Jaeda McFarland took to the batter’s box for the first time today. Regan Kerr was on first after a hard ground ball got the best of Purdue shortstop Rachel Becker. 

McFarland took the first pitch, then smoked a foul to the left. Then, she made contact again.

The ball sailed into the air and dropped between the center and left fielders. It rolled until it hit the fence. McFarland tripled on her first at-bat and scored Kerr for the Terps’ first run of the day.

Taylor Liguori stepped into the box. She bunted and sprinted up the first baseline. Liguori didn’t make it to first, but McFarland made it home for the Terps’ first run en route to a 8-1 victory over the Boilermakers on Friday, sealing the three-game series. 

[Maryland softball takes one of two from Purdue]

The Terps extended their lead in the fourth frame. After doubling and taking third, infielder Taylor Okada saw her chance to steal the plate. She took a lead, but catcher Kiley Goff saw her. Goff hurled the ball to Becca Jones at third, but the ball got away from her. Okada sprinted home and Megan Mikami took third on the error, with no outs on the board. 

Campbell Kline walked and Sammie Stefan smashed one in the air to right field to score Mikami and advance Kline to third. 

After two consecutive outs at home, JoJo McRae stepped into the box. She couldn’t end the inning with three straight outs. McRae doubled down the third-base line and scored Ruby Butler and Merissa Borkowski.

With McRae in scoring position after a steal at third base, Kerr stepped up to bat. Kerr smashed a line-drive at pitcher Sydney Preston, who couldn’t stop the ball. It charged to the outfield, and McRae scored. McFarland then grounded out to first base, putting a cap on the five-run fourth inning for the Terps.  

McFarland flaunted her offensive capabilities again in the sixth inning. With Gracie Voulgaris on second, McFarland slammed a bouncing hit to the outfield and scored Voulgaris to put the Terps ahead by seven. 

[Maryland softball has found its star in “Air Jaeda” McFarland]

Purdue had had a chance to come back in the third inning. Becker and Goff were on first and second, and Cora Bassett was at the plate. Bassett crushed a line-drive straight at pitcher Courtney Wyche. Wyche took the hit and threw Bassett out at first.

Goff advanced on Bassett’s hit, and Purdue had two runners in scoring position. Kasey Wilhoit bounced the ball to Wyche and she made another play at first to steal the Boilermakers’ scoring chance. 

Purdue scored one runner in the top of the fourth frame. Sydney Bates singled to Butler at shortstop. Butler fielded the ball and hurled it to Kerr at first base. Kerr missed the ball and Jones scored from third base to earn the Boilermaker’s only run of the day. 

The Terps earned their best record in a series so far this season with their strongest offensive showing yet going 2-1 against Purdue.