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Maryland softball goes 2-3 at Stetson Invitational

The Terps played five games decided by one run, but finished the weekend with a losing record.

Julie Wright Maryland softball Photo by Maryland Athletics

Maryland softball finished this weekend at the Stetson Invitational with another 2-3 record. Every game that the Terps played was extremely close, as each contest was decided by just one run. Maryland ended up suffering from a lot of costly errors and mistakes, which resulted in plenty of unearned runs. The team’s record now sits at 12-11 this season.

Game summaries

(Road teams listed first)

Friday afternoon: Fairfield 6, Maryland 5

The Stags scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning and were able to hold off the Terps in the bottom half to secure the win.

Maryland jumped out to an early lead, tacking on four runs on six hits in the first inning. With runners in scoring position, senior Bailey Boyd singled up the middle, plating two quick runs. A few batters later, Boyd was brought in to score on a single from sophomore Sammie Stefan. The hits kept coming, as Stefan scored the fourth run of the game after sophomore Taylor Wilson knocked her in.

After the big offensive inning, though, the Stags put up five unanswered runs and possessed a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning. With two outs, junior Anna Kufta rocker her fourth homer of the season to tie things up, 5-5.

The Terps started senior Sydney Golden and she pitched the entire game. The right-hander threw seven innings, while picking up three strikeouts and allowing six runs, including the go-ahead run in the seventh. In the bottom half of the inning, the Terps couldn’t answer back as they went down in order.

Friday evening: Maryland 5, Stetson 6 (8 innings)

The Terps were one out away from walking away with a 5-3 win in extras. But with runners on first and second, Stetson outfielder Elizabeth Jackson hit a two-run single to tie things up. The following batter, Ashly Smith brought in Jackson on a walk-off double into center field, resulting in a heartbreaking loss for Maryland.

Senior Sami Main started in the circle for Maryland and pitched great until she ran into some trouble in extra innings. Main pitched 7 ⅔ innings, allowing just one earned run, and picked up an impressive eight strikeouts. However, Main did have some difficulty with control as she issued eight walks.

Trailing 1-0, Maryland’s first runs came in the fifth inning after a leadoff double by Boyd. The next batter, Stefan, plated Boyd after following up with a double of her own. Stefan later came home to score after a single off the bat of redshirt sophomore Micaela Abbatine.

The Hatters answered back with one run in the bottom of the fifth, and neither team scored in the sixth or seventh, sending it to extras. In the top of the eighth, the Terrapins added three runs to take a 5-2 lead. It started with an RBI single by Kufta, who was later brought in to score on an error by the Stetson third baseman. The inning was capped off by Boyd, who continued a great start to the weekend with an RBI triple. But in the bottom half of the frame, Stetson added on four runs, including the winning run from the walk-off double.

Saturday afternoon: UT-Martin 4, Maryland 5

The Terps took a late lead in the sixth inning and were able to hold off the Skyhawks in the seventh to secure their first win of the weekend.

Kiana Carr started her third game as a Terp and went 4 ⅔ innings, surrendering four runs on seven hits. The junior was relieved in the fifth by Golden after giving up the tying home run. Golden finished out the game, tossing 2 ⅓ innings while allowing just three hits and no runs with two strikeouts.

Maryland scored in the first inning off an RBI double by Stefan and tacked on two more runs in the second. The Terps opened the game with three consecutive singles and followed it up with a few sacrifice hits. Junior Amanda Brashear hit a sac fly and Kufta hit an RBI groundout to extend the Terps’ lead to 3-0.

The Skyhawks answered with four unanswered runs, as they scored two in back-to-back frames. It wasn’t until the sixth when the Terps took the lead back. Sophomore JoJo McRae opened things up with a triple and later scored the go-ahead run on a Taylor Okada single. McRae had a great game, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored and throwing out a potential run at the plate.

Saturday evening: Maryland 3, Bethune-Cookman 2

It was a strange game between the Terps and Wildcats, as the five total runs scored were all unearned. In addition, both teams were being no-hit until the sixth inning. Trailing 2-0 in the sixth, the Terrapins plated three runs to take the lead.

Main started in the circle for the Terps and had another great outing. The senior surrendered her only hit of the game in the sixth inning, and finished the night with seven innings pitched, three walks, one strikeout and no earned runs.

The Terps committed four total errors and two of them came in the fourth inning. After a walk and an error, the Wildcats scored the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly. The second run of the game came a few batters later after a throwing error.

In the sixth inning, Maryland loaded the bases after a couple of singles and a walk. With the bases juiced and no outs, Bethune-Cookman recorded two quick outs. Sophomore Shelby Younkin then came in to pinch-hit for freshman Gracie Voulgaris in a crucial situation. Younkin put the ball in play, and this time, the Wildcats made the throwing error. The pitcher threw it by the first baseman and the mistake cleared the bases, allowing the Terps to take a 3-2 lead.

Sunday afternoon: Maryland 2, UT-Martin 3

The Terps were leading for the majority of the game, but the Skyhawks clawed their way back, scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Maryland scored first in the third inning after Wilson led off with a double. The sophomore was brought in to score a few batters later on a single into center field by Okada. In the top of the sixth, Wilson added an insurance run on a solo shot over the right field wall, extending the lead to 2-0.

Golden started the game in the circle for Maryland and finished with 5 ⅓ innings pitched, allowing two hits, two unearned runs and picking up five strikeouts. The senior got into some trouble after an error and a hit-by-pitch. The righty was then relieved by freshman Amelia Jarecke, who had a tough time finding the plate. After a couple of walks and a wild pitch, the Skyhawks jumped out in front, 3-2.

The Terrapins had a chance to answer back in the top of the seventh, but the heart of the lineup went down in order.

Costly mistakes

The Terps beat themselves in most games this weekend, as they committed nine errors in their five games. Between walks, errors and wild pitches, Maryland gave up 10 unearned runs, which accounted for almost half of its opponents’ 21 runs. Other mistakes like walks and wild pitches gave other teams extra opportunities, and more often than not, they took advantage.

“We’re still growing, and I think this is the time to grow right now,” Main said. “I’d rather be growing now, making a few mistakes and learning from those now, than that happening in Big Ten.”

In the circle

The two seniors, Golden and Main, were important factors over the weekend. Golden started in two games and relieved in one, pitching a total of 16 ⅓ innings, and she allowed five earned runs and racked up 10 strikeouts. Main was also very impressive this weekend, tossing 14 ⅔ innings while surrendering one earned run and picking up nine strikeouts.

“[Main] was kind of a warrior out there,” head coach Julie Wright said. “[She] competed and found ways to get out of jams.”

“I was just staying relaxed,” Main said. “I knew I had my defense behind, so it was just a matter of getting the girls to get themselves out.”

At the plate

Wilson picked up right where she left off from last weekend, hitting .357 with two RBIs and two runs scored, including launching her third home run. Kufta led all Terps in runs batted in with four, while also scoring three runs. Boyd and Stefan also recorded three RBIs each, as they were big factors in the Terps’ offense this weekend.

On deck

The Terps will finally be playing at home this coming weekend as they host the Maryland Invitational. Maryland opens things up with a doubleheader on Thursday against UMBC and Rhode Island. The Terps then will face Bryant on Friday and end things with Villanova on Saturday.