By Andrew Rich
Maryland softball entered Saturday’s matchup with Nebraska on the tail end of three straight Big Ten losses.
The Terps (27-11, 4-6 Big Ten) bounced back and snapped their short winless drought with potent pitching and a pair of early runs in a 2-0 victory over the Cornhuskers (26-13, 6-4 Big Ten) to even up the weekend series.
Amelia Lech had Maryland rolling early with an RBI single in the bottom of the first to make the score 1-0.
Michaela Jones followed suit by sending a single to right field, loading the bases. However, Trinity Schlotterbeck struck out swinging and the Terps were unable to convert, stranding three runners heading into the top of the second frame.
In the bottom of the third inning, freshman Sydney Lewis crushed a fastball off the wall in right center field for a double. Lewis sent Kiley Goff around the bases from first to double Maryland’s advantage.
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Nebraska broke through for their first hit of the game with a Mya Felder double to left field in the top of the fourth inning.
Freshman Keira Bucher took over for Schlotterbeck on the mound in the top of the fourth inning. Nebraska failed to score in the frame after Maryland snagged a line drive out of the air and threw it to second base for a double play.
Schlotterbeck returned to the mound in the top of the fifth inning looking to keep the Cornhuskers scoreless. She finished the game with five strikeouts and gave up only two hits in five innings pitched.
Back-to-back singles in the bottom of the fifth brought Lewis back up to the plate with runners on first and second with one out. But Maryland couldn’t take advantage of its runners on the basepath once again and stranded both as the game rolled into the sixth inning.
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A Sydney Gray double for Nebraska in the top of the sixth brought Bucher back to the mound with two outs. Bucher forced a fly out and the Cornhuskers left two on base before the Terps came back up to the plate looking to add to cushion their lead.
The defenses stood strong late in the game and in the top of the seventh inning as Bucher recorded her nation-leading 10th save of the season and the Terps came away with a 2-0 win. Bucher allowed just one hit in her two innings pitched.
The Terps snapped their three game losing streak with their 12th shutout of the season and they’ll look to continue the winning trend to record a series victory against the Cornhuskers on Sunday.