It was a beautiful and sunny day as the Maryland softball team (16-25, 5-5 Big Ten) played their conference foe Indiana, but the game results were not as bright.
Amidst a sea of fielding errors and strikeouts, the Terps fell to the Hoosiers 10-1 in a five-inning mercy. Indiana is now 15-0 in carrying out the victory when already ahead by the fifth inning.
The Terps knew two things coming into this game against Indiana: Hoosier pitcher Tara Trainer was going to throw change-ups, and the Hoosiers were going to steal—a lot. They came in with a game plan, but they were unable to execute it.
“We just didn’t operate within our game plan at all,” Maryland head coach Julie Wright said. “This really just wasn’t what we put out for the team this week. It was just very poorly executed on all sides of the ball today.”
Trainer is second in the conference for pitching with a 1.28 ERA. She pitched a complete game and only allowed four hits.
“[Trainer] started throwing her change-up a lot and that’s just something that we’re going to have to adjust to,” senior captain Skylynne Ellazar said. “We’re probably going to see her in game three tomorrow so we just need to make an immediate adjustment off of her.”
Indiana (16-24, 8-2 Big Ten) had the upper hand in batting. The team sports a .301 batting average compared to Maryland’s .253 in conference play. Today, the Hoosiers notched off 11 hits against junior pitcher Sydney Golden, and tacked on two more against junior pitcher Sami Main.
Wright says that freshman pitcher Ryan Denhart has been studying the hitting patterns and will hopefully apply pressure in tomorrow’s game.
“[Denhart’s] a good preparer, so I feel good about her start tomorrow,” Wright said. “She’s gotta compete on the mound and we’ve gotta play behind her.”
The Hoosiers also tacked on the steals. They top the conference leaderboard with 36 steal attempts and 21 stolen bases. Maryland had a greater fielding record than Indiana going into the game, but several fielding errors gave the Hoosiers additional runs that they should not have gotten otherwise.
At the top of the second inning, junior Mikayla Werahiko overthrew to first base, allowing a runner to advance to second. In the next frame, Ellazar stopped a speedy ground ball, but freshman Taylor Wilson dropped it at first.
“There were fumbles all over the place and you can’t do that with a team that’s aggressive like this,” Wright said. “They’re going to get on; they’re great hitters. But we’ve got to then isolate who’s behind them.”
The Terps still have a chance at winning the Indiana series during their doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. tomorrow in the Maryland Softball Stadium. They hope to execute the game plan they came in with and bounce back.
“A lot of it was routine that we didn’t make,” Ellazar said. “So just coming in tomorrow focused, high-energy, getting the job done…one loss doesn’t mean anything.”