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Maryland softball goes 1-3 at Auburn Invitational

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The Terps started the weekend with a win, but leave the tournament 2-7 this season.

Julie Wright Maryland softball Photo by Maryland Athletics

Maryland softball played in its second tournament of the year this weekend in Auburn. The Terps won their first game, but dropped four straight games to close out the tournament.

Saturday game one: Maryland 4, Delaware 1

The weekend got off to a good start for Julie Wright and the Terps, who picked up their second straight win going back to last weekend.

Ryan Denhart got the start and played spectacular, pitching a full seven innings and giving up only one run. The freshman surrendered three hits and one walk while recording two strikeouts in her first career victory.

Skylynne Ellazar got the scoring started early, hitting a two-run home run in the first inning to put the Terps up 2-0. Ellazar finished 2-for-3 on the day, improving her batting average to .632 (12-for-19) on the season. Bridgette Nordberg found her own rhythm offensively, also going 2-for-3 and adding two RBIs.

It was a complete performance for the Terps, not committing a single error and controlling the game from the start.

Saturday game two: #13 Auburn 12, Maryland 1 (5 innings)

Sydney Golden had one of her worst starts of the season, pitching only two innings and giving up seven earned runs. She was relieved by Sami Main, who also couldn’t stop the Tigers offense, letting three runs across in just 1.1 innings.

To make matters worse, Maryland’s offense never got anywhere close to matching Auburn’s production, only mustering one hit the entire game. Nordberg scored the Terps’ lone run on a passed ball after drawing a walk in the second inning, then put her team in the hit column with a single in the fourth.

The game ended after only five innings, being that Auburn led by more than eight runs after the fourth.

Sunday game one: St. Francis (Pa.) 1, Maryland 0

The hitting woes continued into Sunday, as the Terps were shut out in the loss.

Denhart was back on the mound, and again had another strong outing, pitching her second complete game of the weekend. Denhart held St. Francis scoreless through the first five innings, but finally ended up letting one across on an RBI single in the sixth, which ended up being enough to beat the Terps.

The Maryland offense was stymied once again, this time only collecting three hits and not even getting a run across the board. The Terps had a chance late in the game to draw even, having runners on first and second base in the 7th inning, but pinch hitter Lauren Graves struck out swinging to end the game.

Nordberg did continue her strong hitting weekend, though, going 2-for-3 again and improving to 5-7 for the tournament.

Sunday game two: #13 Auburn 8, Maryland 0 (5 innings)

Maryland closed out the weekend with a shot at redemption against Auburn, but faced all the same problems in another five-inning bout. The Terps’ offense was also at its worst all season, this time not even managing a hit against Auburn pitcher Makayla Martin.

Golden allowed two runs in the second inning and was pulled for junior Sami Main to start the third. Main lasted just one inning, giving up two unearned runs in the third and two earned runs in the fourth. Graves entered to finish that frame, then allowed a pair of runs in the fifth.

The game ended after five innings again, since Auburn hit a two-run single to make it an 8-0 game in the bottom of the fifth. Golden was saddled with another loss, putting her at 1-4 for the season.

The standouts

Ryan Denhart is really starting to come into her own, as she was the only consistently good pitcher for the team all weekend. The freshman tossed two complete games, and only giving up one run in each of those starts. While she didn’t have to face the premier team in the tournament in Auburn, her performance as a freshman is very encouraging.

Skylynne Ellazar played well in the Delaware game, knocking in two runs, but didn’t do much outside of that. However, she’s still hitting a team-high .435 this season. Bridgette Nordberg also had a decent weekend at the plate, going 6-for-9 over the four games and raising her batting average to .280.

The rest of the team was mostly quiet. Maryland didn’t put up the same fight against Auburn that it did against UCLA last weekend, and the slumping offense kept the Terps off the board in the loss to St. Francis.

On deck

Maryland is back at it next weekend when the Terps hit their next tournament in Gainesville, Florida. They’ll play No. 2 Florida twice, as well as Iowa State, Georgia Southern and Illinois State.