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By Parmida Schahhosseini
The No. 25 Baylor softball team redeemed itself by winning the Texas Shootout after losing it last year at Getterman Stadium. Baylor defeated North Texas 9-3 on Sunday for the series sweep and tied the program’s best winning streak at 14 games.
“That’s awesome,” head coach Glenn Moore said in regards to the record. “I didn’t realize that, didn’t know that we were approaching that, but that’s nice.”
Junior left-handed pitcher Whitney Canion struggled early after throwing 33 pitches in the first inning and giving up a run. She later found her strike zone and had 13 strikeouts, the most she has had this season.
Offensively, Baylor was clicking. Sophomore outfielder Kaitlyn Thumann was two-for-three with three runs and one RBI, and senior centerfielder Kathy Shelton was two-for-three with two runs and two RBI singles.
Baylor didn’t start the way it wanted to. The second pitch of the game was a solo home run by North Texas. After a strikeout, Canion allowed two back-to-back walks, but had another strikeout following that. Canion didn’t look like her usual self to begin the game. She had trouble finding the strike zone early.
Thumann responded with a lead off home run of her own to left center to tie the game. Shelton walked shortly after, but got out on a fielder’s choice when trying to advance to second when freshman outfielder Linsey Hays had a base hit. After another out by fielder’s choice, the first inning ended with a tied ball game.
“We were answering you know, we did it yesterday, we’re answering,” Moore said. “When we get behind, we’re coming back with big innings, letting our pitchers know we’ve got their back a little bit.”
Fortunately for Baylor, Canion found her rhythm. Making adjustments after missing the corners, Canion had back-to-back strikeouts in the second and third innings, keeping North Texas out of offense. After not being able to capitalize on junior catcher Clare Hosack’s double in the second inning, junior first baseman Holly Holl blasted a two-run homer.
Hays bunted for a single when she beat the throw to get to first base. Freshman third baseman Sarah Smith hit the ball off the shortstop’s glove and Hays advanced to second. Freshman infielder Robin Landrith grounded out to second base, but runners advanced on the play. A wild pitch allowed Hays to score.
North Texas responded with a solo home run from Williams after one out, but Canion’s consecutive strikeouts put Baylor back on offense.
Kettler started off singling to left center and freshman outfielder Justine Young came into to pinch-run for her. Sophomore infielder Jordan Strickland singled and advanced to second on the throw. Young advanced to second, but got out on a fielder’s choice as she tried to advance to third. Thumann singled to second base and Strickland advanced to third. After the home run, the umpire reversed a controversial call, and Thumann was deemed safe. Shelton came on the plate next and laid down a squeeze bunt and scored Strickland. Shelton forced the throw to second base allowing Thumann to score as Shelton advanced to second on the throw. Holl flied out to centerfield, but it allowed Shelton to advance to third.
Baylor’s offense continued to roll as Strickland singled to left field. Thumann walked shortly after, allowing Strickland to move to second. Shelton was up next and singled up the middle and Strickland ran for the score as Thumann advanced to third. Holl has a base hit and Thumann scored. After another out, Smith lined to centerfield allowing Shelton to score.
North Texas wasn’t going down without a fight as they had another runner score after two doubles were hit. With runners on first base and third base, Smith caught the ball to end the game.