In the midst of a busy season, Maryland softball pitcher Madison Martin received a rare private training session Wednesday. Coach Julie Wright and assistant coach Lisa Norris worked with Martin on her pitch mechanics, such as the timing of her hip along with her release point.

The session came after the Terps’ pitching staff allowed 18 walks in the Highlander Classic this past weekend. Maryland has surrendered 106 walks this season, the most in the Big Ten, so Wright focused on improving her team’s ace.

Wright calls for consistency from the pitchers, especially mechanically, such as releasing the ball at the same place every pitch. That was the focus of Martin’s bullpen session, which was in the gym due to snow that hit College Park on Monday and Tuesday.

“Sometimes we try to hit the corners too much, instead of just letting our defense work,” Martin said. “Just going at the batter and attacking.”

The redshirt senior has begun her fifth year at Maryland with a 3.13 ERA, her best since arriving in College Park in 2013. Her 3-4 record is better than last season’s 2-9.

The Edmond, Oklahoma, native wasn’t sure if she’d be able to play this year, though, after ankle surgery last May. It was the second surgery of her college career. She redshirted her junior year after ankle surgery in October 2014. As a result, the coaches work with Martin differently on some drills to keep her healthy.

Martin “is the healthiest she’s been in her career since she hurt her ankle,” Wright said. “She has better stamina through a game, which means she can drive off the mound, which means she can finish pitches.”

But walks remain a problem for Martin and the staff, though for the fourth time in her career Martin has more strikeouts than walks. As the bullpen captain, Martin helps the rest of the pitchers improve.

Five of the 18 walked baserunners scored in the Highlander Classic. Wright said the goal is to limit that number to one or fewer each game. Walks also extend innings, putting pressure on a defense that holds the second worst fielding percentage in the Big Ten (.941).

“When batters do get the ball in play, we need to do a better job of backing [the pitchers] up,” outfielder Destiney Henderson said. “When they are walking, they’re looking for us to make plays behind them.”

Against Tennessee Martin on Friday, Martin gave up a walk to start the second inning. After a sacrifice bunt moved outfielder Lauren Myers to second base, second baseman Juli Strange’s error scored Myers.

Weber State also took advantage of a free base runner Sunday when pitcher Hannah Dewey gave up a leadoff double, followed by a walk. Infielder KyRae Kogianes hit a three-run homer to push the lead to 4-0.

Martin said it’s key to stop the damage before it escalates.

“It’s just buckling down and focusing on that batter, not focusing on what happened before,” Martin said. “So, we just talk about tunnel vision. We’re only focused on that one person at a time.”