Maryland (8-12) struggled against No. 24 Northwestern (18-2), the class of the Big Ten, winning game two of the series, while dropping games one, three and four.
In game one, the Terps were mercy-ruled in six innings and lost 9-0. Sophomore pitcher Trinity Schlotterbeck recorded only one strikeout, three walks and gave up five earned runs. Junior pitcher Haley Ellefson came in, but also struggled with one strikeout, two walks and three earned runs. The Terps only had three hits in the game as junior infielder Ruby Butler picked up one of those three with a double.
The Wildcats were unstoppable in this game. Junior pitcher Danielle Williams pitched a complete game recording eight strikeouts with no walks or runs allowed. Northwestern pounced on the Terps pitching staff with 10 hits led by graduate student utility player Morgan Newport who went 1-3 with a home run. Sophomore utility player Angela Zedak also found success going 2-3 with a double, two RBIs and a run.
After a tough game one, Maryland bounced back with a 4-3 victory in game two. Ellefson recorded her first win and only allowed a walk and two hits. Freshman outfielder Jaeda McFarland enjoyed a strong all-around performance with a home run, two runs scored and a stolen base. Junior right-fielder Taylor Okada went 1-3 with a triple, a walk and a run.
Although the Wildcats finished with more hits than the Terps, they weren’t able to capitalize. Senior infielder Rachel Lewis went 2-4 with two triples and a run, while Newport also went 2-4, with a single and a double. However, Maryland’s pitching staff held strong to secure the win.
In game three, Northwestern showed off its might with a 10-3 victory. Schlotterbeck picked up the loss struggling with control as she walked four and gave up five earned runs. Maryland’s lineup struggled to solve Northwestern’s pitching with just three hits, two of which came courtesy of sophomore infielder Taylor Liguori.
Northwestern’s offense used the long ball to build a sizable lead as Lewis homered twice while junior catcher Jordyn Rudd and Zedak each had one as well. That offensive surge continued into game four, where Maryland suffered a 9-4 loss. Senior pitcher Jennifer Brann recorded her fourth loss of the season, struggling with control walking three and allowing four earned runs.
McFarland led Maryland’s lineup with a double and two RBI’s, while sophomore outfielder Campbell Kline went 1-2 with a triple, an RBI and a run scored. batted .500 with a single, a double and two RBIs. Williams shut down the Terps lineup for the second time of the series with four strikeouts and no walks in 6.1 innings.
Head coach Mark Montgomery offered high praise for Northwestern explaining that they could compete for a college World Series title. Despite the three losses, Montgomery complemented the team’s fight.
“Our young Terrapins, they are doing a great job,” he said. “They’re learning how to fight. They’re learning how to not give up. They’re learning how to battle with everybody and I think that came out in display.”
Next up, Maryland has another home series hosting Michigan State beginning on Friday at 5 p.m EST on BTN+.