The Maryland softball team (12-20, Big Ten 2-1) surpassed last season’s win total with a 4-3 win over Penn State (4-20, 1-2) Sunday. After splitting a pair of games Saturday, the victory in the rubber match handed the Terps their second consecutive winning weekend and a 2-1 start to Big Ten play.
Maryland notched its 12th win with 22 games left in the season. Last year’s team earned 11 total victories, while the 2016 team earned just 12.
Senior captain Sky Ellazar delivered the decisive blow, a go-ahead solo home run in the seventh to break a 3-3 tie. The team leader in hits, she added three more on Sunday, bringing her season total to 32.
The Terps got out to a three-run lead on an Anna Kufta RBI single in the second and a two-run Kassidy Cross triple in the fourth.
Junior starter Sydney Golden maintained control of the game, allowing only three baserunners through the first five innings. Things unraveled in the sixth, however. Six Nittany Lions reached base safely, including the first four, adding three runs to Golden’s line and tying the game at three runs apiece.
Golden worked around two baserunners in the bottom of the seventh to close out the game, wrapping up a successful weekend for the junior. She also earned a win after pitching five scoreless innings in Maryland’s 8-0 victory Saturday (the game was shortened due to the five-inning mercy rule). Her ERA now sits at a tidy 3.90.
The Terps reversed the results of last year’s season series against the Nittany Lions, taking two of three this year after falling twice last year. After taking three of five at the Rainbow Wahine Tournament in Hawaii last weekend, the Terps carry the positive momentum into their second Big Ten series next weekend.
Maryland will host Iowa (13-13, 1-1) in College Park, with contests on Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. All games will be broadcast on BTN Plus and live-Tweeted from the Maryland Softball Twitter account.