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Maryland softball struggles all around in series sweep to Indiana

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Maryland pitching, hitting and fielding all struggled this weekend.

julie wright maryland softball Lila Bromberg / Testudo Times

It was a weekend to forget for Maryland softball, as the Terps were handily swept in three games by Indiana. The Hoosiers throughly dominated Maryland, with each game decided by six runs or more.

Friday: Indiana 10, Maryland 1 (5 innings)

It was just one of those games for the Terps Friday, as they opened their series against Indiana. Hitting and pitching struggles led to a 10-1 loss.

The Indiana hitters seemed to have Sydney Golden’s number this game, as the Hooisers piled on 11 hits for nine runs in the first three innings. It wasn’t all on Golden, though, as Maryland’s fielders committed five errors over the course of the game. It’s the most they’ve committed in a single game all season. Sami Main relieved Golden in the fourth inning and pitched the last 1.2 innings, allowing only one run. Golden was credited with the loss, putting her at 8-12 on the season.

Maryland’s offense was stifled by Indiana’s Tara Trainer, who held the the Terps to just one run on four hits. Skylynne Ellazar had the only RBI of the game for Maryland, scoring Amanda Brashear on a fielders choice.

Saturday game one: Indiana 9, Maryland 3

The same struggles that plagued Maryland in the previous contest carried into Day 2 of the series, as the Terps lost Game 2 to Indiana 9-3.

Ryan Denhart made her first appearance of the series, getting the start and pitching all seven innings. Through five frames, Denhart had only allowed three runs, but things got out of hand in the sixth when Indiana put up six runs to take a 9-3 lead.

Maryland hitters didn’t have a great day at the plate either, as they could only muster five hits. Their only runs of the day came on Hannah Eslick’s three-RBI triple. With her second solid game in the last three, Eslick could earn herself more playing time heading into Tuesday’s doibleheader against Rutgers.

Saturday game two: Indiana 9, Maryland 1

The third and final game of the series unfolded in an unfortunate and oddly similar way for Maryland, as late-game struggles again took the team down, losing 9-1.

Golden and Main ended up sharing the pitching duties for this game. Golden pitched most of the way with 6.1 innings with Main coming in to get the final two outs. Like the previous game, it was smooth sailing for Golden up until the final half inning. With Indiana holding just a 2-1 lead, the Hoosiers figured out Golden and put up five runs on her in the top of the seventh. Main came in and allowed two more.

It was another slow game for Maryland’s offense, which managed six hits but only one run coming off a Jacqui Pascual single. There were opportunities for the Terps, being that they left seven runners on base during the game.

Three things to know

  1. The Terps got dominated by a team that shouldn’t have dominated them. Maryland’s record prior to this series was 16-24; Indiana’s was 15-24. But when the two teams played this weekend, Indiana looked like the clearly superior team. In the all-important Big Ten slate, getting swept by lesser or equal opponents is something that can’t happen consistently.
  2. Hannah Eslick may be coming around. Julie Wright has mainly used Eslick as a pinch hitter and situational starter this season. Her play as of late could result in more starts in the near future.
  3. This weekend’s sweep was a huge hit to Maryland’s Big Ten standing. Maryland was at a good-but-not-great place in the Big Ten standings prior to this series with a 5-4 record. This weekend’s series was an opportunity for the Terps to boost themselves further above .500, but the sweep puts Maryland at 5-7 and even further down the totem pole.

On deck

Maryland is in for some early action next week, playing a quick doubleheader against Big Ten foe Rutgers on Tuesday. The first game will start at 5 p.m. ET with the second game scheduled for 7:30.