The Maryland softball team (7-17) heads to the tropical island of Honolulu, Hawaii, this weekend for their last non-conference tournament of the season.
It’ll be beautiful and sunny 80-degree weather when the Terps take on their first team, Tennessee (26-1), Friday night to kick off the Rainbow Wahine Classic.
“We’re going to try to relax a little bit because I think the team needs that,” head coach Julie Wright said.
A good mindset will be imperative when taking on impressive teams like Tennessee, which averages 6.63 runs per game with a team batting average of .343.
Sophomore Jenna Holcomb currently leads Tennessee’s offense with a batting average of .481, while senior Skylynne Ellazar leads the Terps with a .333.
An advantage the Lady Vols hold over the Terps is their experience. Tennessee has 11 upperclassmen on their roster, while Maryland has been adjusting to its young team made up of 11 underclassmen.
After Tennessee, Maryland will continue to the second part of their Friday double-header against the Cleveland State Vikings (8-12).
Mel Woodard leads the Vikings with a .367 batting average and 18 hits.
The Terps will take on North Dakota (14-13) and Tennessee again on Saturday. Angel Love is the strongest hitter in the Fighting Hawks’ lineup; the sophomore outfielder leads the team with a .365 batting average and four home runs.
The tournament ends Sunday night against Hawaii (13-11) Sunday night, who have Angelique Ramos, last year’s Big West Freshman of the Year
This tournament may come down to the play of the starting pitchers , who all hold impressive ERAs. Tennessee pitcher Matty Moss sports an ERA of 0.98. She’s followed by Hawaii pitcher Brittany Hitchcock (1.97), just ahead of Maryland’s Ryan Denhart (1.98)
Maryland enters as a dark horse with hopes to pull off several upsets this weekend.
“The biggest thing is that we’re going to have some great games out there—some great competition,” Wright said. “[We’re] trying to get a little bit better every day and stop taking so many steps backwards.”
The first game begins Friday at 7 p.m. at the Rainbow Wahine Softball stadium. All games will be live-streamed on StatBroadcastLive and tweeted from the Maryland softball Twitter account.