By Kingsley Ibeh
Last weekend the University of Maryland’s softball team hosted Penn State for a three-game series.
Penn State got the win in Game 1 of the series took place on Friday, beating the Terps, 10-3. Despite a great day at the plate for Maryland’s junior infielder Skylynne Ellazar, Penn state’s six runs in the first two innings put them ahead. They tacked on four more runs between the fourth and sixth innings.
While Friday’s game wasn’t close, Saturday’s outing was a thrilling game between both teams. The game was close due to the great pitching from both teams. Maryland’s senior starter Hannah Dewey was spectacular, pitching all eleven innings while only allowing one run.
Penn State’s stater, Jessica Cummings, kept the game tight with six strike outs. The game was scoreless until the fourth inning, when a Nitthany Lions sac fly gave them a 1-0 lead.
Maryland responded with a home run from senior Kristina Dillard in the fifth inning. The stayed close, with neither squad allowing any runs until the 11th inning.
In the bottom of the 11th freshman infielder Anna Kufta delivered a single to left field to bring Skylynne home for the game-winner.
Maryland’s spirits were high going into Sunday’s game. The Terps jumped out to a 4-0 lead through three innings but gave up four runs in the fourth.
Kassidy Cross gave Maryland a 2-0 lead with an RBI single in the second, and Dillard drove the lead to four in the third inning with an infield hit. Penn State would rally in the fourth inning to tie the gam.
The Nitthany Lions grabbed the lead in the sixth inning, scoring three runs on three hits. Fatigue was a factor for both teams coming off an 11-inning game, and Penn state was able to come on top to win the series 2-1.
After the game, Coach Wright said the small-ball lineup of Penn state really hurt them down the stretch. In terms of improvements for games to come, Coach Wright emphasized that energy is the biggest factor for the team.
Maryland takes on Rutgers on Wednesday in a two game series.