By Drew Owens
Amelia Lech pounded a home run, her team-leading 15th of the season, in the fifth inning. The blast capped a three-run frame that put Maryland softball ahead by six.
After clinching the series victory against Illinois yesterday, Maryland (36-16, 11-11 Big Ten) continued to shine as it swept Illinois (28-26, 6-16 in Big Ten) with a 6-1 win Sunday.
Coach Mark Montgomery deployed a pair of seniors on the mound, alternating between Trinity Schlotterbeck and Courtney Wyche. Schlotterbeck started and went 4⅓ scoreless innings. Wyche entered in the fourth and covered 2⅔ frames, then Schlotterbeck returned to pitch the sixth and seventh.
The Terps first got on the scoreboard in the second inning. Schlotterbeck led off with a home run, Sammi Woods doubled to score another and Megan Mikami plated Maryland’s third run of the inning.
Wyche allowed Illinois’ first and only score of the game in the fifth. A pair of wild pitches moved runners into scoring position and a single from Avrey Steiner scored one.
Behind dominant pitching was stellar defense. Kiley Goff threw out a runner looking to steal second and second baseman Madison Runyan made a key stop to prevent a base hit in the final inning.
Schlotterbeck returned to the mound to close the final two innings, holding the Fighting Illini scoreless as her team led by five. The win was a continuation of her two-way dominance in the Terps’ final weekend series of the regular season.
She went 4-for-4 at the plate and tossed seven scoreless innings in Saturday’s win.
Sunday’s victory is the conclusion of one of Maryland’s most successful regular seasons in recent history. It won 36 games, the most since 2012, and now shifts focus to the Big Ten tournament for the second consecutive season.