The Maryland softball team (18-33, 7-13 Big Ten) dropped three games against Ohio State (32-11, 13-6) over the weekend in their second-to-last series of the season.
The Terps lost the opener on Friday by a 13-5 score. They fell behind early, allowing six runs in the first two innings. Two walks and a two-run single did the damage against freshman Ryan Denhart in the first, then two two-run homers in the home half of the second put the Terps in an even larger hole.
Maryland fought back in the top of the third, cutting the deficit by half. Sophomore Bridgette Nordberg cracked an RBI double to right field and freshman Hannask Eslick singled her home. Junior Anna Kufta scored on an error on the play for the inning’s third run.
After the Buckeyes got a run back in the fourth, the Terps made it a two-run game with two runs in the top of the fifth. Senior Skylynne Ellazar and sophomore Amanda Brashear walked and singled to lead off the frame. A wild pitch advanced the runners, and an error at first base on a dropped third strike to Brigette Nordberg brought in a run. Kassidy Cross singled in the second run.
Ohio State put the game away in the sixth, scoring six runs.The seven-run lead was enough to end the game after the sixth on the run-ahead rule. Maryland allowed a season-high five home runs. The Terps are 0-6 when allowing two or more homers.
Denhart had one of her roughest outings of the season, 12 runs on 13 hits in 5 ⅓ innings. Junior Sami Main relieved her in the sixth and allowed an additional run. The Terps had five hits, one each by Brashear, Kufta, Nordberg, Eslick and Cross.
The offensive onslaught by Ohio State continued on Saturday in the Terps’ 9-5 loss. Junior Sydney Golden fared little better than Denhart the night before, allowing nine runs (six earned) on eight hits.
Maryland scored a run on a fielding error with the bases loaded in the third inning. They added another run in the — on a Brashear single and Kufta RBI double
The Terps scored three runs in the seventh to come up just short of a rally. Brashear added two RBI’s to her day with a triple and Kufta hit a sacrifice fly for her second RBI.
Sunday’s game was a closer contest, but Maryland could not muster up enough offense to salvage the finale. Denhart blanked the Buckeyes for three innings before a two-out double in the bottom of the fourth scored the game’s first runs. A fielding error from Nordberg to lead off the frame made both runs unearned.
The Terps responded quickly, tying the game up in the next half inning. Nordberg atoned for her error by ripping a two-RBI double to left-center field, scoring Destinee Henderson and Kufta, who had walked earlier in the frame.
The Buckeyes completed the back-and-forth run scoring by putting up three decisive runs in the home half of the fifth. A walk, single and two doubles by the first four Buckeyes to bat in the frame did the damage against Denhart and Golden.
Maryland was swept for the fourth consecutive weekend and have lost six straight games. They dropped to 7-13 in Big Ten play after getting off to a 5-1 start.
The Terps will look to finish the season on a winning note in their last series of the season, a three-game set against Michigan State in College Park starting on Friday.