Lauren Esman stepped into the batter’s box in the fourth inning. Esman doubled in the second inning, and she was looking to continue her hitting streak against Maryland softball.
Jennifer Brann fired a pitch, and Esman swung the bat. Esman’s ball soared into the air, over the heads of the Terps’ outfielders. The ball kept going over the fence and landed in the last row of the bleachers.
Maryland was facing No. 22 Michigan, the new leaders in the Big Ten. The 17-4 Wolverines were shaken by an early run from the Terps. But pitching ace Meghan Beaubien was able to keep them in the game, leading to a 4-2 win.
Beaubien pitched all seven innings for Michigan, holding Maryland to just two hits through the contest.
But one of those came in the game’s opening moments. Regan Kerr stepped into the batter’s box with two down in the first frame. Beaubien was in the circle. Kerr was not intimidated. She watched a ball fly by, and swung on the next pitch.
It soared over the right-field fence.
The Terps got ahead of the Wolverines early in the game. Brann got out of the first inning with 10 pitches, and Kerr’s swing got the best of Beaubien.
Maryland’s lead didn’t hold, though.
With two outs in the second, Esman doubled to JoJo McRae in right field. McRae fumbled the ball and fired it to Ruby Butler at second. The ball overshot Butler, and Esman took second.
Haley Hoogenraad smashed a single on the ground into shallow center field, and Esman took off. She crossed the plate and tied the game at one.
Taylor Bump stepped into the batter’s box. Brann fired one pitch, and she took a big swing. The ball flew over the center-field fence. Hoogenraad and Bump both scored to put Michigan up 3-1 in the second.
The Wolverines furthered their lead in the fourth when Esman stepped into the box again. She smoked a ball into the bleachers and took a lap.
The Terps had a chance to make up some ground in the sixth inning.
With Jaeda McFarland on first, Taylor Okada took the plate. She grounded out to Lou Allan at first base and Allan turned to second.
McFarland reached second with time to spare, but she started rounding the base, ready to run to third. Allan launched the ball to Jimenez at second. Her throw got there before McFarland could tag up. The inning ended on a double play, and the Terps lost their opportunity.
Maryland was able to squeeze one more run in the seventh inning as a poorly-fielded bouncer from Megan Mikami drove Merissa Borkowski home.
However, the Terps were unable to get past Beaubien’s stellar outing, falling against the Wolverines.