The Maryland softball team (14-15, 4-1 Big Ten) defeated Iowa 5-2 Saturday to land their second win of the weekend. This marks the Terps’ third straight win in Big Ten play this season.
Unlike yesterday’s game, the Terps racked up the runs right from the beginning as junior Mikayla Werahiko kicked off the first inning with a single through the left side. Destiney Henderson immediately followed suit with a single up the middle, then both runners advanced on a passed ball.
With runners on second and third, sophomore Anna Kufta took the opportunity to launch an RBI single to right field. The Terps took the lead, 1-0.
But they weren’t satisfied with the first inning just yet. Kufta, carefully gaging the situation, pulled off a steal to second. This time, Brigette Nordberg hit an RBI single up the left side then proceeded to steal second. At the end of the first frame, the Terps were up 2-1.
There weren’t any more runs until the top fourth inning when the Hawkeyes craved a comeback. Iowa’s first baseman Mallory Kilian launched a homerun over the center field fence. Shortstop Aralee Bogar followed with an RBI triple to left field. Suddenly the two teams were tied.
Freshman pitcher Ryan Denhart came in to relieve starting pitcher Sami Main, closing out the inning with no more additional runs. But according to head coach Julie Wright, Main executed her job perfectly.
“Sydney and Ryan, as you know, have been handling the load, and we felt like this was a really good matchup for Sami Main,” Wright said. “She came in prepared and was ready and did her job exactly as we needed.”
During the bottom of the fourth frame, Amanda Brashear smacked a sacrificial bunt to advance runners to second and third. With bases loaded, Henderson followed through with an RBI sacrificial fly ball to centerfield. Skylynne Ellazar added the finishing touch with two RBIs off of a single down the center field line, putting the Terps at 5-2, which they would maintain for the remainder of the game.
With each game, Maryland’s coaching staff has slightly modified the batting lineup. Coach Wright explained how Werahiko’s offensive power so far this season made her the perfect candidate to be the lead-off hitter during Saturday’s game.
“I’ve been watching [Werahiko’s] at-bats over the past two weekends and she’s been doing better and better,” Wright said. “Practice has been looking more consistent, she can run, she has that nice bunt…kid’s a player. I’m super excited to see her flourish.”
If the Terps win against Iowa again tomorrow, this will be the first back-to-back series win in program history, but Maryland is taking it one pitch at a time.
“It’s not about who’s on the other side,” Wright said. “It’s about us taking care of our own business.”
The Terps will face-off against Iowa for the final time this weekend on Sunday at noon in the Maryland Softball Stadium. The game can be followed through live stats or the Maryland softball Twitter account.