Terps Close Out NCAA Weekend

May 22, 2010

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College Park Regionals Central

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The Maryland softball team's season ended Saturday afternoon when it beat Syracuse 4-1 in its first game of the day in NCAA Regionals and fell to Fordham 5-2 in its second. The Terps (34-24, 8-11) earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in over 10 years this year. It was also the first time the Terrapins were selected to host one of the 16 regional sites.

Junior Marisha Branson led the Terps with four RBI on the day. She knocked in two with a single in the first game against Syracuse and hit a solo home run in the game against Fordham.

In the Syracuse game, the Terps took an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning. With two outs, freshman Sara Acosta and senior Alex Schultz each drew walks from pitcher Brittany Gardner. Junior Kerry Hickey loaded the bases with a single through the left side. Branson drove in Acosta and Schultz with a single to right. Hickey scored on a throwing error by Orange shortstop Morgan Nandin.

Sophomore Kendra Knight started in the circle for the Terrapins. In the bottom of the first, Syracuse's Rachel Helman doubled to left centerfield and moved to third on Lisaira Daniels' single. Daniels stole second, then Lacey Kohl walked to load the bases with two outs. Knight caught Stephanie Watts looking for the final out of the inning.

Maryland scored again in the top of the sixth inning. Hickey got her second hit of the day with a single to left with two outs. Junior Marybeth Herrick came on to pinch run. Branson hit her second single to advance Hickey, and then senior Nadine Blackie looped one into right to move Branson to third and score Hickey.

The Terps survived to face Fordham, who lost to Oklahoma 1-0 in the first game of the day Saturday. Fordham's ace, Jen Mineau, started her third game of the weekend in the circle. Mineau leads Division I pitchers with her ERA of 1.04 and has 491 strikeouts on the year. Hickey started for the Terrapins.

The Rams scored the first run of the game in the top of the first inning. Jocelyn Dearborn led off with a double down the right field line. She advanced to third on an illegal pitch call and then scored when Samantha Pellechio sent a sacrifice fly to centerfield. Branson's home run in the bottom of the second tied the game.

In the top of the third inning, Jamie LaBovick led off with a double down the left field line. She advanced to third when Pellechio grounded out, and then Erin Fisher walked. LaBovick and Fisher scored off Beckah Wiggins' double to right centerfield to make the score 3-1.

In the top of the sixth inning, Lindsey Kay Bright got on base with an infield hit. Dearborn doubled, then reached third on the throw to score Bright. Hickey returned to the circle.

In the bottom of the sixth, Acosta got her second hit of the day and advanced to second on Schultz's ground-out. Acosta scored when Branson singled, then advanced to third on the throw. She brought in Acosta for her fourth RBI of the day. The Rams made the score 5-2 when Nicole Callahan tripled to score Meghan Shager.

The Rams will face Oklahoma at noon Sunday in the College Park Regional final. Oklahoma advances to the Super Regional with a victory. However, the teams will play again at 2 p.m., if Fordham upends the Sooners, who won their first two games of the tournament.