By Ryan Connors
Maryland softball pitcher Kaitlyn Schmeiser was on a roll when Ohio State catcher Erika Leonard stepped up to the plate with two outs in the seventh inning with Maryland winning three to one.
Schmeiser needed one more out to salvage the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader after the Terps were mercy-ruled in the first game. But Leonard stood in her way.
The Ohio State junior took Schmeiser deep to tie the game at three. Leonard broke the game open in extra innings with her second homer of the day, another two-run shot that put the score at 9-3.
The Buckeyes first took the lead in the eighth inning on a Cammi Prantl double to right that Lindsery Schmeiser initially ran in on before running back to the warning track, but she was unable to make the catch. Shortstop Maddy McIntyre hit a three-run homer in the very next at bat to make it a 7-3 game.
Schmeiser exited the game having given up nine runs, all earned, on 10 hits. Six of those runs came in the eighth inning, which turned a solid start into an unfortunate one.
“She pitched really well for us today and, you know, in the end she didn’t have much in the tank, and she was trying to grind it out,” coach Courtney Scott Deifel said. “She’s earned to have the ball when the game’s on the line.”
Erin Pronobis provided most of the offense for the Terps with a three-run home run in the first that gave Maryland a lead that lasted until the seventh inning. The senior brought the tying run to the plate in the eighth when she grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the game.
Schmeiser retired the first 11 batters she faced before giving up a single to center Prantl with two outs in the fourth inning. Prantl came around to score when Schmeiser was unable to make a diving catch on a line drive to right field hit by McIntyre.
Ohio State starting pitcher Lena Springer was solid after giving up the home run to Pronobis in the first. The sophomore held the Terps scoreless from the second inning until the eighth, when Maryland broke through for two more runs.
Lindsey Schmeiser extended her hitting streak to 13 games Sunday, but the junior from Dunkirk, Md. was still looking for ways to improve her performance after the game.
“I didn’t even know I had a hitting streak,” she said. “I think I overthought a lot of my at-bats today and it kind of showed, so I think it’s just keeping things simple, sitting a side of the plate, and crushing it.”
The Terps will travel to Bloomington on Friday to face Indiana University for a three-game series.