April 1, 2004
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
After having Thursday's doubleheader against Mount St. Mary's College washed out, the University of Maryland softball team hopes the rains cease for Friday's doubleheader rematch with Brown. The first pitch is set for 5 p.m. at the Terrapin Softball Complex. For fans in attendance, there will be an autograph session with the Maryland softball players immediately following the second game. Free Maryland softball posters will be given away to the first 100 fans. Admission and parking at the Terrapin Softball Complex are free. Fans unable to attend the game can catch the play-by-play on GameTracker at www.umterps.com.
LAST TIME OUTThe Terps are coming off the four-game Terrapin Invitational, which was hosted at the Terrapin Softball Complex this past weekend, March 27 and 28. The Terps had exciting finishes in all four of their games.
The Terps started out the weekend against Pittsburgh. The Terps were trailing the Panthers 6-3 going into the top of the seventh. Maryland tied up the game with the help of Lindsay Klein's (Orange, Calif.) two-RBI single and Lauren Pollock's (Severna Park, Md.) sacrifice fly. Shortstop Nneka Cardoza (Brockton, Mass.) delivered the final blow, blasting a three-run homer that sealed a 9-6 victory for Maryland.
In Saturday's second game, Maryland and Columbia fought it out into extra innings. With the score tied 4-4 in the ninth, freshman second baseman Keri Lounge (Pasadena, Md.) knocked a double to drive home the winning run.
The Terps had another extra-inning affair in Sunday's first game against Delaware State. Maryland was down, 3-1, in the fifth when Lounge's two run homer powered them back to a tied ball game. The contest went into the eighth inning and ended on Natalie Grossman's (Skillman, N.J.) RBI-single to center field.
After going 3-0 in preliminary tournament action, the Terrapins moved into the championship game for a rematch with Pittsburgh. The Terrapins were up 1-0 heading into the seventh inning. With two Panthers' runners in scoring position and no outs, reliever Monica Cyphert (Warren, Ohio) came into the game to get two quick outs on a pop up and a strike out. The Terrapins lost the game a batter later on a fielding miscue that allowed both baserunners to score, giving Maryland a 3-1 loss.
SCOUTING BROWNBrown (6-11) and Maryland (16-14) faced off March 21 at the Maryland Invitational, when Brown threw a 3-1 loss to the Terps. Brown has slumped since that game, winning only two of their last 10 contests. Brown's last two defeats came at the hands of ACC-rival Virginia. The Cavaliers swept Brown with 7-5 and 9-0 wins.
The Bears currently have three hitters batting well above the .300 mark. Sophomore Jaimie Wirkowski leads the team with a .420 average and has also knocked in a team-high 15 runs. Teammates Courtney Jenkins (.381) and Laura Leonetti (.375) have 14 and 12 RBI respectively.
With the core of Brown's offense off to a solid start, the pitching hopes to follow suit. The staff's combined ERA stands at 4.93, with freshman Sara Corrigan-Gibbs leading the team (3.81). No starter has more than two wins.
Freshmen Klein and Lounge have made an instant impact since joining the Terrapins this season. Both players are among the top ten hitters in the ACC. Lounge has the fourth-best average at .363; the three players ranked in front of her are seniors. Klein, who is batting .344, is ranked tenth in the conference.
Not only do the rookies lead their teammates in RBI, but they also are among the league leaders. Klein's 26 RBI rank her fifth in the league, while Lounge's 23 RBI place her tenth in the league.
Lounge's .615 slugging percentage is third in the ACC, putting her behind Georgia Tech senior and All-ACC selection Tara Knudsen and North Carolina senior Emily Price.
QUALITY LEATHERThe Terrapins are currently tied with North Carolina for an ACC-best .967 fielding percentage.
Maryland has turned nine double plays this season, which already bests last year's total of six.