Softball Ohio State faces Maryland hoping to continue success in Big Ten

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Then-junior outfielder Bri Betschel holds her bat out, prior to pulling back for a swing in a game against Wright State on Sep. 24. Credit: Gretchen Rudolph | For The LanternThe Ohio State softball team will continue its Big Ten season when it heads to College Park, Pennsylvania, to take on Maryland this weekend. The Buckeyes (18-9, 3-0 Big Ten) will take on the Terrapins (16-15, 0-3 Big Ten) in a three-game series.After three home wins against Indiana to begin conference play, sophomore outfielder Summer Constable said the team is coming in with a lot of momentum and excitement.“I think that if we were able to take that jump that fast, then it’s going to make the rest of our season even more exciting,” Constable said. Like Indiana, Maryland is also a familiar team to Ohio State, especially for Constable, who was a high school teammate of Terrapins sophomore infielder Sammie Stefan.Since 2016, Ohio State has won every game it has played against Maryland, including a 13-5 win in their first matchup this past season.Despite past records, Ohio State head coach Kelly Kovach Schoenly said Maryland is a stronger team, and is very solid and competitive. Maryland freshman infielder Taylor Okada has been the leader of the offense, leading the team with a .426 average, adding nine extra-base hits with 15 RBI. Freshman catcher Gracie Voulgaris has added 10 doubles and three home runs this season. Maryland junior infielder Anna Kufta has been the main power threat, leading the team with five home runs and 35 RBI. “They have winning records. They’ve done well in the preseason. I know in the past we’ve done well but doesn’t predict the future for sure,” Schoenly said. “We have to play well.”Last week, the Terrapins played against Minnesota and scored 13 runs, losing all three games. Schoenly said even in the losses, Maryland demonstrated the ability to put up plenty of runs. She added this puts additional pressure on Ohio State’s offense to keep up with the Terrapins’ bats.“The nice thing about playing Indiana this past weekend is that there were a lot of different situations that happened in the game,” Schoenly said. “My expectation is we are going to continue to get better and performing in the pressure.”This series between Ohio State and Maryland will start at 6 p.m. Friday. The second game will start at 2 p.m. Saturday, and the final game will be at 1 p.m. Sunday.

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