By Brent Abel
For The Diamondback
After blowing leads in both of its losses to Rutgers on Saturday, the Maryland softball team wanted to improve its ability to close out games.
On Friday, the Terps didn’t get a chance.
With lackluster production at the plate and an implosion on the mound, Maryland fell behind early and extended its losing streak to three games in an 11-2 defeat to Nebraska.
Pitcher Sydney Golden started strong, with a three-up, three-down bottom of the first inning. And at the start of the second inning, Terps first baseman Taylor Wilson recorded the first hit of the game with a single.
Maryland quickly slipped back into old habits, though. In the bottom of the second inning, two batters after a sacrifice fly from Cornhuskers first baseman Madi Unzicker, designated player Courtney Wallace raked a three-run home run, increasing the lead to 4-0.
The Terps continued to struggle in the third inning, unable to take advantage of a one-out walk.
Pitcher Victoria Galvan took over for Golden in the bottom half, and Nebraska managed two runs despite not getting a hit. Galvan gave up two walks and threw a wild pitch to go along with an error from second baseman Regan Kerr that helped push Nebraska’s lead to 6-0.
Maryland took advantage of a Cornhuskers error in the fourth frame to plate a run off a Gracie Voulgaris single, but it was too little, too late. Nebraska answered with a one-spot in the bottom half and poured it on in the fifth and final inning.
Left fielder Micaela Abbatine’s fifth-inning home run was quickly nullified after the Cornhusker’s four-run frame that ended the game early.
Coach Julie Wright replaced Galvan in the middle of the inning with pitcher Sami Main, but Main couldn’t stanch the bleeding.
On her second pitch, the senior gave up a three-run shot to Unzicker, sealing the series-opening loss in five innings.
The Terps will continue the series against Nebraska on Saturday and Sunday, and they’ll need to take both games to win their first Big Ten series of the year.