Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics
In their first game this weekend against the Drake Bulldogs, the Terrapins may have seemed like a wildcard.
After defeating then-No. 1 Florida in its last game, Maryland was the unpredictable team arriving to the Mardi Gras Invitational. While it had just declared victory over the nation’s team to beat, it also had a 1-8 record, including four losses on mercy rule.
This element of volatility seemingly vanished in Friday’s 3-0 loss, and the Terrapins looked more like their pre-Florida selves than the valiant underdogs of last weekend.
Senior pitcher Hannah Dewey started things off for the Terrapins, but Drake worked quickly in the top of the first, as sophomore Tasha Alexander hit a two-run homer.
The Bulldogs held onto the advantage for the rest of the game.
Although the Terrapins stopped the Bulldogs from putting any more runs up on the board, they didn’t manage to earn any runs of their own either.
Drake’s primary advantage coming into their matchup with Maryland was its pitcher, junior Nicole Newman.
Newman’s strong start to the season did not prove to be a fluke as she took the circle against the Terrapins and dominated.
Newman struck out the first three batters up and all six Terrapins to hit in the first and second innings struck out.
But Dewey fought back. In the top of the third, she forced two Bulldogs to ground out, but with two outs they managed to get two on base with a single and a walk.
Despite the Bulldog’s momentum, Dewey kept things moving with a third groundout to turn the circle back over to the Bulldogs.
The defense kept up throughout the fourth inning, when Dewey mirrored Newman’s earlier performance and pitched a three-up, three-down inning.
After several innings of stagnant play, it looked as if the Terrapins might make things happen in the fifth.
After two strikeouts to start the inning, Jordan Aughinbaugh hit a single and Sami Main pinch ran for her at first base. Destiney Henderson and Juli Strangle followed Aughinbaugh with singles of their own, getting Main to third base.
However, the Terrapins weren’t able to bring her home and remained scoreless.
The excitement continued heading into the sixth inning, when the Bulldogs followed Maryland’s lead, put a runner in scoring position, but couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity for runs.
Freshman Amanda Brashear, who currently leads the Terrapins in home runs, singled and then stole second base. She eventually made it to third, but like both team’s previous attempts the Terrapins reached three outs before she crossed home plate.
The score finally changed in the seventh inning, but not in the direction the Terrapins would have liked.
A fielder’s choice got things moving for Drake, and shortly thereafter the Bulldogs had gotten sophomore Kelsey Wright to home base.
Maryland had one chance to fight back — the bottom of the seventh.
Although Brigette Nordberg made it to second on a steal, the Terrapins failed to score and didn’t manage get on the scoreboard in the 3-0 loss.
In their second game on Friday the Terrapins will face the Bowling Green Falcons.
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