Terps Softball Wins One of Two in Doubleheader

By Gill Vesely

The Maryland Terrapins and the St. Francis Red Flash hit the softball field Tuesday for a doubleheader at Maryland Softball Stadium. The teams tied the series, putting up nearly identical scores in both games but finishing with two different victors. The Terps’ early and frequent offense in the first game was nowhere to be found in the second matchup, something Maryland head coach Julie Wright said represented the team’s year so far.

“It’s the story of our season: lack of concentration,” she said after the series. “We don’t put back-to-back great games together. We haven’t done it yet.”

Game 1: Maryland 6, St. Francis 3

Terps starting pitcher Brenna Nation got off to a strong beginning for Maryland, pitching a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the first.

Maryland continued its momentum into the bottom half of the inning. Leadoff hitter Sarah Calta shot a rocket line drive past the glove of Red Flash third baseman Kassidy Troxell, then advanced to second on a ball pitched in the dirt and, a few pitches later, to third on a wild pitch.

Calta continued her aggressive base running, scoring on a close play at the plate following another wild pitch by St. Francis’ Ketarah DeVries.

Maryland’s Skylynne Ellazar then tallied another run for the Terps after teammate Kylie Datil reached on a Red Flash throwing error. The home team led 2-0 after the first inning.

St. Francis’ Madison Cabell cracked open the second inning with a curving liner just inside the third base line for a double. Cabell then advanced to third on an illegal pitch. Jordan Seneca drew a walk then stole second to put two runners on for the Red Flash.

Cabell got St. Francis on the board after a sacrifice fly to deep center field by Troxell allowed her to score.

Jordan Aughinbaugh got the Terps going in the bottom of the second with a double to left center. After walking Maryland’s Corey Schwartz, DeVries left the game and was replaced in the circle by Ethel Santai.

Calta got on base again after beating out a bunt, loading the bases with just one out in the inning. Aughinbaugh came around to score after a Red Flash infield error a few plays later, putting the Terps up 3-1 through two innings.

The Red Flash closed the gap a bit in the top of the fourth after a single by Melanie Martire drove Seneca home, making it 3-2 Terps.

Maryland strung together some hits and got a walk in the bottom of the fifth, loading the bases with no outs in the inning. Two outs later, Aughinbaugh drew a walk to push home Ellazar and make it 4-2 Terps.

DeVries returned to the game in the bottom of the fifth and gave up another run to Maryland’s Hannah Dewey after hitting Schwartz with a pitch. DeVries was replaced again, this time by right-hander Blaire Lauthers. She, too, gave up a quick run after walking Calta with the bases loaded, giving the Terps a 6-2 lead into the sixth inning.

Maryland had two outs in St. Francis’ half of the sixth before Troxell singled to get on base. She scored after a double by Martire, making it 6-3 Terps.

A double play by the Red Flash defense made for a quick, scoreless bottom of the sixth for the Terps, but Maryland was able to hold St. Francis in the top of the seventh. The Terps won 6-3 after outhitting the Red Flash 8-4.

Game 2: St. Francis 7, Maryland 3

Unlike the first game of the series, the Terps were unable to get on the board first, and felt their lack of offense in the early innings come back to bite them at the end of the game.

Both teams struggled offensively through the first three innings as neither side was able to get on the board. The Red Flash hit their stride in the middle innings, though, putting up four runs in the fourth inning and three in the fifth.

Maryland’s Hannah Dewey was in the circle for the first four innings of the second game and was given the loss. Alexis Bower pitched six innings to pick up the win for St. Francis.

Nation made a brief appearance in the second game despite a complete 7-inning performance in game 1. Her outing in the game 2, however, proved to be less successful, as she gave up two hits and two runs.

“I have to be ready to go whenever, and obviously I didn’t do as well as I had hoped [in the second game],” she said. “I just have to work on…having more stamina and just kind of being able to go longer.”

After going 2 for 3 from the plate in the first game, Ellazar had another solid offensive performance in game 2, getting two more hits in four at bats.

Even still, she said the team’s offense as a whole dropped off a bit in the second game. “Between the two games I think we didn’t make adjustments quickly,” she said. “That’s what I feel like really made…the biggest difference.”

Terps catcher Kristina Dillard also went 2-for-4 in the second game, but her contributions wouldn’t be enough to outweigh St. Francis’ nine team hits.

Next up for Maryland is a three-game home series against Michigan State starting Friday, April 8 at 6 p.m.