Maryland stumbles out of the gate, loses 22-0 to Ohio State

By Eddie Hobbs

Coming into the game against Ohio State today, Maryland looked to rebound after a tough loss on Saturday against the Buckeyes. The Terps struggled on all facets of the game and fell to Ohio State 22-0, as the game  ended after the fifth inning due to the mercy rule. The rule comes into play when a team is down by more than eight runs after the fifth inning.

Early on in the game, Maryland pitcher Hannah Dewey was trying to bounce back from a difficult outing on Saturday, but just wasn’t able to halt the Ohio State hitters. In the first inning, after walking the first two batters, Ohio State shortstop Lilli Piper hit a shot out to left field. Amanda Brashear grabbed the ball and launched it to Kristina Dillard at the plate, it took one bounce, and Dillard promptly tagged out the Ohio State third baseman, Anna Kirk. That seemed like the only positive play for Maryland today, as Dewey couldn’t keep the ball in the strike zone and walked a few Ohio State batters which lead to the early 1-0 lead for Ohio State.

Later in the first inning, Ohio State’s designated hitter hit a pop up between Maryland third baseman Juli Strange and short stop Anna Kufta. Miscommunication led to the ball hitting the ground as both of the players looked at one another. Instead of ending the inning, a Buckeye ran home and scored and the inning continued. Ohio State would score one more run in the frame to take a 3-0 lead, Head Coach Julie Wright talked about the communication issues after the loss.

“We talked about it in pregame, it’s probably why you saw me a little bit upset,” Wright said. “We just talked about that and that’s a lack of focus on their part. They need to learn that [communication] is an important thing… helping each other, and seeing things that you don’t see when going after the ball… that was definitely talked about.”

In the second inning, everything fell apart for Maryland. Ohio State would score 13 runs in the frame and had 14 hits combined in the first two innings and had a commanding 16-0 lead after two. Maryland would cycle in five pitchers throughout the game, giving some of the other arms some reps as the game looked to be out of reach. Madison Martin, Ari Jarvis, Sami Main, and Lauren Graves would all come in to pitch after  Dewey. Coach Wright discussed some of the things that the two main starters, Dewey and Martin, will go over in practice this week after some difficult games this weekend.

“They’re veterans [Dewey & Martin] they understand things happen in this game, which you don’t love,” Coach Wright said. “They’ll get back to work this week. A couple things that were happening here is that they couldn’t keep the ball down enough, and that will be a big focus for the two of them for the week.”

Throughout the next three innings Ohio State would score five more runs to push its lead to 22-0 and the game was called in the fifth due to the mercy rule.

Maryland will head to the Midwest to take on the Michigan State Spartans for the first time this year. The first game will be on Friday  at 1 p.m.