Last weekend against No. 14 Michigan, Maryland softball had only six hits in three games. On Friday against Ohio State, Maryland’s lineup had a bit more success, scoring five times against starter Morgan Ray.
However, Maryland was unable to quiet the Buckeyes’ potent offense, dropping the series opener, 13-5, in six innings.
In the loss, which was Maryland’s fourth straight, home runs plagued the Terps. Entering the contest, starter Ryan Denhart allowed 15 home runs. She allowed five on Friday.
Coach Julie Wright’s team has now lost 10 consecutive weekend games. Six of those games were shortened because of the run rule. Since the beginning of April, the Terps are 4-11, with all 11 losses coming by six or more runs.
Ohio State’s hitters knocked Denhart around early. In 5 ⅓ innings, she allowed 13 hits and two walks accounting for 11 earned runs.
The Buckeyes took an immediate lead, scoring twice in the first, and capitalized on a four-run second inning during which they hit a pair of two-run home runs.
Maryland battled back in the third, though. The Terps recorded three runs on an RBI double by third baseman Brigette Nordberg and an RBI single by designated player Hannah Eslick. And in the fifth, the Terps scored twice on a dropped third strike and an RBI single by center fielder Kassidy Cross.
However, Ohio State’s outburst in the sixth helped it secure the win in the series opener.
Shortstop Lilli Piper started the onslaught with a two-run home run against Denhart. Second baseman Emily Clark added another two-run shot to centerfield. First baseman Ashley Goodwin’s solo home run pushed Ohio State’s lead to seven and chased Denhart from the game.