By Parmida Schahhosseini
The No. 16 Baylor softball team (29-7, 3-2 Big 12) swept the series against Iowa State (14-19, 0-3 Big 12) with a 7-5 win Saturday at Getterman Stadium. The Lady Bears trailed throughout the game but broke away in the sixth inning by scoring three runs.
Sophomore outfielder Kaitlyn Thumann went three for four and scored two runs, and junior first baseman Holly Holl was productive during her four at bats, drawing two walks and hitting sacrifice fly balls twice to score runners. Sophomore shortstop Jordan Strickland hit doubles on both her at bats and had an RBI.
Junior left-handed pitcher Whitney Canion started the game even though she was fatigued from the double-header Friday. Canion struggled early, giving up five runs on six hits, forcing head coach Glenn Moore to put in freshman right-handed pitcher Heather Stearns. Stearns pitched for four innings, didn’t allow a hit and struck out eight batters.
Baylor began the game by retiring the first two Iowa State batters, but a double and a two-run homer quickly gave the Cyclones a 2-0 lead.
Senior center fielder Kathy Shelton started the inning by reaching second on a throwing error by the third baseman. Thumann filed out to left field, but it allowed Shelton to advance to third. Holl hit the first of her two sacrifice fly balls to score Shelton.
Iowa State would score its remaining runs in the top of the third as Canion had a hard time finding the strike zone.
Baylor responded after being down four runs by scoring three in the bottom of the third. Thumann hit a leadoff single up the middle and stole second during Holl’s at bat. Holl drew a walk, putting runners at first and second. Freshman infielder Sarah Smith was hit by a pitch and advanced to first. Sophomore infielder Jill Reid pinch ran for Smith. Freshman left fielder Linsey Hays singled to left field, allowing Shelton to score. Holl was in position to score, but she couldn’t beat the throw from the center fielder. An RBI double from Strickland allowed Reid to score and a RBI single from senior infielder Kelsi Kettler allowed Hays to score.
Stearns and the defense did their job to keep the score close, allowing for a Baylor comeback. After stranding eight players, Shelton began the bottom of the sixth with an infield single. Shelton quickly stole second with Thumann at bat. Thumann singled to right field and advanced to second on the throw, allowing Shelton to advance to third. Holl hit her second sacrifice fly ball to score Shelton, tying the game. Smith was hit by a pitch again and advanced to second after a single from Hays. Thumann advanced to third, but scored on a fielding error by the center fielder, giving Baylor its first lead of the day. Iowa State switched pitchers after an illegal pitch. Shortly after, Smith scored.
Stearns pitched three straight strikeouts the end the game, giving the Lady Bears some momentum as they face No. 1 Oklahoma at 6:30 p.m. Friday in Norman.