Each year, when the Maryland softball team flies out to California for non-conference tournaments, the trips serve as homecoming weekends for a third of the roster.
And in the opening day of the Amy S. Harrison Classic, the same rang especially true for starter Sydney Golden, who returned to Riverside, California, to strike out three in seven innings during the Terps’ comeback win over UC Riverside.
After falling to Portland State 13-8 in the first game Friday, the Terps rallied back in the seventh inning against UC Riverside to capture an 8-3 victory and split its opening day of the weekend.
The Terps (7-5) trailed the Highlanders for six innings but came alive in the seventh inning, driving home eight runs to top the host of the tournament.
Golden allowed a solo homer in the second to put Maryland behind, 1-0, before a two-out, two-RBI single from Melanie Olmos gave UC-Riverside a three-run edge in the fourth.
From there, though, Golden held the Highlanders scoreless and set up the Terps’ seventh-inning rally.
Designated hitter Sammie Stefan led off the frame with a single, and after two walks, a hit by pitch and two singles, Maryland tied the game at three. Stefan hit a two-run single later in the frame and shortstop Bailey Boyd drove in the final run with a base knock, securing the Terps’ 8-3 win.
To open the tournament, too, the Terps trailed early. Portland State struck first to take a 2-0 lead in the opening inning. This time, though, the Vikings would not give up their lead for the rest of the game.
Though the Terps clawed their way back into the game each time it seemed as if Portland State was pulling away, a late surge from the Vikings proved too large of a task.
Once Portland State took a five-run lead in the fifth inning, the Terps made a switch in the circle. Victoria Galvan swapped in for starter Sami Main, but the Vikings still scored two more runs on the freshman.
The Terps stormed back in the fifth inning, starting with a single to shortstop from outfielder JoJo McRae and ending with an RBI single from Stefan that plated catcher Gracie Voulgaris.
The Terps were within three runs going into the sixth inning, but it did not take long for the Vikings to regain a dominating lead, despite Golden entering the circle in relief of Galvan.
Third baseman Anna Kufta and Voulgaris hit back-to-back singles in the bottom of the sixth to bring the Terps within four runs going into the final inning, but the Vikings got another runner home for an insurance score.
Stefan finished 4-for-7 with three RBIs, and Maryland returns to action Saturday against UNLV and UC-Riverside.