Maryland softball pitchers allowed only five hits and four walks on Sunday, but the offense couldn't mount a significant attack, as the Terps fell, 2-1, to Miami (Ohio) in their last game of the Louisville Invitational.
Despite the loss, Maryland (6-13) went 3-2 in Louisville, with both losses coming by three or fewer runs. The Terps will play their home opener next weekend.
Starter Sydney Golden and reliever Ryan Denhart combined to allow only four singles and a double to Redhawks hitters.
Maryland, which has been improving defensively after early-season struggles, also committed four errors against the Redhawks. But Golden and Denhart managed to work around those miscues without any damage.
"Both [pitchers] did a really good job of getting themselves out of trouble when they got in it," coach Julie Wright said. "They both were pitching with a great deal of confidence and executing great pitches."
Denhart and Golden were the only two pitchers Wright used over the weekend, the first time that has happened this season.
"It's going to be about fitness with them," Wright said about the pitchers' workload, "making sure that we keep them strong and get them the proper rest that they need."
Miami put up its runs in the fourth inning, when it used a double-steal to bring home a runner from third. That was the second time this weekend the Terps allowed a run on a double steal. Miami followed that with an RBI single to push its lead to 2-0.
Maryland got one run back in the top of the sixth. Outfielder Kassidy Cross doubled to center and advanced to third on an error. Following a strikeout, outfielder Amanda Brashear singled Cross home.
The hit continued Brashear's hot offensive weekend. She was 2-3 with an RBI against Miami, pushing her to 6-for-13 on the weekend, with three RBI, including the game-winner, against Eastern Illinois on Saturday.
"Amanda has been very upset with herself and her performance the first few weekends," Wright said. "She's been working extra nearly every day trying to get her swing right and making adjustments. So you could see it coming."
Brashear picked up the offensive slack on a weekend when the lineup struggled. The team's top two hitters, infielders Skylynne Ellazar and Brigette Nordberg, both saw their batting averages fall close to 100 points over the weekend, while Brashear raised her average from .132 to .288.
Despite the loss to end the weekend, Wright was happy with her team's performance over the weekend.
"We put all three aspects of the game together more often," Wright said. "We were connected as a team and we played with great energy. So, all those parts together is the team we are striving to be, and we were able to be it a little bit more this weekend."