In the sixth inning of the first game of a doubleheader against St. Francis, Maryland softball brought the tying run to the plate trailing 3-0. But, as they have often this season, the Terps stranded the runners and failed to convert on a golden opportunity in a 3-0 loss.
The Terps left a runner on base in every inning of Game one against the Red Flash, stranding eight runners, five in scoring position.
After being shut out by St. Francis ace Abby Trahan for the second time this season, coach Julie Wright gathered her team and delivered an emphatic message after their poor offensive showing.
The Terps’ bats woke up in game 2, out-hitting the Red Flash 11-6 in a 7-4 comeback victory.
“Swing the bat. Just be aggressive,” Wright told her team. “Stop being half-in and half-out. We are cannonballing in, we’re not just dipping the toe in anymore. Go play to win, don’t just play to play.”
Early in the second game, Maryland continued to strand runners. The Terps left a runner on third in the first and failed to score in the third after getting runners on second and third with nobody out.
Maryland had taken an early lead thanks to a leadoff homer from second baseman Skylynne Ellazar, but the Red Flash responded with two runs in the second inning to go up, 2-1.
“We weren’t really scoring runs early, but we were hitting early,” Wright said. “So that puts pressure on a pitcher and gains us momentum.”
In the fifth, the Terps finally converted. After loading the bases with nobody out, back-to-back singles by infielders Hannah Eslick and Sammie Stefan gave Maryland a 4-2 lead.
“We knew it was a now or never thing,” Eslick said. “We also do very well passing the bat so once one person hits everybody feeds off that.”
Later in the inning, catcher Anna Kufta hit a three-run home run to break the game open, pushing the lead to 7-2. Maryland sent 10 hitters to the plate in the frame and scored all six runs before recording an out.
“They did a good job of getting on to start the inning,” Kufta said. “We all made a commitment to hit the ball and to swinging and attacking good pitches.”
After right-handers Sami Main and Sydney Golden allowed the Red Flash three runs in game one, Maryland starter Ryan Denhart surrendered four runs on six hits in a complete-game win in game two.
“They’d already seen Ryan,” Wright said. “She’s [thrown] a full game against them at [the Auburn tournament], and they’re legit. They can really hit, so Ryan had to get a little more crafty.”