Maryland softball finished the Houston Classic with a 4-1 record this weekend, looking much improved from its 2-3 performance to start the season. The starting pitching was much better and the offense came up with big hits when needed. Julie Wright’s team now sports a 6-4 record, the best start of her Maryland tenure.
(Road team listed first)
Friday afternoon: Nicholls State 1, Maryland 2
The Terps and Colonels both had excellent pitching performances, but Maryland was able to take a lead in the third inning and hold on to it for the rest of the game.
Maryland changed things up this weekend, starting redshirt freshman Victoria Galvan in the circle for the opener. Galvan tossed four innings, allowing three hits and surrendering one run as a result of a wild pitch in the first. Junior Kiana Carr came in to pitch in the fourth inning with runners on first and second with no outs. The junior got out of the inning without allowing a run and finished out the game totaling three innings pitched with two strikeouts and three hits allowed.
The Terrapins got their runs in the bottom half of the third inning after back-to-back hits to start the frame. Maryland’s first run came from an RBI groundout from freshman Gracie Voulgaris, and the next batter, sophomore first baseman Sammie Stefan, followed up with an RBI single through the middle of the field to take a 2-1 lead. Stefan lead the Terps’ offense, going 3-for-3 and recording the go-ahead RBI.
Friday evening: Maryland 4, Houston 2
Senior Sydney Golden dealt a complete game against the Cougars in the victory, recording four strikeouts and only surrendering one earned run.
In the third inning, the Terps were trailing 1-0 when redshirt sophomore Micaela Abbatine knocked her first homer of the season over the outfield wall. However, the Cougars answered back with a home run of their own to retake the lead in the bottom half of the third.
A few innings later, the Terps still trailed 2-1, but the offense erupted for three runs in the sixth. Stefan added to her impressive performance from the earlier game by adding another RBI to tie up the game, scoring Jordan McRae on a single. The very next batter, senior Bailey Boyd, cranked a two-run shot over the wall to give Maryland a 4-2 lead.
With a two-run lead, Golden was able to shut the door on the Houston offense and secure the win, capping off a 2-0 day to start the Houston Classic.
Saturday morning: Maryland 8, Louisiana Monroe 0 (5 innings)
After being on the losing side of two mercy rule games last weekend, the Terps picked up a mercy run rule win of their own. The offense exploded, and it was led by freshman second baseman Taylor Okada, who went 3-for-3 with a team-high three RBIs and three runs scored.
Along with a great offensive performance, the Terps’ pitching stayed solid. Senior Sami Main started and finished the game in the circle for Maryland, tallying five innings pitched, allowing only one hit and recording three strikeouts.
The Terps struck first in the third inning, when Voulgaris hit a two-run single into left field to take an early 2-0 lead. After Maryland scored once in the fourth, the offense tacked on five more runs in the fifth. The Terps had the bases loaded when Okada singled down the left-field line, bringing in two. The inning was capped off when junior third baseman Anna Kufta hit a two-run single up the middle giving the Terps an 8-0 lead.
In the bottom half of the fifth inning, Main was able to set down the Warhawks in order, prompting the game to end early in a Maryland victory.
Saturday evening: Maryland 4, Houston 12 (5 innings)
This was a back-and-forth affair for the first four innings of the game. But in the bottom of the fifth, the Cougars’ offense exploded for eight runs to pull ahead and clinch the game at once.
Houston jumped out to a 2-0 lead by the third inning, but the Terps answered back with some fireworks. Kufta knocked a two-run homer over the left field wall to knot things up at 2-2. A few batters later, Stefan added a solo shot to give the Terps a 3-2 lead. In the top of the fifth, Maryland trailed 4-3, but tied it back up after Voulgaris hit a single into center field, allowing sophomore Shelby Younkin to score. However, after tying things up, Houston answered right back in a big way.
Maryland started Carr in the circle, and she tossed 3 ⅔ innings, giving up four earned runs while recording two strikeouts. The Terps used two relievers for the final two innings--Galvan and freshman Amelia Jarecke--and they combined to allow eight earned runs.
Sunday morning: Maryland 6, Nevada 3
Maryland scored in the first inning after Okada hit a leadoff double and was later brought in to score on a Kufta groundout. In the bottom half of the inning, Nevada answered right back, scoring a run of their own. Okada helped out the Maryland offense a few innings later, recording an RBI single to retake the lead.
With a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning, the Terps tacked on some insurance runs. Maryland rallied with two outs, including an RBI single from Amanda Brashear. The junior was brought in to score a few batters later when Voulgaris hit a single into right field.
The Terps got another solid start from Golden, pitching 4 ⅓ innings and only allowing one earned run. With a 4-2 lead, Golden was relieved by Main in the fifth after giving up an unearned run. Main finished out the game throwing 2 ⅔ innings, giving up no runs and only one hit.
In the top of the seventh, Kufta extended the lead by sending one up the middle, plating Okada and McRae. In the bottom half of the inning, the Wolfpack added one run off of an error but Maryland still managed to pull out the 6-3 win.
The pitching improved dramatically. Maryland’s starting pitching was much better this weekend, as the starters combined for only allowing nine earned runs. The pitchers limiting the opponent’s offense gave the Terrapins a chance to always be in the game. One of the standout starters from this weekend was Golden, who totaled 11 ⅓ innings, while only allowing two earned runs. The Terps also got solid performances from Main, as their other senior pitcher finished the weekend with 7 ⅔ innings pitched, allowing just three hits and no earned runs.
The offense found consistency. After scoring just 13 runs in the previous weekend, the Terps came out and recorded 24 runs in the Houston Classic. One of the key players from this weekend was Okada, who excelled in the leadoff spot, going 10-for-18 and recording four RBIs. Stefan also had a great weekend, hitting .357 with three RBIs and one home run. Kufta also picked up where she left off from last weekend, hitting .307 with seven RBIs and two runs scored. Overall, the Terps hit .303 as a team during their 4-1 weekend.
Maryland will be competing in the Amy S. Harrison Classic in San Francisco next weekend, playing against Portland State and UC Riverside on Friday. The Terps will go up against UNLV on Saturday before matching up with their Friday opponents again during the weekend.