Maryland traveled south this weekend to play four games in its second non-conference tournament at the Tiger Invite in Auburn, Alabama. The Terps ended the tournament 1-3, putting them at 2-7 in the season so far.
Here’s a game-by-game recap:
MD 4: DEL: 1
During the bottom of the first in the game against Delaware (0-3), senior captain Skylynne Ellazar smacked her second homer of the season over the center field fence, bringing in two runs and giving Maryland the early lead.
Ellazar came into this season with the No. 2 career batting average (.341) all-time at Maryland. The Hawaiian native added a new dimension to her playing through her time on Philippines’ National Team in the Asian Softball Championships over the summer and winter beaks.
“She has a fabulous passion for the game, and has learned so much from her international experience this past summer and winter,” head coach Julie Wright told Maryland Athletics at the beginning of February. “She has translated that to the field and to her teammates.”
Delaware prevented the Terps from getting additional runs in the second inning, but a hit to left field by Brigette Nordberg in the bottom of the third brought Ellazar and JoJo McRae home to make the score 4-0.
The Blue Hens didn’t give up. Senior Mariah Kondravy hit a homer over the right centerfield fence in the top of the fourth to bring the score to 4-1. But it wasn’t enough to come back. The game ended with a second straight win for Maryland, with the Terps’ defense committing no errors.
Maryland freshman pitcher Ryan Denhart is one of nine newcomers that joined the team this season. Denhart allowed one earned run off three hits during her first career complete game. Not a bad birthday for the high school All-American.
“I’m excited to see freshman Ryan Denhart. She has been performing well and flourishing under coach Tyson,” Wright said to Maryland Athletics. “I’ve been very pleased watching her work to become a better pitcher and understand what to takes to win at this level.”
MD 1: AUB 12
A few hours later, the Terps headed into a game against the No. 13-ranked Auburn Tigers (11-0).
There was a spark of hope that Maryland would bring in another win when Nordberg scored on a passed ball in the top of the second by an attempted sacrifice bunt by Anna Kufta. But the Tigers retaliated by bringing in five runs when it was their turn to bat.
Auburn’s fight didn’t end there. Sophomore Alyssa Rivera hit a homerun to right field in the bottom of the third, bringing in Bree Fornis. The Tigers took a big lead, 7-1.
The 2017 Regional Participants kept the runs coming throughout the game, eventually winning 12-1 with four different players managing multiple hits.
MD 0: USF 1
It was a new day for the Terps. With a win and a loss behind them, they were ready to play Saint Francis (5-5) with a fresh start.
The game started off slow, with no runs scored until the bottom of the sixth when SFU junior Mikayla Bower hit to the left side, sending junior Sierra McKee home and giving the team the one run they needed to win the game.
Denhart allowed four hits and one earned run compared to SFU pitcher, sophomore Abby Trahan, who allowed only three hits to shut out the Terps.
MD 0: AUB 8
To wrap up the tournament, the Terps took on the Tigers one more time.
The Terps managed to shut down Auburn in the bottom of the first, but then allowed two runs in each of the next four innings.
The Tigers took the early lead and never looked back, scoring two runs every inning after that during the five-inning contest. They ended the game with a win, 8-0. Auburn now sits at 12-0.
Tiger junior pitcher Makayla Martin tossed a no-hitter. She allowed only one walk, keeping her from a perfect game.
The Terps will head to warm weather at the Florida Tournament next weekend in Gainesville. The first game against Iowa begins Friday at 11:30 a.m.