Inheriting a 5-1 deficit in the bottom of the second, pitcher Sami Main entered the circle Sunday to try and salvage Maryland softball from a series sweep to Nebraska.
The senior right-hander allowed another run that put the Cornhuskers up 6-1, but hit a stride the next three innings. Main kept Nebraska off the board, and in turn, kept Maryland’s chances alive.
But while she shut down the Nebraska lineup, the Terps’ hitters continued to falter. After managing just one hit against the Cornhuskers’ in Saturday’s 14-0 slaughter, the Maryland lineup showed little improvement, scoring just one run in the top of the third and totaling five hits on the day.
The deficit proved to be insurmountable, and the series ended with a Nebraska three-run home run, as the Cornhuskers completed the sweep. Entering the weekend Maryland was in the final spot to qualify for the Big Ten tournament — but with one regular-season series remaining and five straight losses, the Terps’ postseason future is in doubt.
“We didn’t hit like we’re capable of hitting,” Wright said. “And we just didn’t pitch to the corners enough, and with that combination, it’s pretty hard to keep the score down and keep ourselves in the game.”
Maryland’s offense had no hits in the first inning and stranded third baseman Anna Kufta on base after she was walked. The Cornhuskers, meanwhile, picked up right where they left off Saturday, scoring a run in the first off an RBI single from left fielder Peyton Glatter off pitcher Sydney Golden.
“We had a hard time adjusting,” left fielder Micaela Abbatine said. “Just not our usual selves. Our fiery offense didn’t really show up this weekend.”
To start the second inning, the Terps again were afforded a free baserunner. First baseman Taylor Wilson was walked before shortstop Bailey Boyd singled up the middle for the Terps’ first hit of the game. But again, it was all for naught. Boyd was stranded on second for another scoreless inning.
Nebraska’s bats came to life in the bottom of the second, starting with an RBI single from pitcher Courtney Wallace that put her team up 2-0.
After Golden’s second walk of the inning, Nebraska was threatening with the bases loaded. Shortstop Tristen Edwards cleared the bases with a double to center field, sending all three runners home as center fielder JoJo McRae was charged with a fielding error.
Down 6-1, the Terps held Nebraska scoreless until the sixth inning with Main on the mound.
“Those three innings, [Main] was very effective,” Wright said. “She came in and worked hard and kept them off the board.”
But with one out and two on base, the Nebraska lineup finally solved the senior. On Main’s second pitch to Glatter, the freshman hit it over the center-field fence for a three-run homer to end the game and complete the sweep.
Maryland will host Michigan next weekend in its last Big Ten regular-season series, still in contention for a conference tournament spot.
“I don’t think our mentality has really changed,” Main said, “in terms of attacking every team that we play and playing Maryland softball.”
CORRECTION: Due to a reporting error, a previous version of this story said pitcher Sami Main issued two walks in the second inning. Sydney Golden allowed the walks. This article has been updated.