Terrapins softball team freshman walk-on pitcher Sami Main was throwing in the bullpen Sunday morning before her first college start when veteran pitcher Madison Martin gave her some pointers.
Martin, who leads the team with a 2.08 ERA, showed Main how to throw her change-up more effectively. Main said the redshirt junior’s leadership has had a big impact on her game.
It’s this type of togetherness and teamwork that has flourished under first-year coach Julie Wright, outfielder Sarah Calta said.
The Terps (6-13) will need to continue their cohesive play to succeed this weekend in the Oklahoma Invitational, which includes tough games against No. 13 Oklahoma (12-4), Brigham Young (12-8) and St. Louis (7-7), Calta said.
Wright doesn’t expect her team to be fazed by the level of competition, though. The Terps nearly beat then-No. 5 Alabama earlier in the year and managed an extra-inning upset over Florida Atlantic, which had received votes for the top 25.
“We’ll go out and hopefully play our brand of softball,” Wright said.
With a collection of players, including Main, stepping into larger roles this year, Wright said it’s taken time for the team to gel, though players are improving in that regard.
Calta initially struggled to adjust to new expectations — the junior became an everyday outfielder after being used mostly as a pinch runner last season. She started the season hitless in her first 11 at-bats.
She showed signs of improvement, however, with a breakthrough performance in Washington during the District Invite.
At the invitational, Calta discovered adding power to her swings made her more comfortable at the plate. In a game against George Washington on Saturday, she went 2-for-2 with a triple, walking once, and scored three runs.
The Terps’ growing comfort in their roles and togetherness might not be enough against top-tier teams like Oklahoma, which went 22-1 at home last season. Therefore, Wright said she is more worried about the way her team plays than its record at the five-game tournament.
She said the team must “challenge [itself], attack and make adjustments” as it finishes its nonconference schedule before Big Ten play starts March 25.