May 14, 2004
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The University of Maryland softball team rallied from a 3-2 deficit in the top of the seventh inning to beat Virginia, 5-3, in the team's first game at the 2004 ACC Softball Championship Tournament. Maryland improves to 32-25 with the win and Virginia falls to 38-25.
The Terps worked out of an early jam in the bottom of the second. With one out, Virginia loaded the bases with two consecutive singles and a walk. Maryland starter Monica Cyphert (Warren, Ohio) worked out of the jam by getting Virginia center fielder Jessica Taylor to fly out and shortstop Heather Field to hit a soft liner to second base.
In the top of the third, junior shortstop Nneka Cardoza (Brockton, Mass.) led off with a walk. She stole second base and advanced to third on a single by junior third baseman Crystal Rizzuto (San Leandro, Calif.). Both Cardoza and Rizzuto scored on a double to center field by freshman first baseman Lindsay Klein (Orange, Calif.), giving Maryland a 2-0 lead.
Virginia took a 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth. Right fielder Jackie Greer reached base on a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a single by Taylor. Field smacked a ball to left center field for a two-run triple. She scored the go-ahead run on the next play, a single to right center by second baseman Elea Crockett.
Virginia was two outs away from locking up a win in the top of the seventh. Cardoza walked with one out. Next, All-ACC selection Keri Lounge (Pasadena, Md.) doubled to left field and advanced Cardoza to third. The following batter, Rizzuto, was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Klein grounded into a fielder's choice, but Virginia catcher Jenn Wynn dropped the throw home, which allowed Cardoza to score and tie the game, 3-3. Cyphert followed with a bases-loaded walk to score Lounge and give Maryland a 4-3 lead. The Terrapins added an insurance run on a sacrifice fly by senior right fielder Liz Gall (Bothell, Wash.).
The Cavaliers put runners on first and second with no outs. Junior Jessica Aditays (Shrewsbury, Mass.) relieved Cyphert and quickly earned an out on a strikeout. She then walked Greer to load the bases. Aditays closed out the win by notching outs on a fly-out and strike out.
Cyphert (11-9) struck out six batters in six innings for the win. Aditays earns her second save of the season in her two-strikeout inning of work. Virginia reliever Erin Horn (16-10) takes the loss after pitching two and two-thirds innings.
The tournament win over Virginia was the first time Maryland has beat Virginia in the postseason since 2001. Maryland is 4-6 against Virginia all-time in the tournament.
Maryland will continue tournament play this evening against No. 2-seed North Carolina (42-18, 6-4 ACC). The game is scheduled to get underway at 7:30 p.m.