Jaeda McFarland, down to two strikes in her first at-bat of the game, stuck her bat across the outer part of the zone in an act of desperation. She connected with the pitch.

The outfielder sprinted out of the box, chugging toward first base while watching her hit sail. It wasn’t until the ball crossed over the wall in dead-center that McFarland began to let up. McFarland slowed to a jog, high fived her third base coach and broke out into a wide grin as her teammates awaited her at home plate for a brief celebration.

McFarland’s solo homer in the opening frame was her first of the season. It sparked an offensive explosion for Maryland softball, which recorded nine hits and downed Purdue Fort Wayne, 8-0, at the Maryland Softball Stadium on Friday.

The Terps struckout just twice against the Mastodons while slugging two doubles and two long balls. Seven players found their way into the hit column as Maryland clinched its first three-game winning streak of the season.

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Their complete effort was flanked by a dominant showing from Courtney Wyche in the circle. The graduate pitcher continued her strong start to the season, throwing a one-hit, three-strikeout complete game for her fifth win of the season. Her ERA dropped to 2.06 following the win.

Wyche flaunted her electric stuff from the opening inning. She struck out the first batter she saw in three pitches and sat down the Mastodons in four batters. Purdue Fort Wayne consistently flailed at her riseball and struggled to identify her off-speed pitches — Epiphany Hang was the only player to record a hit.

Wyche struck out two more batters in the second and third frames. She induced eight total groundouts and two flyouts. The hurler allowed just two baserunners on the afternoon and threw 65 pitches.

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The Terps’ offensive production didn’t end in the first frame. Megan Mikami scored on a sacrifice fly after Sydney Lewis flew out to left field in the third inning. McFarland stole home on a wild pitch the next at-bat.

Delaney Reefe clubbed a three-run home run as part of a six-hit, five-run fourth inning, which opened up the game and allowed the hosts to claim an eight-run lead. Wyche retired the side with a six-pitch fifth inning, and Maryland went on to win via the eight-run mercy rule.

After starting coach Lauren Karn’s inaugural season with a 5-11 record, Maryland has won five of its last seven games. Two of those victories came against Boston College and Virginia, programs that rank 85th and 49th in RPI, respectively.

The Terps find themselves on a positive trajectory for the first time this year heading into Big Ten play, which kicks off next weekend against Minnesota.