Maryland traveled to the Mardi Gras Classic trying to build upon their first win of the season after beating then-No. 1 Florida. The Terps went 1-3-1 over the weekend, bringing their record to 2-11-1 on the season. They beat a solid team in Bowling Green, which was 6-5 entering the game, and played a close game against No. 16 Louisiana-Lafayette. The offense had a rough weekend, getting shut out twice, but Maryland had strong contributions in the circle from Hannah Dewey and Madison Martin.
Friday morning: Drake 3, Maryland 0
The Terps had another good performance on the mound as Dewey pitched seven innings and gave up only three runs. She gave Maryland an opportunity to win the game, but the offense was unable to get any runs on the scoreboard against Drake. Opposing starter Nicole Newman pitched five scoreless innings and got her seventh win of the season. In the five innings, she struck out 12 Terps. Kailee Smith pitched the final two innings and earned her first save of the season. The Terps’ offense had their chances, leaving five runners on base.
Maryland fell behind early as Drake scored two runs in the first. After a leadoff walk, Tasha Alexander hit a home run to left-center. The Bulldogs added an insurance run in the top of the seventh when Sarah Maddox hit a RBI single up the middle.
Friday afternoon: Maryland 3, Bowling Green 0
Maryland won its second game of the season thanks to another strong performance in the circle. Martin won her first game of the season, pitching a complete game shutout. She only surrendered only one hit and struck out two batters, lowering her ERA to 2.96 in the process. The Haley Schrock had Bowling Green’s lone hit in the second inning.
The Terps offense had 13 hits but only managed to put three runs on the board. They left 13 runners on base over the course of the game. If not for Martin’s performance on the mound, the Terps could be kicking themselves for not coming through in numerous opportunities.
Maryland scored all three of their runs in the top of the first inning. Anna Kufta drove in Amanda Brashear for the first run of the game on an RBI single to center. The other two runs of the inning were unearned as the Terps took advantage of an error at second base. Overall, Bowling Green had three errors and the Terps had none
Ending the day with a win...and some Mardi Gras beads! #MardiGradClassic ⚜️ #FearTheTurtle pic.twitter.com/YJfcooo3PF— Maryland Softball (@TerpsSoftball) February 24, 2017
Saturday Afternoon: Bradley 4, Maryland 2
When Maryland took on Bradley in its third game of the tournament, the Terps needed a third starter to step up. After complete games from Dewey and Martin on Friday, Ari Jarvis was called upon to step up in the circle. Bradley scored an unearned run in the first inning, and extended its lead to 2-0 when Megan Mahaffy drove in Caitlyn McCarron with an RBI single.
The Terps got on the scoreboard when Jordan Aughinbaugh drove in Juli Strange.
After Maryland cut the deficit in half, Bradley responded in the fifth inning scoring two more runs. Kelly Kapp reached third on a bunt and a throwing error at third base. Maria Schroeder drove in Kapp extending the lead to 3-1. Bradley picked up another run in the inning when Elizabeth Leonard drove in a run on her single to right field. Jarvis was replaced in the inning by Dewey, who pitched the final 2.1 innings for the Terps and gave up zero runs. Aughinbaugh had another RBI single in the sixth inning, but that’s all Maryland could muster.
Saturday Evening: Louisiana-Lafayette 3, Maryland 0
Maryland lost its second game Saturday to No. 16 Louisiana Lafayette. Martin got the start for the Terps and pitched two innings before being pulled for Jarvis. In those two innings pitched, Martin gave up one run and three walks. Jarvis entered the third with runners on first and second with zero outs. A sacrifice fly by Daniella Chavez scored the lone run of the inning charged to Martin. The Ragin’ Cajuns added two runs in the fourth from an RBI single by Kara Gremillion and an on an error by the pitcher.
The Terps struggled to get on base against Alyssa Denham. The freshman pitcher threw a complete game shutout and gave up only three hits and zero walks. The dominant start got Denham her fourth win of the season.
Sunday Morning: Maryland 5, Dartmouth 5
The Terps concluded the weekend with a weird finish against Dartmouth. Maryland got an early lead in the top of the first from a Strange double that scored Amanda Brashear. The Terps extended their lead to 3-0 in the second after Dewey had an RBI double and Brashear drove her in with a single up the middle.
Dartmouth responded in the bottom of the second by scoring two runs on a Micah Schroder single.
The Terps took advantage of Dartmouth’s mistakes scoring an unearned run from two errors and a wild pitch. The Terps added another run on a sacrifice bunt by Skylynne Ellazar.
Maryland was unable to hold its 5-2 lead, though. Dartmouth was able to pick up a run in the fourth inning when Claire Bird hit an RBI double scoring Maddie Damore. Jarvis was still in the circle in the sixth when she gave up a solo home run to Damore. After walking the next batter, Wright made a pitching change bringing in Dewey. The final line for Jarvis was 2.1 innings and two runs, one of them earned. Dewey entered the game with one out in the sixth and gave up single putting runners on first and third. Dartmouth scored their second run of the inning on a throwing error by the catcher as the runner attempted to steal second base. The game ended with the 5-5 tie when Dartmouth’s travel plans forced a hard 10:30 stop.
Making routine plays remains critical
In their win over Bowling Green Friday, the Terps showed that they can play an error-free game in the field. The Terps made zero errors and Bowling Green was putting the ball in play. Martin only had two strikeouts, proving that the defense behind her was making plays. Meanwhile, Bowling Green seemed to be making the mistakes that hurt the Terps earlier this season. Bowling Green got a complete game performance from their starter, Brooke Parker. She allowed three runs, but only one of them was earned. The errors made a huge difference in the game because in the bottom of the seventh, Bowling Green could have tied the score with one swing of the bat.
Maryland made only one error against Drake and it did not result in any unearned runs. However, Maryland made five errors against Bradley and gave up two unearned runs.
The Maryland bats had a rough weekend, getting shut out multiple times. If the bats are cold, then they need to make sure they can make routine plays that can give them an advantage. They cannot afford to fall behind due to their defense.
State of the circle
Dewey and Martin have proved this weekend that they are the team’s starters going forward. Each of them had a start going at least seven innings. Martin had less success Saturday than she did Friday, but both pitchers are proving they can log innings and keep games competitive.
Jarvis is Wright’s next option out of the bullpen after Dewey and Martin. Lauren Graves had her best outing of the season Saturday against Louisiana-Lafayette, pitching two scoreless innings but she struggled on Sunday as the starter and gave up two runs in two innings. After a rough start to her college career, it would be great if the freshman can develop into a go-to option in the bullpen.
The Terps play Butler, Oregon, Stephen F. Austin, and two games against Missouri next weekend at the Missouri Tournament.