The Maryland softball team lost two games in the Maryland Invitational on Sunday.
The Terps scored in each of the first four innings in the initial game against Binghamton to grab a 7-3 lead, but the Bearcart compiled a six-run fifth inning via four walks and two errors for a 9-7 lead Maryland couldn't overcome.
In the tournament finale, the Terps fell behind, 3-0, to No. 12 James Madison in the first frame. Dukes pitcher Megan Good has only allowed three runs in her 15 appearances this season, and the junior ensured the Terps suffered an 8-0 loss.
"We were actually hitting the ball pretty well," coach Julie Wright said of the Terps' 11 hits through four frames against the Bearcats . "We maybe just didn't string it together in those innings the way we had hoped to. But, I thought the fight was still there, and I aprecitated that. Really, we just imploded in that inning when we gave up six runs."
Saturday, Maryland overcame Binghamton's 4-3 lead to walk-off in the seventh inning with a 5-4 win, but on Sunday, the Terps couldn't manage consistent offense after Binghamton's burst.
So, Maryland endured two pitching changes as walks and errors mounted. Pitcher Lauren Graves, who entered in the fifth with bases loaded for pitcher Hannah Dewey, and allowed two walks and a hit batter. Then, pitcher Madison Martin entered the circle and almost escaped the frame before two errors on a grounder from infielder Skylynne Ellazar brought in two more Bearcats runs.
"When you bring a pitcher into the game," Wright said, "we've got to have the ability to throw strikes, and we just didn't."
Maryland's defense combined for eight errors in the two contests, but Ellazar amended her lapse with a breakout offensive performance. She finished the tournament batting 6-for-7.
Coach Julie Wright said Ellazar is pulling the ball better. She posted her lone extra base hit of the series in the second inning against James Madison, when she launched a double to center.
"She's kind of a feel hitter," Wright said. "So, if she can start feeling that power, I think that's going to help her gain a little more confidence and handle the barrell a little bit better."
Ellazar hit three infield singles against Binghamton, but against James Madison, her double and single flashed more power.
"I've just been missing things," Ellazar said. "So, for it to finally make solid contact felt pretty good … Just seeing the ball big and trying to make adjustments throughout the game a little bit faster."
Meanwhile, Maryland stranded eight base runners against the Dukes. Outfielder Amanda Brashear had a double in the first, but two groundouts prevented the Terps from responding to James Madison's three runs in the first.
In the second, Ellazar led off with a double, but she was thrown out at home trying to score on a grounder. With bases loaded later in the second, Good struck out Strange to end the threat.
"She's a really good pitcher," Wright said of Good. "When it got into that scenario, she got better, so that's important that we get better, too."
The junior pitcher from Virginia has a .20 ERA and earned her 16th win of the season on Sunday. Before playing the Terps, she held opponents to a .096 batting average, but Maryland hit .240 against her.
"We haven't really faced someone who threw that hard, and for me, hitting hard is usually easier because it's just making contact," Ellazar said. "So, going against her I just thought, 'Great, she throws hard, so just contact, she's going to provide the power.'"