Maryland Softball Comes Back in Second Game to Split with Virginia

April 19, 2008

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Senior Brittany Bessho's two-run home run in the first inning surged the University of Maryland softball team to a 6-1 victory over Virginia in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday afternoon. In the first game, the Cavaliers used a three-run third inning to propel them to a victory over Maryland, 5-4. The Terps move to 31-15 and 5-9 in Atlantic Coast Conference play, while Virginia moves to 14-32 and 5-12 in the ACC.

Maryland starter Lindsey Wright (4-1) calmed down after allowing one run in the first inning, allowing only two hits the final six innings, striking out three. Whitney Holstun dropped to 3-11 on the year, striking out one in 4 1/3 innings while allowing four earned runs.

In the first inning of the second game, Virginia's Alison Pittman walked before scoring on a Kelly Haller single to give the Cavaliers an early 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the inning, Maryland senior Sarde Stewart singled before Bessho hit her fourth home run of the season to left-center field to give the Terps a 2-0 lead.

Maryland added two more in the fifth inning after Niki Lau and Jenny Belak both singled to lead off the inning. After a sacrifice bunt by Alex Schultz, Stewart singled home Lau for her third RBI of the day. Maryland ran a double steal with pinch runner Krista Gould moving to second and Belak stealing home to give Maryland a 4-1 lead.

In the sixth inning, the Terps added two more when Julie Lofland doubled down the left field to score Meghan Booth. After Belak reached on a fielder's choice and stole second, Schultz doubled down the left field line to score Belak and finish the scoring for Maryland.

The Cavaliers struck early in the first inning of the first game after Meghan O'Leary was hit by a Sarah Dooley pitch and scored on a Carly Winger triple to left-center field.

The Terps responded immediately in the bottom of the inning when Schultz hit a double off the center-field fence and Stewart stepped up and hit her team-leading sixth home run of the season.

In the third inning, Virginia struck for three runs as Sarah Tacke led off the inning with a double and scored on a Pittman single. After Maryland starter Sarah Dooley walked Kelly Haller, she struck out the next two batters before Lauren McCaskey singled down the right-field line to give the Cavaliers a 4-2 lead.

Maryland's Devon Williams picked up her seventh RBI of the season in the fourth inning when she walked with the bases loaded to score Stewart.

Virginia added another run in the fourth when Haller walked with the bases loaded to score pinch runner Casey Steffan.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Terps were down to their final out when Schultz hit her second home run of the season down the left-field line. Virginia starter Karla Wilburn walked Steward, but Bessho grounded into a fielder's choice for the final out.

Wilburn (9-14) pitched her ninth complete game of the season for the victory, while Dooley (13-11) finished with five strikeouts in her tenth complete game of the year in a losing effort.

With her three RBI today, Stewart now has 35 on the season, moving her into a tie for ninth place in the single-season record book.

The finale of the three-game series is Sunday at 1p.m and is Maryland's Senior Game. The Terps' five seniors will be honored in a brief ceremony before the game.

Virginia	103 100 0   5 8 1
Maryland	201 000 1   4 6 1
Karla Wilburn and Kelly Haller; Sarah Dooley and Brittany Bessho. W - Wilburn, 9-14. L - Dooley, 13-11. HR - Sarde Stewart (6), Alex Schultz (2).

Virginia	100 000 0   1 3 2
Maryland	200 022 X   6 9 0
Whitney Holstun and Kelly Haller; Lindsey Wright and Brittany Bessho. W - Wright, 4-1. L - Holstun, 3-11. HR - Bessho (4).