Maryland softball dropped both games of a Sunday doubleheader to wrap up the Auburn Invitational. The Terps lost, 1-0, against St. Francis (PA) before falling, 8-0, to No. 13 Auburn in five innings.
The only run of the first game came in the bottom of the sixth inning, when St. Francis infielder Mikayla Bower hit a two-out single to bring in a runner from third base.
Despite taking the loss, Terps starter Ryan Denhart produced her second straight quality outing. Coming off a complete-game victory in the first game of the weekend against Delaware, Denhart allowed four hits and three walks in six innings.
"She was making good pitches and didn't give into any hitter," coach Julie Wright said. "The mark of a good pitcher is getting out of trouble when you get into it, and she did that really well."
But St. Francis starter Abby Trahan outplayed Denhart. Trahan threw a complete-game shutout, allowing only three hits and two walks while fanning 10 Terps. Trahan held Maryland hitless until the fourth inning.
Maryland (2-7) threatened to tie the game in the top of the seventh inning, putting a runner in scoring position, but Trahan escaped and secured St. Francis' win.
Third baseman Brigette Nordberg was Maryland's offensive spark. She had two of the Terps' three hits, including the fourth-inning double that broke up the no-hitter.
"Brigette Nordberg had some great at bats, played good defense," Wright said. "She really stood out as one of the bright spots of the weekend."
Auburn jumped ahead in the second inning of game two, using a fielder's choice and a walk to push two runs across against Terps starter Sydney Golden.
The Tigers doubled their lead in the third, when two Maryland errors allowed two more runs to score. The threat continued, with Auburn putting runners on the corners with two outs, but reliever Sami Main forced a groundout to escape the inning.
After adding two more runs in the fourth, Auburn won the game by run rule, pushing across two runs in the fifth inning with two RBI singles. It was the second time in two days the Tigers defeated Maryland by the run rule.
The Terps, who finished the weekend 1-3, managed only one baserunner against Auburn starter Makayla Martin, a walk by outfielder Kassidy Cross in the fourth inning.
Despite the two blowout losses to the Tigers, Wright feels her team learned from playing a highly ranked opponent.
"You're watching a team that knows how to win," Wright said. "When you're growing as a young team, it's good for them to see that this is what winners do and this is how winners act. It's good to see what we have to do to compete at that level day in and day out."