Courtney Wyche stood in the circle with two outs and one strike left to end the seventh. Having lost six out of the past 10 conference games, Wyche wanted a win.

After a Michaela Jones error put a runner on first, Wyche looked to record the final out of the game. The first pitch down the center was taken by Hailey Hayes. Three pitches later, she powered a homer over the left-field fence. After remaining scoreless for six innings, Purdue was on the board and in the lead.

An early run in the opening frame and a late double by Diamond Williams was not enough to keep the Terps from avoiding disaster. While Wyche notched 10 strikeouts and threw a complete game, the home run in the final inning put Purdue on top, 2-1, and ended the Terps’ chances for their first conference win in three weeks.

“We talk a lot about [how] it’s not just one pitch, or not just one hit, or it’s not just one player, but this one feels that way,” Karn said. “That’s part of the game sometimes. We just got to bounce back.”

[How Lauren Karn used a ‘positivity day’ to change Maryland softball’s mentality]

The Terps matched Wyche’s dominance early, working through the majority of their lineup in the first. With two outs and a full count, Mazie MacFarlane struck the ball down the right-field line. MacFarlane legged out a double as the fielders hurried to get the ball.

In the next at-bat, Sydney Lewis scored MacFarlane. Her single to right field dropped and put one on the board for the Terps in the first.

Wyche kept the Boilermakers out of scoring position until the third. A double to center field by Olivia McFadden threatened a run for the first time.

Jaeda McFarland almost robbed the hit but the ball bounced out of her glove at the last second. The next batter flew out to shortstop, and Wyche got out of the third sending the two on base back to the dugout.

The Boilermakers remained scoreless heading into the fifth. Wyche let up only one hit and one walk across the first four innings.

[Maryland softball mercy rules Towson, 11-2]

“Courtney’s pitching well, we played really good defense and we had some really good quality at-bats,” Karn said. “I’m hoping that some of those can fall for us tomorrow and we come out with a few more runs than just one.”

Purdue’s defense showed up in the fourth, putting out three Terps in a row. In one instance, MacFarlane swung hard and slammed the ball down the left field line. Moriah Polar made a diving save, slowing Maryland’s offensive momentum.

The game remained stagnant from the third inning on, as neither team was able to get a runner on base for the next three frames. The hits picked up again in the sixth when Megan Mikami exploded for a triple into left field. A ground out to the pitcher ended the inning and left Mikami on base in the bottom of the sixth.

“The fact that we had really good contact against that pitcher is a good start for us,” Karn said. “I think tomorrow if we keep swinging at things the balls will fall.”

After the home run in the top of the seventh, Williams followed with a double to left-center. Her hit was not enough to win the game as a flyout and strikeout ended the game.