By Dominic Gugliotta
Coming off a walk-off win in 11 innings against the Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday night, the Terps carried momentum into Saturday and took the second game of the three-game set 5-2. The Terps received offensive output from almost every member of the lineup, as eight of the nine starters reached base with a hit.
Maryland started junior pitcher Sami Main for only the second time this season. Head coach Julie Wright was very happy with the way her pitcher played for the Terps.
“We felt like this was a really good matchup for Sami Main and she came in prepared, and was ready, and did her job exactly as we needed,” said Wright.
The Terps also received an outstanding relief pitching performance from freshman Ryan Denhart as she pitched 3.2 innings of shutout softball. Denhart only surrendered two hits throughout her outing and was able to preserve the lead that Maryland gained in the fourth inning.
The Terps were able to get after Iowa’s Kenzie Ihle early as Mikayla Werahiko and Destiney Henderson began the game with back-to-back singles. After a pop out by Skylynne Ellazar, Anna Kufta and Brigette Nordberg delivered singles to drive in the two early baserunners.
After three scoreless innings for Main, Mallory Kilian sparked the Hawkeyes offense with a solo homerun over the left field wall. In the same inning, Aralee Bogar hit a deep triple scoring her teammate Allie Wood and tying the score at two.
The Terps responded immediately in the bottom-half of the frame. Senior outfielder Destiney Henderson provided the eventual winning run with her sacrifice fly scoring sophomore Kassidy Cross. Skylynne Ellazar followed this sacrifice fly with a single to right field that scored two other Terps in JoJo McRae and Mikayla Werahiko. Ellazar was able to advance to third on an error committed by the Hawkeye’s outfield.
For the remaining three innings, the Hawkeyes offense was unable to solve freshman pitcher Ryan Denhart. She was able to shut the door on any comeback efforts with her ability to hit almost every spot that catcher Anna Kufta provided.
“Ryan has always been a big-time pitcher,” Wright said. “She has always been in big spots, been a big-time pitcher, played on great clubs. She is a winner.”
The Terps now extend their winning streak to four games and improve their record to 14-20 (4-1 Big Ten) with their 5-2 win. The Terps will look to complete the series sweep on Easter Sunday at 12 p.m.