Maryland softball entered its series against then-No. 21 Michigan after winning its first three conference series. The Terps had impressed with strong showings from all aspects around the diamond.
After the first game against the Wolverines, it looked like those showings would continue after a 5-1 victory in the series opener. Trinity Schlotterbeck started the scoring with a two-run blast and went the distance in the circle to start the series on a high note.
But the Terps couldn’t secure another victory against the Wolverines.
In game two, the Terps fought hard but lost in extra innings, 5-3.
In the series finale, Maryland fell behind early as Michigan controlled the game from the first inning and secured the series victory with a 9-2 win.
“We punched them really well in the first game because we were ready and we played well, and then the next one was a dogfight, it wasn’t our best,” coach Mark Montgomery said. “We were probably coming a little out of steam [for game three] … We weren’t as prepared as we needed to be.”
[Maryland softball loses 9-2 to No. 21 Michigan, drops first conference series of season]
Maryland’s offense struggled against the talented Michigan pitchers. The Terps averaged just over three runs per game in the series, a full run less than their season average of 5.01.
After only committing four errors in their past three Big Ten series, the Terps committed four errors in their three games against the Wolverines.
But the biggest issues Maryland had against Michigan came from its pitching staff. The Terps’ arms pitched to a collective 4.13 ERA against Michigan, over a full run above their 3.27 season average.
The Terps’ inability to get the final out of innings plagued them. Eight of Michigan’s 15 runs in the series came with two outs, and the Wolverines hit .378 with two outs to consistently keep innings alive.
“They’re great hitters that took you deep into counts,” Schlotterbeck said. “They made you throw pitches over the plate. They’re great hitters, and they did great with two strikes.”
[Maryland softball rallies late but loses in extra innings to No. 21 Michigan, 5-3]
Junior pitcher Courtney Wyche remained pleased with her squad’s process despite the subpar results.
“The outcome was not our favorite, but the process, I think, was there,” Wyche said. “In game two, I went in there and did everything that I could within my best power. We will just get the outcome next time.”
After dropping its first conference series, Maryland faces an upcoming doubleheader against Rutgers. The Terps are set to face off against the Scarlet Knights on Tuesday — just three days after their series finale loss against the Wolverines.
Against Rutgers, the Terps will look to get back in the win column — but to do so they’ll need to improve all factors of their game.
“It’s a quick turnaround but it’s a battle, and we have to flush it right now,” Wyche said. “We got to get to work on Monday, knowing what we need to improve on so that way for Tuesday, we come out swinging just like we did [in] game one against Michigan.”