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Maryland softball splits midweek doubleheader with St. Francis

The Terps came up short in the first game, but bounced back to win the second.

Julie Wright Maryland softball Photo by Maryland Athletics

Maryland played a quick double-header before their series against Indiana, playing St. Francis at home. It was night and day foe the Terp offense between each game, as Maryland ended up splitting the series.

Game one: St. Francis 3, Maryland 0

The Terps losing woes continued into the first half of the Wednesday double-header, as they fell to St. Francis 3-0.

Sami Main was named the starter by Julie Wright, and the junior pitched five innings allowing three runs. Main started a bit shaky, loading the bases in the top of the first, but avoided a nightmare scenario and only allowed one run that inning. She would allow a home run in the following inning and another in the top of the sixth, but generally settled down and pitched well.

“Sami Main’s been getting some good innings for us, and we wanted to get her a start and give her a chance against some really good hitters and see how she did,” Wright said after the game. “And it helped us with Golden and Denhart to get them a little bit of rest.”

Sydney Golden would relieve Main in the top of the sixth, pitching the final two innings without allowing a run. It seemed as though Wright wanted to let Main go the whole game, but at that point she’d totaled 83 pitches and needed relief.

It wasn’t a lack of opportunities that kept the Terps off the scoreboard offensively, as they left eight runners stranded on base over the course of the game. Key opportunities were missed in the bottom of the fourth, when the Terps couldn’t capitalize off a Taylor Wilson triple, and in the bottom of the sixth, when Skylynne Ellazar and Bridgette Nordberg each got on base but were left stranded. Cross and Nordberg hit well, though, each hitting 2-for-3.

A play of note happened in the top of the sixth inning, when shortstop Mikayla Werahiko made a diving stop to keep a ball from leaving the infield. It wouldn’t end up having a significant impact on the outcome of the game, but the play did keep a runner from scoring.

Game two: Maryland 7, St. Francis 4

The Terps finally shook out of the offensive funk, knocking seven runs across to beat St. Francis 7-4.

Skylynne Ellazar got it started early for the Maryland offense, homering in the first inning to get things started. It looked as though Maryland was headed towards another game with multiple scoring opportunities left on base, but the offensive explosion in the bottom of the fifth quelled any talk of that.

Trailing 2-1 entering that half-inning, the Terps scored six runs off a Hannah Eslick two-run single, a Sami Stefan RBI single, and an Anna Kufta three-run home run to cap it off. The inning stretched the lead to 7-2, where it would stay until the Red Flash added two more runs in the top of the sixth.

“In between the games we talk about making our adjustments,” Eslick said. “So we really focused on making small adjustments so we could put the ball in play more and get our barrel to the ball.”

Ryan Denhart was given the reigns for second game, tossing all seven innings and allowing four runs. Like Main, Denhart started out a bit slow, allowing two runs in the first two innings, but settled in for the rest of the game and got the Terps the win.

”She had to get a little more crafty,” Wright said of Denhart since this is the second time Denhart has faced St. Francis (previously in a 1-0 loss on Feb. 18). “I thought she did a real good job with that.”