Terrapins softball coach Julie Wright said in February that the name Lindsey Schmeiser had become synonymous with the Terps program.

Her comment came after Schmeiser, a senior infielder, broke the Terps’ all-time home run record with a blast against then-No. 5 Alabama in the Georgia State Tournament. But during a two-week span starting March 5 in which Schmeiser hurt her back and was sidelined, the Terps began a 2-8 skid.

Her absence sapped power from an offense that was already struggling to score. She leads the team with four home runs despite playing in just 18 of the team’s 30 games.

This past weekend, Schmeiser returned to the Terps’ lineup against Ohio State during their first conference series of the season. She went 2-for-4 with two RBIs in the team’s three losses.

“It’s great to have her back,” Wright said. “Offensively, she’s a major piece for us.”

Schmeiser felt “pretty comfortable all weekend” and was happy to be back on the field, though she acknowledged it would take time for her to fully regain her timing at the plate. The veteran only played the field Friday before getting plate appearances in the final two games.

While she recorded a single Saturday, Schmeiser said she didn’t feel her comeback was official until her at-bat in the fourth inning Sunday. With the bases loaded and two outs, she stepped up to the plate and let the first pitch fly by — strike one. Then another — strike two.

She sprung to life on the third pitch, drilling a two-run single up the middle.

While Schmeiser might get more notoriety for her hitting, Wright also mentioned the importance of her defense. She played shortstop against the Buckeyes, which allowed infielder Skylynne Ellazar to shift over to third base.

Wright said the team’s “strongest defense is with those two in those spots.”

Schmeiser’s influence extends beyond her on-field play, though. Before the season, the Dunkirk native helped her teammates become more comfortable in their roles, and even as the team’s losses have mounted, she’s acted as a support system for younger players.

And she’s thrilled with the progress the first-year starters have made. She pointed to Ellazar and outfielder Sarah Calta as examples of the team’s exciting future. Ellazar is hitting .385 and Calta is hitting .311.

For now, though, Schmeiser remains perhaps the Terps’ most important player, and her teammates are relieved she’s back in the lineup.

“She brings a mentality to the game, I think, that we all thrive off of,” Calta said.