After spending two years on the softball team at Towson, Bailey Boyd thought her playing days were over.

She didn’t practice following the 2017 season and transferred to Maryland — her parents’ alma mater and her lifelong dream school — planning on just being a regular student.

But after some encouragement from friends, Boyd decided to meet with coach Julie Wright and join the Terps.

After spending one year as a seldom-used utility option, Boyd has carved out a role at shortstop, establishing her spot in the middle of the lineup and gaining confidence with regular playing time.

“I had a lot of people encouraging me, saying, ‘You might regret it if you don’t at least try at Maryland,’” Boyd said. “So I reached out to coach Wright, and she gave me an opportunity to be on the team. … It was kind of last-minute.”

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Boyd went to James Hubert Blake High School in Silver Spring, where she was named to the All-Met team in her junior and senior seasons. Her impressive high school career gave her the opportunity to play at Towson, where a couple of her friends were also going to play.

In her two seasons with the Tigers, Boyd recorded a .194 batting average, six homers and 22 RBIs, 17 of which came in her freshman season.

Towson wasn’t like Boyd thought it was going to be. She said she expected “more” while playing there, and it just wasn’t the right fit for her despite it being a great program.

“I did have a good time while I was there, but I just wanted something different,” she said.

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Under the impression that she wasn’t going to play collegiate softball anymore, Boyd transferred to the school she’d wanted to attend since she was little. She planned to major in economics and minor in business, as she had at Towson. But those around Boyd wouldn’t let her forget about her softball aspirations.

So she reached out to Wright in mid-August 2017. And after a quick meeting, Boyd was officially on the Maryland softball team.

In that first meeting, Wright got the impression that Boyd was very shy, but those assumptions quickly dissipated as she saw her open up to the team.

“She’s not [shy] at all,” Wright said. “She’s actually a hilarious kid … just a wonderful human being, great teammate and emerging into kind of a leader, which has been really fun.”

Though Boyd decided to join the squad late, she didn’t feel like a newcomer for long thanks to the Terps’ camaraderie.

Infielder Taylor Wilson said Boyd’s presence on and off the field gives the team a huge boost, whether it’s guiding younger players as a senior leader or staying positive in the dugout.

“Even when she’s not having her best game,” Wilson said, “you can always count on her to have a great attitude.”

While Boyd’s transition to the team went smoothly, she’s had to acclimate to a heavier course load at Maryland. Even so, she has no regrets with her decision.

“I had to make some adjustments, but I wouldn’t change it,” Boyd said. “I’m really excited to be graduating from this university over Towson.”

Boyd has also shown growth as a hitter in Maryland’s first three tournaments of the season. Her .447 slugging percentage is nearly 150 points higher than last season, and she already has 13 hits through 14 games for a .342 batting average.

“You’re going to see that all season. She’s going to be a very good hitter for us,” Wright said. “She’s doing all the things that make Bailey Boyd great.”