Maryland softball starter Sydney Golden battled through the first three innings against Ohio State on Saturday, allowing four runs — two unearned — on four hits.
But the levee broke in the fourth, with the Buckeyes scoring five runs to take command of a game they went on to win 9-5.
After mashing five home runs and seven extra base hits off starter Ryan Denhart on Friday, the Buckeyes again showed off their power in game two of the series Saturday, with four of their eight hits going for extra bases.
The Terps offense scored five runs for the second straight game, just the second time this year Maryland has scored at least five runs in consecutive games.
But Maryland (18-32, 7-12 Big Ten) also continued to struggle on defense, making three errors leading to three unearned runs. In addition to defensive miscues, the Terps gave Ohio State (31-11, 12-6) plenty of free baserunners, with Golden walking four Buckeyes and Denhart issuing two free passes in relief.
As they did in game one, the Buckeyes took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, this time via a two-run home run. After the leadoff hitter reached on an error, Golden got two outs, but second baseman Emily Clark hit a 3-1 pitch over the left field fence to give the Buckeyes the lead.
Maryland scored on an error to come within 2-1 in the top of the third, but the Buckeyes responded with two runs in the bottom-half of the frame.
Then, they broke the game open in the fourth with a two-run single, RBI double, run-scoring groundout and a costly throwing error on a fielder’s choice.
The Terps avoided a fourth consecutive run-rule loss by scoring in the top of the fifth on an RBI double by catcher Anna Kufta.
Maryland showed life in the seventh, using a two-run triple by left fielder Amanda Brashear and a sacrifice fly by Kufta to come within four runs, but couldn’t come any closer.
The Terps have lost four consecutive weekend series and are 3-12 since the end of their five-game winning streak in late March. Saturday’s four-run defeat was the closest of Maryland’s 12 conference losses.