Softball drops second game to Texas 5-1
Despite a strong first half of the game defensively, the No. 15 Baylor Lady Bears (26-7, 0-2 Big 12) fell to No. 9 Texas (29-4, 2-0) 5-1 Sunday in Austin, marking the second time this season that Baylor has lost back-to-back games.
The offense struggled for the second consecutive day against Texas pitcher Blaire Luna who struck out 11 despite throwing 295 pitches over the two days.
Baylor did score in the second inning due to a fielding error by Texas, allowing freshman outfielder Justine Young, who pitch ran for freshman third baseman Sarah Smith, to score. Baylor’s defense made four errors in crucial situations leading to Texas runs.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Heather Stearns started the game with four straight strikeouts. Baylor’s defense did its job early, keeping the Texas offense quiet throughout the first half of the game. In the fourth inning, Stearns worked out of a jam with the bases loaded, getting a huge strikeout to keep Texas scoreless.
However, it was a matter of time before the high-powered Texas offense made some noise. The Baylor offense stranded players and was unable to generate any runs, putting more pressure on Stearns to keep Texas off balance. After a base hit and a walk from Texas, head coach Glenn Moore decided to take out Stearns for junior left-handed pitcher Whitney Canion. The pitch hit longhorn Brejae Washington, leaving the bases loaded.
Longhorn Taylor Thom hit a sacrifice fly ball out to right field, and Washington advanced to second. Longhorn Taylor Hoagland advanced to third on a throwing effort by the sophomore right fielder Kaitlyn Thumann, and Longhorn Stephanie Ceo scored. The next Texas batter singled through the left side and advanced to second on the throw. Washington advanced to third and Hoagland scored. Baylor forced back-to-back outs the end the inning, but Texas got its first lead of the day.
Baylor was unable to respond, as its offense didn’t generate anything but a walk, putting Texas back on offense. Longhorn Torie Schmidt was at bat first for Texas and reached first base on a throwing error by Canion. Longhorn Gabby Smith doubled to right center and advanced to third on a fielding error by freshman second baseman Robin Landrith, allowing Schmidt to score. Ceo singled to left center allowing Smith to score. Moore decided to make another pitching change and took out Canion for senior right-handed pitcher Courtney Repka.
However, Texas continued to score. After Hoagland grounded out, Ceo advanced to second. Washington walked shortly after, but Baylor’s defense got a stop as Thom flied out to short. Bruins singled up the middle allowing Washington to advance to second and Ceo to score. Longhorn Mandy Ogle lined out to second base to finish off the inning, but not before scoring three runs to put Baylor in a hole.
Baylor tried to respond for one last time in the top of the seventh but got back-to-back outs. Senior center fielder Kathy Shelton singled to second base and freshman outfielder Linsey Hays drew a walk shortly after. However, it was too late as Baylor got another out to finish the game.
Baylor is looking to get its first conference win after back-to-back losses as they play Iowa State at 2 p.m. Friday at Getterman Stadium.