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Maryland softball weekend recap: Terps finish 2-3 at FAU Tournament

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The Terps won a wild one on Saturday night but dropped three games in total, including two to Columbia.

Maryland softball went 2-3 over the weekend at the Florida Atlantic tournament in Boca Raton, Fla. Here’s what you need to know:

Game Summaries

Friday morning: Boston 2, Maryland 3

Skylynne Ellazar stayed hot, driving in the Terps’ first run with a second-inning single. Sarah Calta’s two-run knock in the bottom of the sixth extended the lead to 3-0. Madison Martin was fantastic in the circle, holding the Terriers scoreless through 6 innings. She struck out 6 and walked only 1. After allowing a leadoff single in the seventh, she was relieved by Hannah Dewey, who allowed the runner to score before surrendering an unearned run. However, with two runners on and no outs, the lefty put away the final three Boston hitters to seal the victory.

Friday afternoon: Maryland 1, Columbia 4

Brenna Nation gave up 4 runs in the first inning and was pulled. Madison Martin tossed 5 shutout innings, but Columbia’s Tessa Kroll quieted the Terps all day. She got the complete-game victory, allowing only an RBI double to Dewey in the seventh. The Terps had 8 hits but left 9 runners on base in the game.

Saturday afternoon: Columbia 4, Maryland 2

Same opponent, same unfortunate result. Hannah Dewey got the start, but allowed a run in the second and 3 in the third. Suddenly, the Terps were down 4-0 again. The Terps’ offense was largely anemic once again, as lefty Tonia Wu shut them out for the first 5 innings. Maryland finally broke through for a pair of runs in the sixth, but the rally ended with runners on second and third.

Saturday night: Maryland 8, Florida Atlantic 7 (11 innings)

This was a wild, wild game. Kristina Dillard knocked a two-run homer in the top of the first, but the host Owls scored 1 in the second and 2 in the fourth to grab a 3-2 lead. Run-scoring singles from Dewey and Dillard gave the Terps the edge again in the top of the fifth, and the 4-3 advantage held entering the last of the seventh. But FAU’s Emily Lochten led off the frame with a game-tying home run to center against Dewey. Time for extra innings.

Extra innings in softball start with a runner on second base (it’s always the last batter of the previous inning). Runs that score don’t count against a pitcher’s ERA, but they do count on the scoreboard. Neither team could score the runner in the eighth, but Emily Libero delivered in the top of the ninth to push the Terps ahead, 5-4. Brenna Nation came on to close the game out but surrendered the tying run. Kristina Dillard brought home Kylie Datil with a sacrifice fly in the 10th, only for the Owls to tie it up again in the bottom of the inning.

Corey Schwartz started the 11th with an RBI double to left-center, and Ellazar singled her in with two outs. FAU scored one on a Dillard throwing error in the bottom, but it wasn’t enough. Maryland won the longest game it had played since 2009, and Nation earned her first win of the season. She pitched the last 3 innings; Martin and Dewey each tossed 4. Dillard was the star at the plate, going 3 for 3 and driving in 4 runs.

Sunday morning: Stony Brook 10, Maryland 4

Saturday night’s marathon of a game ended at 12:22 a.m., and the Terps were back in action just 11 hours later. Nation started the game but didn’t have it. She gave up 3 runs and exited with just one out in the top of the first. Martin came on in relief and held the Seawolves in check over the next 5 innings. The Terps cut the deficit to 4-3 in the fourth via RBI singles from Ellazar and Dewey, but Stony Brook pulled away in the sixth. After the leadoff hitter walked, Hannah Dewey came in for Martin and allowed runs, plus the inherited runner (unearned). By the time Maryland was at bat again, the score was 8-3. Dewey drove in a run in the sixth, but Stony Brook scored 2 in the seventh.

Three up

1. Madison Martin was brilliant in the circle. The redshirt junior hurled 23.1 innings and surrendered only 3 earned runs (0.90 ERA). She gave up just 18 hits, struck out 23 batters to 10 walks allowed. Her best work was done on Friday, when she gave up 1 run total in 11 innings of work. Prior to this week, she had thrown only 9 innings all season, but expect her to be treated as the ace for the near future.

2. Kylie Datil is heating up at the plate. The junior center fielder was a team-best 8 of 17 (.471) this weekend, raising her average to .325 on the season.

3. Kristina Dillard’s hot start continued. Her performance Saturday against FAU was brilliant, but she was solid all tournament long. Overall, she was 7 for 17 with 6 RBIs. She currently holds a team-high .388 average to go with strong defense behind the plate.

Three down

1. Lindsey Schmeiser was rarely available. The senior shortstop and Maryland’s all-time home runs leader dealt with a back injury throughout last season, and this weekend Julie Wright decided to protect her. She had just 2 hits in 5 at-bats, and it's still unclear if she'll be fully ready to roll this coming weekend.

2. Destiney Henderson cooled off big-time. The sophomore was just 2 for 15 (.133) in the tournament. However, even when she’s cold at the plate, her defense in right field remains incredibly valuable to the team.

3. Dillard and Ellazar’s early hitting streaks came to a close. Both players entered the weekend having hit safely in all 10 games. Dillard’s streak ended at 11 games on Friday afternoon, while Ellazar went hitless for the first time on Saturday (12 games). However, both were quite impressive, especially since softball games only last 7 innings and batters don’t have as many at-bats.

On deck

The 5-10 Terps will take part in the District Invite this coming weekend. They’ll play Georgetown on Friday, Monmouth and George Washington on Saturday, and (gulp) Columbia on Sunday.