Maryland softball finished the Carolina Classic in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with a 1-2 record after one of the four scheduled games was called in the fifth inning due to rain. The Terps now hold a 10-8 record for the season.
(Road teams listed first)
Friday morning: George Washington 5, Maryland 2
The Terps left 10 runners on base and opened the weekend with a loss.
Senior Sydney Golden started in the circle for Maryland and finished the game with 3 ⅔ innings pitched, with one strikeout and four earned runs on nine hits. Golden was pulled in the fourth and replaced by junior Kiana Carr. Carr inherited two runners in the inning and only allowed one to score, giving the Colonials a 5-0 lead. The junior finished with 3 ⅓ innings pitched, while only allowing one hit.
In the sixth inning, the Terps had the bases juiced with two outs, but they weren’t able to plate any runs. The following inning, freshman Taylor Okada stayed hot, cranking a two-run homer over the right field wall. Unfortunately, it was the only spark the offense got in the game.
Friday afternoon: Cancelled (Maryland led 11-2 in 5th)
Senior Sami Main started and finished the game for the Terrapins. Main gave up two early runs but settled in, tossing 4.1 innings and allowing two runs on four hits. Main also had some difficulty with control, giving up five walks.
Florida Atlantic struck first with two runs in the second inning, but Maryland quickly answered back in the third and fourth to take the lead. With two outs and runners on first and second in the third inning, sophomore Taylor Wilson hit a single into left center, scoring junior Anna Kufta and freshman Gracie Voulgaris to tie things up at 2-2. The following inning, the Terps tacked on three more runs. Kufta ripped a two-run homer to center field, and a few batters later, senior Bailey Boyd followed with a solo shot to give Maryland a 5-2 lead.
In the top of the fifth, Maryland poured on six runs to give the Terps an 11-2 lead. The inning opened up with three consecutive walks to load the bases, allowing Okada to bring in two runs off a single. Kufta then followed up with a two-run single of her own and the inning was capped off with Kufta scoring on a single from freshman Regan Kerr.
But in the bottom of the fifth, with Maryland closing in on a mercy-rule win, the game was called due to rain. All stats, and the win that was just two outs from being sealed, were wiped away.
Saturday evening: Maryland 5, North Carolina 11
The Terps committed three errors on defense, and they proved costly. Maryland started Main in the circle, who only tossed 2.2 innings and surrendered five runs, but only one of them was earned as a result of errors. Maryland also used Golden, who pitched 3.1 innings, allowing six runs but only three were earned.
The Terrapins fell behind early after the Tar Heels scored three runs in the second inning and then added five more in the following frame. Maryland’s offense couldn’t get anything going until the fourth, where the visitors erupted for five runs.
In the top of the fourth, the Terps had runners on first and second for Wilson. The first baseman cranked the first pitch she saw for a three-run homer to put the first runs of the game on the board. A few batters later, Okada started a two-out rally with a double. The freshman was brought in to score a couple batters later when Kufta roped a two-run double to make the score 8-5.
After cutting the deficit to just three runs, North Carolina added three insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth to extend their lead to 11-5. In the following two innings, the Terps only got two runners on base, dropping the game to the tournament host.
Sunday afternoon: Maryland 17, UNC Greensboro 9 (8 innings)
After tallying five runs in the first inning, the Spartans didn’t score again until the seventh, but they were able to force the game into extra innings. Once it got to extras, though, the Terps offense made sure to end it. Maryland’s 17 runs scored were its most since 2015.
It was nearly an hour-long first inning, as both teams combined for nine runs. Kerr hit a two-run double to left field to extend the Terps’ lead to 4-0. But in the bottom of the inning, Maryland got into some trouble. Redshirt freshman Victoria Galvan started things off in the circle but only lasted five batters, giving up four earned runs. Galvan was then relieved by Main, who also faced five batters. The Terps finally turned to Golden, who pitched the rest of the game, allowing nine hits and three earned runs with four strikeouts.
The Terrapins added three runs in the fifth inning to retake the lead, and it came from the bat of Wilson. The sophomore first baseman continued a great weekend with another three-run home run to give Maryland a 7-5 lead.
However, the Spartans offense came back alive in the bottom of the seventh, scoring two runs to tie things up at 7-7. Then in the top of the eighth, the Terps exploded for 10 runs. Voulgaris recorded the go-ahead hit, then Okada drove in two with a single, then Kufta broke the game wide open with a two-run homer.
Trailing 17-7, the Spartans put two runs on the board off of a home run, but it wasn’t enough, as the Terps were able to hold on for the win.
A milestone weekend
Over the weekend, Golden recorded her 200th career strikeout and junior outfielder Amanda Brashear tallied her 100th career hit. Golden, the senior right-hander, has been the workhorses of the Maryland rotation, pitching a team high 64.2 innings and possessing a team-low 3.25 ERA so far this season. Brashear, a junior outfielder, has hit .314 on the year, with eight RBIs and 13 runs scored.
“I was really excited and really grateful and all, because not many people get to do that in their career,” Brashear said of her milestone.
Swinging hot bats
Even without counting the stats from the FAU game, Okada continued her hot streak, and Wilson seems like she is also catching fire. Okada went an incredible 7-for-13, including one home run along with four RBIs and four runs scored. Wilson hit .364 this weekend and hit two home runs, while recording six RBIs and three runs scored.
“I think I was more calm,” Wilson said about her approach. “I felt like I worked really hard this work so I was just looking for good pitches.”
The Terps travel to Florida next weekend to compete in the Stetson Invitational, where they will take on Fairfield and Stetson on Friday. Maryland will also face UT-Martin and Bethune-Cookman on Saturday before facing UT-Martin again on Sunday.