Blog from Todd Carton
Saturday April 15, 2017 may or may not be historic in the annals of Maryland athletics but it’s certainly a day Terrapins’ fans should circle and long remember. We can certainly take some pride in seeing four Terps’ teams compete against Big Ten foes and come away with four wins but there’s one element tying together three of those four wins in particular that is unique and noteworthy. See if you can spot it.
MARYLAND 6 RUTGERS 0
By sweeping Rutgers, Maryland’s 44th ranked tennis team improved 5-4 in the Big Ten and 14-5 overall. After showing steady improvement over the past few seasons, the Terrapins have already secured their first winning season under fifth year head coach Daria Panova and with one win in their final two matches (both at home) can also assure themselves of a winning record in conference play.
MARYLAND 18 OHIO STATE 9
The number one ranked Maryland women’s lacrosse team cruised to an easy 18-9 win on senior day at the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex in College Park. Two of the Terps’ nine seniors, Lindsay Biondi and Deb Milani didn’t dress due to injuries. The other seven, including seldom used goalie Emily Kift and attackers Theo Kwas and Bairre Reilly all started and saw additional action late in the Terrpains’ rout of the Buckeyes.
The crowd of 1,964 was treated to a four goal outburst from junior Megan Whittle who now has 50 on the season. Freshman sensation Kali Hartshorn also found the back of the net four times. Hartshorn has now scored 15 goals in Maryland’s last three games. A particular highlight came late in the game when Kwas found a cutting Reilly making a senior connection on senior day.
The Terps finish the regular season with a pair of road games at Penn State Thursday night and at Northwestern the following Thursday. A win at Penn State will assure Maryland of at least a share of the conference championship.
MARYLAND 2 #18 MICHIGAN 1
Following the end of the women’s lacrosse game, I jogged over to the softball stadium arriving in the bottom of the fifth just in time to see Maryland third baseman Julie Strange launch a home run over the fence in center field. Strange had score the Terrapins’ other run in the bottom of the first after she led off the inning with a double before coming around to score on freshman Anna Kufta’s single.
Meanwhile, left handed starter Hannah Dewey stymied a potent Wolverines offense that averages nearly six runs per game holding them to just two singles and no runs through the first six innings. Dewey faltered a bit to start the seventh giving up a single and a double that halved Maryland’s lead to 2-1. After conceding a walk that put runners on first and second with no one out, Coach Julie Wright brought Madison Martin in to relieve Dewey.
The senior from Edmond, Oklahoma retired the first batter she faced on a sacrifice bunt. With runners on second and third, the next Wolverines batter lifted a soft pop fly to shallow right that fell just in front of the charging right fielder Destiny Henderson. Henderson short hopped the ball and fired a perfect strike to catcher Kristina Dillard who applied the tag for the second out. Martin induced a ground ball to Strange for the final out.
The win is the second in conference play for Maryland. Although the Terps have won only nine games all season, three of those wins have come over ranked teams – #1 Florida, #24 Missouri and now, #18 Michigan. The teams square off in the rubber game of the series Sunday afternoon.
MARYLAND 8 PENN STATE 3
By the time I got across campus from the softball stadium to Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium to see as much of the second game of Maryland’s weekend series with Penn State as I could, the Terps had already jumped out to a 5-0 lead. The Terrapins had jumped all over Penn State starter Justin Hagenman putting up four runs in the first and adding another in the third.
Meanwhile, Maryland starter Tyler Blohm, who tossed seven strong innings held the Nittany Lions scoreless through three. Some shaky Terrapins fielding in the fourth and fifth innings let the visitors close to within two at 5-3 through four and a half. The Terps would grab back a run in the bottom of the fifth and secured the game with two more in the home sixth. The Terps will look for the sweep Sunday afternoon.
So, other than the four wins, what’s special about Maryland’s day? Perhaps you didn’t notice because these are the “non-rev” sports after all. But on this day, April 15, 2017, teams from Maryland beat teams from Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State and I’d guess not many other schools can make that claim.