MADISON, Wis. – A late flurry of runs made the difference as 11th-seeded Maryland’s upset bid over sixth-seeded Illinois fell short in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament Thursday. A three-run sixth inning helped seal a 5-3 win for the Illini, as Maryland ends its 2018 campaign 18-37 (7-16 B1G).
Down 1-0 after the first, Maryland scored three unanswered runs between the third and fourth innings to take command of the game at Goodman Diamond.
With two outs and the bases loaded, senior Jacqui Pascual delivered a clutch two-out double for the Terps, scoring Kassidy Cross and Skylynne Ellazar to go up 2-1. Maryland would pad its lead in the fourth, getting a RBI single from Ellazar up the middle to take a 3-1 lead.
Junior Sydney Golden was solid in the circle for the Terrapins, allowing just two earned runs on four hits in five innings. The Riverside, Calif. native retired nine straight batters from the second to the fourth innings, carrying a lead out of the fifth after Illinois plated a run.
The sixth inning proved costly, as Illinois scored three runs on a triple, passed ball and fielder’s choice. Maryland couldn’t get its offense going in the seventh, as Illinois secured the two-run win.
Maryland saw a seven-win improvement in 2018, advancing to the Big Ten tournament for the first time since 2015.