The first inning proved to be all Minnesota needed, as its offensive stint in the opening frame gave the Gophers a lead they never surrendered before Maryland could even step up to the plate.

A pair of home runs put Minnesota ahead, 5-0, and was just the start of a long game full of pitching woes as the Terps struggled to catch up. Maryland lost the second game of Friday’s doubleheader, 15-6, to split the pair of games.

Kayla Chavez hit a three-RBI home run in the first to put the Gophers on the board in the first and two at-bats later, Addison Leschber brought in another pair of runs after knocking one over the left-center field fence. Maryland got out of the inning after switching pitchers from Bri Godfrey to Keira Bucher, but found itself in a big hole.

Maryland started Big Ten play with an extra-innings win against Minnesota Friday afternoon in the first game of a doubleheader. A string of RBIs from Jaeda McFarland and Mazie MacFarlane’s home run in the fourth fueled the Terps to victory as Courtney Wyche pitched all nine innings and notched eight strikeouts.

The first Big Ten win gave Maryland its seventh win in eight games. As the Terps enter conference play, they start playing each team three times per weekend series.

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It adds extra emphasis on pitching stamina and decision-making as well as Maryland also looks to continue success at the plate to stay on its hot streak.

The teams met again thirty minutes later for the second game of the day and the Golden Gophers returned to the plate strong. Minnesota hit a home run against Wyche in the opening frame of the first game and outdid that in the second.

Sydney Lewis helped the Terps claw back into their deficit with a homer in the bottom of the first, also bringing in Jaeda McFarland to score two for Maryland.

Minnesota added back to its lead in the second thanks to an RBI single by Sydney Strelow. It brought home a run and advanced a base runner into scoring position for Leschber. Madison Runyan fielded Leschber’s hit but overthrew it to Diamond Williams at first, as the error cost Maryland a run, deepening the deficit to 7-2.

After using Wyche for the full nine innings in the earlier game the Terps rotated through three pitchers in the first three innings. Julia Shearer took Bucher’s place on the mound in the third and held off the Gophers with no runs.

Maryland used the third to respond offensively. Megan Mikami started the Terps off strong with triple down the line. She made it home in the next at bat when McFarland flew out to right field.

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A string of Maryland hits put runners on base and kept them moving into scoring position. A big hit off of Michaela Jones’ bat was caught, but allowed Caityln Cornwell to score, putting up one more before the inning was through.

Shearer remained on the mound for four innings, not earning her first strikeout until the fifth frame. While she held off the Golden Gophers in the fourth, Minnesota’s lineup exploded again in the fifth with a double by Delanie Cox and a single up the middle from Jess Oakland, putting two more runs on the board.

Lewis continued to be Maryland’s catalyst for runs. Her RBI double to left center brought home McFarland and put up one more for the Terps to cut the Gopher lead to four.

But it never got closer.

Oakland hit the Golden Gophers third homer of the game to put two more on the board for Minnesota, and it added four more runs in the seventh to expand the lead to 10.

The teams will get one more chance to play on Sunday in the rubber match of Maryland’s first Big Ten series of the year.