March 3, 2004
ATHENS, Ga. - After having one of its best offensive weekends in recent years at the USF Best Western-All Suites Hotels Tournament in Tampa, Fla., the University of Maryland softball team (5-5) suffered a hit shortage the following weekend at the Golden Panthers adidas Tournament. Maryland had 26 hits and scored 12 runs last weekend, compared to 53 hits and 41 runs from two weekends ago.
The Terps hope their powerful hitting will get back on track this weekend as they head to Athens, Ga. for the Georgia Softball Classic. Fans can track games all weekend long with the live play-by-play Game Tracker option on www.umterps.com. Click the Gametracker link on the softball schedule for the game you want to track.
Maryland will open the tournament Friday at 10 a.m. against Ball State (1-3). The Cardinals are experiencing similar offensive troubles, having scored only three runs in four games. The game will mark the first time these two teams have met in their programs' histories.
The Terps will play UNC Wilmington (6-6) later Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. During their last time out on the diamond, the Seahawks were swept by ACC rival North Carolina in 9-0 and 8-0 games. UNC Wilmington's offense is led by junior outfielder Christina Elmore, who is batting .407 heading into the tournament. The team's ERA is 4.11, with Amanda Wilson and Jess Luckett leading the staff with 13 strikeouts each. The Terps lead the all-time series, 3-1.
Maryland starts off Saturday with a 10 a.m. game against Winthrop (6-7-1). Winthrop suffered two losses to local competitor UMBC in February. They captured an 8-6 win over Jacksonville, who took out Florida State, 2-1, earlier this season. Winthrop leads the all-time series, 4-1. The two teams have not met since 1996, when Maryland was a second year program.
The Terps will finish up Saturday's games against No. 7/8 Georgia (12-4) at 2:00 p.m. This game will mark Maryland's first against a ranked opponent this season. Georgia went 3-3 at the NFCA Leadoff Classic last weekend in Columbus, Ga. The Bulldogs lost one game to the USA Softball team, 6-0. Georgia was one of only two collegiate teams to take the Olympic team into seven innings.