March 28, 2004
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland softball team fell to the University of Pittsburgh Panthers in the championship game of the Terrapin Invitational, 2-1. Maryland picked up a 4-3 extra-inning win against Delaware State earlier Sunday before advancing to championship play.
In the first game, Delaware State (21-14) went up 1-0 on the Terrapins in the second on a home run by designated player Janice Savage. The Terps fought back to tie the game at 1-1 in the third off freshman first baseman Lindsay Klein's (Orange, Calif.) RBI single down the left field line.
The Delaware State Hornets put two more runs on the board in the fifth. Catcher Cat Ansbach led off the inning with a double and pinch hitter Marissa Merrill also doubled. Merrill's double knocked in Carol McCray, who pinch ran for Ansbach. The second run of the inning scored on a passed ball. With one out and a runner on third, the Terrapins caught Delaware State's Ashley Schaaf leading too far off third base after a pitch was thrown to make the second out of the inning. Pitcher Monica Cyphert (Warren, Ohio), who relieved starter Elyse Lucas (Newbury, Ohio) struck out Jill French to end the inning and the Hornets' rally.
In the bottom of the fifth, freshman second baseman Keri Lounge (Pasadena, Md.) put Maryland back in the game with a two-run homer, her fifth of the season. Pinch runner Jen Peel (St. Leonard, Md.) scored the winning run in the eighth inning off center fielder Natalie Grossman's (Skillman, N.J.) single. Cyphert (4-3) worked three and two-thirds innings and struck out seven for the win.
With a perfect record in preliminary tournament play, Maryland moved onto the championship game against Pittsburgh, a team that Maryland defeated Saturday, 9-6. The Terrapins took a 1-0 lead in the second inning off Klein's solo shot to left center. Starter Jessica Aditays (Shrewsbury, Mass.) held the Panthers' offense in check until the seventh when Missy Smith and Casey Pickard hit back-to-back singles to start the inning. Cyphert entered the game with both runners in scoring position and no outs. She quickly got one batter to pop up and another to strike out, putting Maryland one out away from a win. The next batter, Joey Scarf, hit a hard grounder to short. Casey Leiter (Lake Stevens, Wash.), who started the game in left field, took over at shortstop in the previous inning after a take-out slide injured Nneka Cardoza's (Brockton, Mass.) ankle. Leiter misplayed the ball and two runs scored on the play to put Pittsburgh ahead, 2-1.
The Terrapins had an opportunity to win the game in the bottom half of the seventh. Third baseman Crystal Rizzuto (San Leandro, Calif.) led off with a double to dead center field. On the following play, Pittsburgh third baseman Jen O'Donnell made a diving grab on a popped up bunt and doubled up Rizzuto at second base to end Maryland's scoring opportunity.
In other Terrapin Invitational action, Columbia took the tournament's consolation game from Delaware State, 9-7. The Lions had four hitters with two or more hits in the game.
The Terrapins (16-14) will play their next home game Thursday, April 1 against Mount St. Mary's. Admission and parking to the Terrapin Softball Complex are free. For those unable to attend the game, live play-by-play coverage will be available through the Game Tracker on www.umterps.com.