Maryland softball had a rough weekend against Nebraska, as the Terps couldn’t get anything going on offense or slow down the Cornhuskers’ bats on the other side. The Terps were mercy ruled in all three games, the first time that’s happened in a series this season.
Maryland now sits at 20-28, with a 4-16 record in Big Ten play, tied with Iowa for the second-fewest wins in the conference. The series against Michigan next weekend will be the determining factor of whether or not the Terps get into the 12-team Big Ten tournament.
Friday: Nebraska 11, Maryland 2 (5 innings)
A three-run no-doubt homer over the left field by senior Madi Unzicker forced the game to end due to the mercy rule in the fifth inning.
It was a rough outing for Maryland ace Sydney Golden. The senior only pitched two innings and allowed four runs on two hits. In the second inning with runners in scoring position, Unzicker plated one run on a sac fly. A few batters later, freshman Cassidy Wallace launched a three-run home run to take an early 4-0 lead.
In the third inning, redshirt freshman Victoria Galvan came in to pitch for the Terps. The Cornhuskers capitalized on the Terrapins’ mistakes as they put runners in scoring position as a result of an error. In the same inning, Nebraska scored one run on a wild pitch and tacked on another via sacrifice fly to take a 6-0 lead.
In the top of the fourth, the Terps had runners on the corners with two outs. Freshman Gracie Voulgaris collected a clutch bloop single into right field to plate Maryland’s first run of the game. But Nebraska came back in the bottom of the frame, scoring another run off a sacrifice fly to take a 7-1 lead.
Redshirt sophomore Micaela Abbatine hit a laser over the left field wall on the first pitch of the fifth inning to cut it to 7-2. In the bottom of the frame, Galvan ran into some trouble and was relieved by senior Sami Main. The righty came into the game with runners on first and second and no outs. The first batter she faced launched a home run to make it 11-2 and end the game early.
Saturday: Nebraska 14, Maryland 0 (5 innings)
The Terps’ offense mustered just one hit in the blowout loss. On the other side of things, the Cornhuskers totaled 14 runs on 13 hits, resulting in another mercy rule victory.
Junior Kiana Carr started in the circle for Maryland, tossing just 1 ⅔ innings. The righty allowed four runs on three hits, but issued six free passes, resulting in extra opportunities for the Nebraska offense.
Nebraska totaled four runs in the second inning on a couple of RBI singles and five total walks. Galvan came into the game with bases loaded in the second, but forced a groundout to escape the inning.
Nebraska held a 5-0 lead entering the fourth inning, but poured on nine more runs to blow the game open. With a runner on third and two outs, the Cornhuskers’ batters reached base safely nine consecutive times, including a two-run triple by Unzicker. The inning was capped off by a two-run double by junior Bree Boruff to give Nebraska a 14-0 lead.
In the top of the fifth, senior Bailey Boyd reached base on a fielding error, but the offense couldn’t get anything going, recording three outs without putting any runs on the board.
Sunday: Nebraska 9, Maryland 1 (6 innings)
Golden got the start in the series finale, but struggled again. The senior only pitched 1 ⅓ innings and allowed six runs on five hits.
With a 2-0 lead in the second inning, junior Tristen Edwards came to the plate with the bases loaded. The shortstop roped a line drive to right center field for a bases-clearing triple to give the Cornhuskers a 5-0 lead. After the big hit, Main came into the circle. The first batter she faced, junior Samantha Owen, laid down a squeeze bunt, scoring Edwards and making it 6-0.
In the following inning, sophomore JoJo McRae led things off with a double and was moved over to third on an infield error. Junior Anna Kufta drove a long fly ball to the warning track, and McRae tagged up and scored, giving the Terps their first run of the game. Maryland loaded the bases with one out in the inning, but stranded all three runners.
In the fourth inning, Main recorded two quick outs, but surrendered three walks to load the bases. The senior got herself out of a huge jam, picking up a big strikeout of Unzicker to keep the score at 6-1.
After Maryland scored one run in the third inning, the Terps only tallied one hit for the rest of the game. In the sixth, freshman Peyton Glatter crushed a three-run homer over the center field fence to give the Cornhuskers another mercy-rule victory.
At the plate
Maryland scored just three runs in the three-game set and went 9-for-58, with a .155 average as a team. In the first two games of the series, the Terrapins totaled four hits, and in the last game they recorded five hits but just one run. Maryland also struck out 16 times in the series, compared to the Cornhuskers’ five. McRae and sophomore Taylor Wilson led the Terps in hits this weekend with two apiece. Abbatine also launched her third homer of the season.
In the circle
Maryland’s pitching staff had a rough time against the Nebraska offense, allowing 34 runs on 26 hits. The 34 runs were the most allowed to an opponent in any Big Ten series this season. Of the 34 runs scored, 27 of them were earned in this blowout series. Main had a solid weekend in relief, pitching four innings and allowing four runs on three hits.
The Terps will be back home next weekend to take on the Michigan Wolverines in their final series of the year. Michigan is one of the top teams in the conference, with a 36-11 record overall and an 18-1 mark in the Big Ten, and is riding a seven-game winning streak.