After watching Rutgers come back late to win the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader, Maryland softball was looking to add an insurance run onto its two-run lead in the nightcap.
Designated player Sammie Stefan stepped up to the plate with two outs and bases loaded in the fifth, and on right-hander Whitney Jones’ third pitch, the sophomore drilled a grand slam over the left field fence, just squeezing it inside the foul line to give the Terps a 6-0 lead.
Stefan’s seventh homer of the season seemed to set Maryland up with enough run support to steal one of two games Tuesday. But the Scarlet Knights fought back to post six runs in the fifth and sixth innings, forcing extras and winning it with a walk-off homer from catcher Katie Wingert, securing a 7-6 win and doubleheader sweep over the Terps.
The starting Maryland pitchers in both games — Sydney Golden in the first and Victoria Galvan in the second — pitched four scoreless innings. But both pitchers began to falter in the fifth inning, opening the door for Rutgers comebacks.
In the first game, Golden allowed just two hits and one run in five innings after Maryland picked up an unearned run in the third.
Left fielder Micaela Abbatine hit a ground ball through Rutgers pitcher Corah Price’s legs through the middle to start the Terps’ rally. With right fielder Amanda Brashear at bat, Wingert overthrew a pass from home plate to first base, allowing Abbatine to get in scoring position on second base.
Rutgers got its first runner on base in the bottom of the fifth, and the floodgates opened. The Scarlet Knights got their first hit of the day on a single from Erin Collins and, despite great defensive plays from Golden and the Terps’ infield, tied the game 1-1.
Right handed reliever Sami Main replaced Golden but as soon as the senior entered the circle the Scarlet Knights went on the offensive, hitting a single and then a RBI double to take a 2-1 lead. Main walked and hit the next two Rutgers hitters, setting the stage for a two-run single from first baseman Nicole Bowman to push the lead to 4-1, one that would remain until the end of the game.
Maryland hit three consecutive singles early in the second game after center fielder JoJo McRae struck out to lead off the first inning.
After first baseman Taylor Wilson drove a RBI single to send Brashear home, the Terps went up 2-0 when second baseman Regan Kerr hit an RBI triple. Then, the team took a commanding 6-0 lead on Stefan’s grand slam.
Galvan pitched a hitless game until the fifth inning, when third baseman Myah Moy hit a single to left center for Rutgers’ first knock. The Scarlet Knights cut the Terps’ lead in half with a two-run single that inning.
After Rutgers came within one run on a two-run single in the sixth, pitcher Kiana Carr came into the circle to hold the lead. But on Carr’s third pitch, Moy forced a fielding error from shortstop Bailey Boyd, the team’s only error of the game, and tied the game up at six.
In the eighth inning, catcher Gracie Voulgaris got a hit, but the Terps couldn’t drive her in. Wingert then hit the game-winning home run, hitting the left field pole and securing Rutgers’ sweep on the Terps.