The Maryland softball team faced Drake pitcher Nicole Newman at the wrong time. The junior leads Division I softball with 94 strikeouts, 12 of which she had in five innings of work against a Maryland lineup trying to establish consistency after beating then-No. 1 Florida for its first win of the season.
But with five hits amid 15 strikeouts against two Drake pitchers in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader, the Terps (2-9) suffered a 3-0 defeat.
Against Bowling Green (6-8) in the second contest, pitcher Madison Martin shined in the circle. The redshirt senior allowed one hit in her complete-game shutout to help Maryland beat the Falcons, 3-0.
Maryland’s continues the Mardi Gras Classic on Saturday with games against Bradley and No. 16 Louisiana-Lafayette.
In the Terps’ loss to Drake (10-5), pitcher Hannah Dewey settled down after allowing a leadoff walk and a two-run homer to start the game. The senior retired nine straight batters spanning the third and sixth innings.
The Terps threatened the Bulldogs’ two-run lead in the fifth frame. Newman hit infielder Jordan Aughinbaugh with two outs, and outfielder Destiney Henderson reached on a bunt single, moving pinch runner Sami Main to second. The pair advanced to third and second on a wild pitch, but Main was thrown out at the plate to end the inning after infielder Juli Strange’s single to third base.
Coach Julie Wright stressed the importance for the Terps to capitalize on their scoring opportunities this series, but they failed to take advantage of the few chances they had against Drake.
Against pitcher Kailee Smith, outfielder Amanda Brashear led off the sixth inning with a single and stole second after infielder Skylynne Ellazar stuck out. While Brashear advanced to third on a ground out, catcher Kristina Dillard struck out to end the inning.
In the seventh, Aughinbaugh singled with two outs, and pinch runner Brigette Nordberg stole second. But Henderson grounded out to end the game.
Maryland’s first run of the day came in the opening frame against Bowling Green when Brashear singled to begin the contest and scored on infielder Anna Kufta’s single. The Terps plated three runs in the inning.
The Terps were a threat in the third frame with a two-out, bases-loaded scenario, but Brashear grounded out to end the inning. They again had the bases loaded in the fifth, but Ellazar grounded into a fielder’s choice with two outs.
Three runs would be all the Terps needed, as pitcher Madison Martin threw a complete-game shutout. She retired the last 14 batters to secure Maryland’s second win of the year.
Martin admitted before the series that she was not an overpowering pitcher but found success by pitching to her defense. Martin induced 13 groundouts compared to two strikeouts.
Strange led the Terps with two hits in both games, while Brashear went 3-for-4 with a double against Bowling Green in the 3-0 win.