Feb. 27, 2010
COLUMBUS, Ga. - The Maryland softball team beat Central Florida 3-2 Saturday afternoon and fell to Mississippi State 5-4 earlier in the day at the 2010 National Fastpitch Coaches Association's Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga. The Terps are now 4-5 on the year.
Junior Marisha Branson led the Terrapin offensive unit in both games, going 2-for-2 at the plate in each game and knocking in four RBI. She is carrying a batting average of .400 on the year with a double, a triple a home run. She is also the Terps' RBI leader with seven, all coming this weekend.
Mississippi State took the lead early with a two-run first inning. In the top of the second, junior Kerry Hickey was called out at home as senior Alex Schultz reached third on a fielder's choice. Schultz scored two plays later on another fielder's choice to cut the Bulldogs' lead in half. Mississippi State's Ka'ili Smith homered to open the third inning, which made the score 3-1.
In the top of the fourth, MSU pitcher Kylie Vry walked both Hickey and Schultz to open the inning. Branson was up next and hit the first Maryland home run of the year to bring in both Hickey and Schultz. She collected three RBI and gave the Terps the lead, 4-3.
The Bulldogs scored in both the fifth and sixth innings to finalize the score at 5-4. Hickey started on the mound against the Bulldogs in game one. She threw six strikeouts in five innings and gave up four runs.
In game two of the day, the Knights struck first off of a fielder's choice. Terrapin starting pitcher Kendra Knight struck out the next two batters to close the inning at 1-0.
Schultz opened the inning with a single, which was followed by Branson's double down the right field line. Schultz scored on a Central Florida throwing error and Branson gave the Terrapins the lead when she scored on a wild pitch by UCF pitcher Ashleigh Cole.
The Terrapins led 2-1 going into the sixth inning, when the Knights tied it up when Cole hit an RBI single up the middle. Maryland answered in the bottom of the sixth when Branson scored from second off freshman Samantha Mallory's single.
Knight finished the game with eight strikeouts, five walks and just three hits in 5.2 innings.
The Terps will take the field against No. 4 Michigan Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Gametracker will be available.