Louisville, KY -- Amanda Brashear lined up to bat at the Black & Red Classic. (Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics).

Terps swept by Illinois with Sunday loss

The Maryland softball team (15-23, 5-4 Big Ten) was dealt its first sweep in conference play this season when it dropped the Sunday finale to Illinois (25-13, 6-4) by a 20-2 score.

Illinois’ Saturday win snapped Maryland’s streak of three straight series wins, and Friday’s loss ended its five-game winning streak.

The Terps had trouble solving Illinois’s powerful offense all weekend long, allowing 38 runs over three games. Ryan Denhart, Sami Main and Sydney Golden all pitched Sunday, and struggled to put Illini batters away, allowing 18 hits.

The offensive outburst from Illinois included an eight-run second inning and a seven-run fourth. The Illini also had an eight-run second inning on Friday.

Sophomore left fielder Amanda Brashear drove in both Maryland runs. Her single in the top of the second momentarily tied the game at one run apiece. That was the last time the game would be competitive — by the end of the second, Illinois was up by nine. Brashear also drove in a run on a fielder’s choice in the fourth.

Maryland struggled to take advantage of opportunities offensively, leaving eight runners on base. The Terps have had trouble rallying from a deficit all season, as they are only 2-13 when trailing after two innings.

The game was called after four and a half innings as per the run-ahead rule. This is the fifth time this season that Maryland suffered a shortened loss.

The Terps will try to quickly forget this series and turn their focus to their upcoming weeklong homestand against three opponents. They take on Saint Francis (PA) (19-16, 2-0) in a doubleheader on Wednesday before returning to conference play against Indiana (14-23, 7-2) in a three-game weekend series and then Michigan (31-7, 7-1) in a doubleheader next Tuesday.