Maryland softball infielder Skylynne Ellazar roped a two-strike pitch over the center field fence in her first at-bat of the season Friday against Cal Poly. It was the senior's first home run since 2016 and the fifth of her career.
While the power display might have been unexpected, her hot hitting throughout the rest of the five-game weekend tournament in Los Angeles was in line with how she's performed over the past two seasons. She ranks second on the program leaderboard with a .340 career batting average.
Ellazar went 8-for-13 with two RBIs in five games over the weekend against Caly Poly, UCLA, UC Riverside and Middle Tennessee. She also played error-free defense, providing stability to a unit that made nine miscues.
"It's not surprising at all," coach Julie Wright said of the captain's performance.
After her home run on Friday, it took Ellazar until the fifth inning of the Terps' next game against UCLA to record another official at-bat, as in her next five plate appearances, she drew four walks and was hit by a pitch. After her streak was broken by reaching on an error, she was hit by another pitch, giving her just two official at-bats through two games, despite going to the plate eight times.
Ellazar credited her hot offensive start and her patience at the plate to her approach of "staying within myself, not trying to do too much." Wright attributed it to the valuable experience she gained playing for the Philippines' national team in the Asian Softball Championships over the summer.
"It was the experience of a lifetime" Ellazar said. "Getting to bring that experience to the team has been great."
Wright also credits Ellazar's success to her knowledge and work ethic between games.
"She has a great understanding of what is going on with her swing," Wright said. "One thing Sky does better than anyone on our team right now is prepare."
Ellazar is one of only nine holdovers on the Terps. Despite an 11-39-1 record last year and a 1-4 record on the weekend, Ellazar feels good about Maryland's opening weekend and what it means as the season continues.
"We are a whole new team this year," Ellazar said. "Getting to gel together as a team was good going forward to next weekend at Auburn."