Maryland softball was tied with Iowa at two in the sixth inning. The Terps were down two outs with no runners on base.
Then, leadoff hitter Regan Kerr stepped into the batter’s box.
She took the first three pitches. A ball, then a strike, then another ball.
Kerr swung at the fourth pitch, and the pop of the bat rang through the diamond.
The ball flew over the right field fence. Cheers erupted from the Maryland bench as Kerr rounded the bases and secured the win for the Terps.
Although Maryland won their second contest of the day against Iowa, the Hawkeyes had taken the lead in the fourth frame. With Grace Banes on first and Riley Sheehy on second, Denali Loecker tapped a sacrifice bunt to advance both of her teammates into scoring position.
Milkowski stepped into the box. She bunted, and Sheehy sprinted, crossing the plate before the Terps could make a play.
Kit Rocco stepped up next. She popped a high fly ball to shallow center — and to Jaeda McFarland. Rocco was out, but Banes was running. McFarland shot the ball to Voulgaris behind the plate. As Banes dove headfirst, Voulgaris dropped to her knees but failed to get the plate in time, and Banes scored Iowa’s second run of the game.
But Iowa’s lead didn’t hold. Kerr and McFarland both singled early in the fifth. Pitcher Lauren Shaw fired the ball into the dirt, past Milkowski and batter Micaela Abbatine. Kerr and McFarland both advanced on the error.
Abbatine popped the ball up to second base, where shortstop Banes dove for but missed the ball. Kerr raced over the plate, and Abbatine advanced to second.
Michaela Jones took the plate next. As she smashed the ball to right center, Abbatine took off, crossing the plate on Jones’s RBI triple to tie the game at two — and later, Kerr’s homer gave the Terps the win.
In the first game, Maryland softball was back in extra innings with zeroes on the board. Iowa was up to bat with Aralee Bogar on second.
The game on the line, Sammy Diaz stepped into the box and bunted to pitcher Trinity Schlotterbeck. Diaz didn’t get to first base, but Bogar made it to third. Then, Brylee Klostermann grounded out to Ruby Butler at shortstop to put the Hawkeyes down another out.
With two outs and Bogar on third, the pressure was building for Schlotterbeck. Nia Carter stepped up to the plate next and was intentionally walked — and suddenly, there were runners on first and third.
Carter took a risk. She bolted to second. Gracie Voulgaris rocketed the ball to Butler at second base, but it dropped just shy of the bag. Butler fielded the ball and hurled it back to Voulgaris, hoping it would make it to the plate before Bogar could.
But the ball dropped. Bogar slid over the plate before Voulgaris could make a play. The Terps lost their first game of the day in a cloud of dust.
Unlike in their game yesterday against Purdue, the Terps were unable to generate any offense against Iowa and Allison Doocy’s clean pitching. Kerr reached second base on a steal in the first frame, but that’s as close as the Terps got to the plate until extra innings.
The Hawkeyes had a chance to score in the second inning. Schlotterbeck walked both Lindy Milkowski and DoniRae Mayhew with one out on the board. Bogar flied out, and Avery Guy, pinch runner for Milkowski, was called out at third for interference. Iowa lost one of their only chances to end the game in regulation.
After losing the first game, Kerr’s home run secured the win for the Terps in the second game of the day, and they split the doubleheader against Iowa.