That run scored, as did two more in the frame. George Washington tacked on another one in the fifth to make it 9-5. Skylynne Ellazar slashed the margin in half with a two-run double in the sixth, but Sarah Costlow retired four straight to end the game. She recorded a complete-game victory despite surrendering 7 runs, 10 hits and 4 walks while failing to strike out a single Terrapin.
The Terps finally got their revenge on a Lions team that beat them twice last weekend in Boca Raton, and it came in walk-off fashion. Maryland scored 2 in the first and 1 in the second, but gave up 3 in the third. Columbia’s Taylor Troutt drove in two runs with a double, and three innings later gave the Lions a 4-3 lead with a leadoff homer. Maryland loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth, but Sarah Calta popped up to third to end the threat.
Entering the bottom of the seventh, Maryland was staring an 0-4 weekend in the face. When Datil and Ellazar began the frame with two flyouts, things looked a couple levels beyond bleak. But Corey Schwartz, the team’s best hitter over the weekend, poked a single to left center. Hannah Dewey followed by drawing a walk. Kristina Dillard singled to score Schwartz, and an overthrow by Troutt brought in the winning run. In an incredibly lucky turn of events, Maryland avoided the massive embarrassment of a winless weekend.
Things to be sad about
The Terps lost three straight games to losing teams. Georgetown entered the weekend 2-10, Monmouth 1-3 and George Washington 2-5. I wrote in the Roundtable that I liked their chances in all three contests. Let’s just say my projections were a little off.
Brenna Nation is 1-9 and had her worst weekend yet. In two appearances, the junior allowed 5 runs (4 earned) on 3 hits and 3 walks. She recorded a grand total of one out. Her season ERA now sits at 6.82, which is incredibly high but somehow better than Dewey’s 6.88.
Maryland committed 6 errors in 4 games. Errors are bad. They give offenses extra outs. The Terps had a pair of miscues in each of their three losses, compared to zero from their opponents. 3 unearned runs changed the complexion of the George Washington game in particular.
Lindsey Schmeiser is still missing games. This one is perplexing, because to my knowledge, she hasn’t been a total scratch in any of them. And she’s the best hitter in program history. Schmeiser dealt with a back injury throughout last season, and all parties are understandably cautious. But it’s still strange to me. Hopefully, she’ll be back in the lineup next weekend. The Terps could certainly use her.
Things to be glad about
The third time was the charm against Columbia. The Lions beat Maryland twice last week, on back-to-back days. So to walk them off is a big confidence boost for sure.
Sami Main earned her first career start. The freshman from Frederick, Md., started the Columbia game after four relief appearances. Wright likened her to a sponge, observing and absorbing everything around her. She has a 7.78 ERA in 9 innings this spring, but hurled 5 solid innings against the Lions. Expect more of her going forward (no word yet on if/when fellow freshman Ari Jarvis will enter the circle for the first time).
Corey Schwartz is heating up. The senior second baseman and infield captain (insert shameless self-plug here) was 9 for 14 (.643) and drove in a pair of runs. She upped her season average to .382, second on the squad behind Dillard’s .387. Add in 4 walks and 6 hit-by-pitches, and her on-base percentage is a robust .470.
The 6-13 Terps travel to Norman, Okla. for a five-game weekend slate. They’ll play two games against St. Louis (7-7), one against BYU (12-8) and two against No. 14 Oklahoma (12-4). An 0-5 showing is totally within the realm of possibility, but Wright remains optimistic about the team’s outlook going forward. With six new starters regularly sharing the field, she says that Maryland is struggling with the little things, and that small mistakes add up. It’ll be interesting to see how well the Terps can put this past tournament behind them.