In the top of the first inning Thursday in Maryland softball’s matchup with Rhode Island, Rams left fielder Sami Villarreal got her team off to a quick start.
The leadoff hitter crushed a home run to left center to give her team a 1-0 lead, and just four hitters later, designated player Susan Harrison hit a two-run blast to put Rhode Island up 3-0.
But Maryland wasn’t going down that easy.
After first baseman Taylor Wilson tied the game with an RBI double, the Terps took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning with a two-run homer from left fielder Micaela Abbatine. And though the Rams fought back in the fifth to tie it up, Maryland wrapped up a 6-4 win with two runs in the bottom half of the inning.
The Terps (14-11) opened their home schedule with a dominating 9-2 win over UMBC earlier in the day and followed up by taking down Rhode Island for a doubleheader sweep to open the Maryland Invitational.
Though pitcher Sami Main allowed three home runs against the Rams, the senior recorded two strikeouts and held off a comeback until Sydney Golden swapped in for her in the top of the sixth inning.
The Terps cut the Rhode Island lead to 3-1 in bottom of the third, after Abbatine first was walked then sent home from Kufta’s single to right field.
“[Abbatine] is probably the hardest working kid on our team,” coach Julie Wright said. “I’m so proud of her, watching all that work pay off at the plate. … She’s always been a talented outfielder, I think you’re just seeing her get to make some plays.”
With the game tied 4-4 in the fifth inning, Okada hit a single from the leadoff spot, then slid home on a wild pitch. Right fielder Amanda Brashear rounded out the inning with the Terps’ sixth and final run of the day, scoring on a Bailey Boyd single down the left field line to seal the game.
The Terps carried over momentum from their first win at home against the Retrievers, in which pitcher Kiana Carr earned her first win starting in the circle. Carr pitched a complete game, allowing just three hits and two earned runs.
“I’ve been impressed with how she’s starting to attack the plate,” Wright said. “She got to start our home season off, so that was really cool.”
Catcher Gracie Voulgaris’ RBI single in the first inning drove in Okada to give Maryland early lead. On the defensive side, Okada snagged a back-handed grab at second base and slung it over to Wilson at first first base to keep UMBC off the board in the third inning.
Maryland extended its lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the third, as UMBC pitcher Courtney Coppersmith walked Voulgaris with the bases loaded. The Terps notched seven hits, seven runs and seven walks against Coppersmith in her outing.
“[Coppersmith] was our first lefty we’d seen,” Wright said. “She does a good job, I think we just kind of wore her out with balls and strikes. I thought our hitters did a good job hanging in there.”
But UMBC tied it up in the top of the fourth. Carr threw a wild pitch that Voulgaris bobbled, allowing the Retrievers to get one back. An RBI single from UMBC catcher Anna Lonchar then eliminated the Terps’ lead.
Carr hit third baseman Imani Dawson with her first pitch of the fifth inning, but the Terps held them scoreless with a double play in the infield. Okada stretched out for the grab at second base, then passed it over to Stefan at first base to end the half inning.
Boyd then smashed a three-run homer, one of her three hits, in the bottom of the fifth to reclaim a 5-2 lead for the Terps.
Maryland’s hitters capitalized off miscues from Coppersmith in the next inning, and the Terps posted four runs to take a 9-2 that carried them to their first home win of the season.