Maryland softball went 1-2 against the Ohio State Buckeyes this weekend. The Terps’ first Big Ten conference win came on a 3-2 walk-off victory on Friday, but they went on to lose the next two games in blowout fashion.
Julie Wright’s team now sits at 17-17 overall, but the Terps are off to just a 1-5 start in Big Ten play.
Friday: Ohio State 2, Maryland 3
The Terps walked it off in the series opener after junior Kiana Carr beat the throw at home to capture the 3-2 victory.
It was a pitcher’s duel on Friday, as both teams only combined for five runs. Senior Sydney Golden started in the circle and pitched a great game, tallying seven innings while allowing just one earned run on seven hits. Ohio State’s starter, senior Morgan Ray, also tossed a complete game, allowing three two hits and two earned runs.
The Terps and Buckeyes traded one run each in the first frame. The Buckeyes scored on a sacrifice fly, but Maryland answered right back. Sophomore JoJo McRae led off the game with a walk and was quickly put into scoring position on a wild pitch. The following batter, junior Amanda Brashear, laid down a perfect bunt, allowing McRae to come all the way around to score. With the game tied 1-1, Ohio State added another run to take the lead in the third after sophomore Kallie Boren ripped a single.
In the top of the sixth, the Buckeyes put runners on second and third with no outs. Golden was unfazed, as she put down the next three batters in order to prevent any runs. In the bottom of the frame, the Terps used some small ball to get back into the game, similar to the first inning. This time, McRae was brought in to score on single from junior Anna Kufta, tying the game at 2-2.
In the top of the seventh, Golden got herself out of another jam. In the bottom of the frame, sophomore Taylor Wilson led off with a hit-by-pitch. Carr pinch ran for Wilson and later advanced to second on a wild pitch. With the winning run on second, freshman Regan Kerr grounded out to short, but the throw from first to third trying to get Carr out rolled into the outfield, and the Terps walked it off with a 3-2 win.
Saturday: Ohio State 10, Maryland 1 (5 innings)
Sami Main started in the circle for the Terps but had a rough outing. The senior only surrendered three hits but was hurt by the five walks she issued. Main finished with just 1 ⅔ innings pitched and allowed four earned runs. Sophomore Victoria Galvan relieved Main, tossing 3 ⅓ innings and allowing four runs on four hits. For Ohio State, sophomore Lauren Rice had an impressive performance, throwing five innings and allowing just three hits and no earned runs.
The Buckeyes scored in the first inning after Main issued three walks, allowing one run to cross the plate. In the bottom of the frame, McRae led off with a walk and stole second. The sophomore later advanced to third on a groundout, but Maryland was unable to bring her in.
In the second inning, Ohio State tallied five runs, four of which came off two homers. Freshman Kaitlyn Coffman led things off with a solo shot to make it 2-0. Main then walked back-to-back batters to set up a three-run bomb over the left field wall off the bat of senior Lilli Piper, making it 5-0.
The Terps got their first run on the board in the bottom of the third after Ohio State committed two consecutive errors. With runners on first and third, senior Bailey Boyd poked a line drive into right field, plating Brashear.
In the top of the fifth, Ohio State scored three more runs, including two coming on a double from Boren to extend the lead to 10-1. With the nine-run margin, the Terps were in danger of being mercied. In the bottom of the frame, sophomore Sammie Stefan sent one to the wall in an effort to plate a couple runs, but it was just a long flyout to end the game.
Sunday: Ohio State 15, Maryland 3
The Terps used four different pitchers in an effort to slow down the Buckeyes’ offense. Carr started the game and pitched three innings, allowing six runs on six hits. The junior was relieved by freshman Amelia Jarecke, who only faced two batters and she walked both of them. Galvan then allowed three earned runs in two innings, and Main finished the game by surrendering five earned runs in her two frames.
In the second inning, Ohio State scored the first two runs of the game. With two outs and runners on first and second, freshman Ashley Prange roped a bases-clearing double down the left field line. In the following inning, the Buckeyes added four more runs after multiple walks and a few base hits.
The Terps got on the board in the bottom of the third. Kerr led things off with a walk and was able to reach third on a couple wild pitches. A few batters later, McRae brought in Kerr on an infield single. Kufta later drove home McRae on an RBI single, cutting the score to 6-2.
The Buckeyes added an unearned run in the top of the fourth, but the Terps answered right back. With two outs in the bottom of the frame, Stefan cleared the left center field wall to trim the deficit back to four runs.
But the Terps couldn’t contain the Ohio State offense down the stretch, as the Buckeyes added three more runs in the top of the fifth. After a leadoff triple, a few more hits extended the lead to 10-3. Maryland went scoreless for the rest of the game, and Ohio State poured on five runs in the seventh to put the rubber match even further out of reach.
At the plate
Maryland’s bats were pretty quiet this weekend, as the Terps only totaled seven runs and 12 hits throughout the three games. The at-bats did seem improved, however, as Maryland batters were working the counts much better and drawing more walks.
Stefan was one of the bright spots in the lineup this weekend, going 4-for-9 and blasting her fourth homer of the season. But the rest of the offense had just eight hits combined, as Ohio State pitchers had their way.
“I think they are effectively wild,” Wright said of the Buckeyes’ staff. “I think that there was adjusting that we didn’t do, that I think we can do.”
“I think they did a good job of commanding the zone, down in the zone,” Stefan said. “Putting the ball in places where it’s tough to hit.”
In the circle
The Terps got a very solid pitching performance from Golden in their 3-2 win. The righty pitched a complete game, allowing just one earned run on seven hits, while also racking up three strikeouts. Perhaps the most impressive part of the performance was not allowing a single walk, an area where the pitching staff struggled last weekend.
With the exception of Golden, though, the rest of the Maryland pitchers weren’t able to shut down the Buckeyes’ offense and also struggled with walks. Carr, Galvan, Main and Jarecke combined to allow 22 earned runs and 17 walks in just 12 innings.
The Terps will travel to East Lansing next weekend to take on Michigan State. The Spartans are currently 11-21 and are on a five-game losing streak.