Maryland softball swept in four-game series against Nebraska

Freshman center fielder Jaeda McFarland may be a freshman in college, but a leader on the diamond. (Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics.)

Maryland softball (14-22) lost all four games to Nebraska (20-16) this weekend, keeping the first two games close, but the run deficit grew in the final two games of the weekend.

In game one, Maryland suffered a 2-1 loss, despite a strong performance from sophomore Trinity Schlotterbeck who struck out four Cornhuskers and gave up five hits. Schlotterbeck didn’t receive run support from her offense, as the Terps totaled only three hits. Freshman center fielder Jaeda McFarland went 0-2; however, in the third inning stroked a sacrifice fly that scored junior first baseman Regan Kerr.

Nebraska senior pitcher Olivia Ferrell recorded the win with four strikeouts and allowed only three hits in a complete game.

The Cornhuskers turned five hits into two runs for the win. In the first inning, freshman short stop Billie Andrews hit a home run over the center field fence. Three innings later, junior catcher Anni Raley (2-2) hit a single down the left field line, which in turn scored senior designated player Tristen Edwards.

Game two was a similar close affair, as Maryland suffered a 4-3 loss. The Terps outhit the Cornhuskers, but couldn’t pick up the victory. Senior pitcher Jennifer Brann recorded the loss in five innings pitched. She struck out four batters, but gave up three walks and five out of the five hits.

In the third inning, the Terps tacked on two runs with sophomore right fielder Campbell Kline’s single, which scored freshman pinch runner Merissa Borkowski and junior second baseman Taylor Okada (2-4).

Late in the game, Nebraska was able string several hits together as Maryland couldn’t maintain the lead it held for five innings. The Cornhuskers scored all four runs in the fifth inning.

Andrews (2-3) hit a two-run homer, he second of the day. Senior second baseman Cam Ybarra kept the rally going with another two-run shot giving Nebraska the 4-3 lead. Cornhuskers junior pitcher Courtney Wallace earned the win with four strikeouts and allowed only one earned run in 5.1 innings pitched.

On Saturday, Maryland suffered a tough loss 8-4 in game three against Nebraska. Maryland sophomore pitcher Courtney Wyche took the loss with just two strikeouts, one wild pitch and allowed five hits.

Again, Maryland out-hit the Cornhuskers 11-7. McFarland (3-4) led off the first inning with a home run. The Terps ended up coming back from behind to gain the lead 4-3 in the sixth inning.

Junior pinch hitter Haley Ellefson (1-1) stroked a single up the middle of the diamond, which let Kerr score. McFarland came up clutch again with a RBI single that scored junior short stop Ruby Butler. Okada (1-3) followed with a single, scoring Ellefson. That big inning ended up being the last of Maryland’s scoring as the Cornhuskers bats continued to stay hot.

Nebraska freshman pitcher Kaylin Kinney (2-2) knocked two balls over the fence, one in the second inning and the other in the fourth inning, scoring Ybarra. Andrews (2-3) hit a two-RBI single and took second on the bad throw. Senior center fielder Rylie Unzicker and Edwards scored.

Nebraska continued to build on its lead with senior catcher Ally Riley (1-3) singling, allowing Andrews to score. Freshman left fielder Abbie Squier (1-3) singled as well, which brought senior first baseman Sarah Yocom and freshman pinch runner Camyl Armendariz home.

In the series finale, the Terps were mercy ruled 8-0. Ellefson recorded the loss with only strikeout, four hits and five earned runs in 1.2 innings pitched.

Collectively, the Terps had only three hits once again struggling with the Cornhuskers pitching. Okada, Ellefson and freshman third baseman Michaela Jones each hit a single.

Wallace recorded her second win of the series in a complete game. She struck out three Terps, had no walks and allowed no runs.

Kinney (2-2) hit her third home run of the weekend to left center field in the first inning this time a three-run shot. In the following inning, Unzicker (1-2) hit a two-RBI single, that scored Edwards and sophomore third baseman Brooke Andrews.

Ybarra and Billy Andrews continued their strong weekends lacing their second and third home runs of the weekend respectively, finding success against the Terps’ pitching staff throughout the weekend.

While Maryland’s pitching staff struggled giving up home runs, the Terps will look to bounce back once again on the road against Rutgers (7-29).

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