Softball splits double-header with Jayhawks
The No. 14 Baylor Lady Bears split its third consecutive double-header Saturday after defeating the Kansas Jayhawks 6-1 in the first game, but falling 6-5 in the second.
With the pressure on, Baylor continuously made plays in two-out situations. Of the 11 runs Baylor scored, 10 were scored when Baylor had two outs.
Despite the recent struggles, Baylor was able to generate offense. Baylor scored a combined 11 runs in both games with key home runs from junior left-handed pitcher Whitney Canion in the first game and freshman outfielder Linsey Hays at the top of the seventh inning in the second game to tie the score.
In the first game of the double-header, the key hit was a 2-run double from Kaitlyn Thumann, allowing Baylor to extend its 2-0 lead. Despite struggling on the plate, her single through the right side gave Baylor a spark.
Canion help herself by hitting her first home run of the season to the left side with two outs. This extended the inning, and Baylor was ready to go off. Freshman outfielder Justine Young reached first on a throwing error by the second baseman. With senior center fielder Kathy Shelton at the plate, Young stole a base. Shelton followed with an infield single, but a ground out ended the inning.
However, Canion wasn’t finished. With two outs, Hays struck out, but reached first on a passed ball, keeping the inning alive. Strickland singled to the pitcher, allowing Hays to advance. Sophomore first baseman Sarah Crockett drew a walk, loading the bases. Canion hit a single to left field allowing Strickland and Hays to score.
Baylor set the tone early when Freshman infielder Robin Landrith also singled to the right side allowing Thumann, who began the inning with a lead off walk, to score, giving Baylor an early lead in the second.
The pitching in the first game kept Kansas silent as Canion had her way against the No. 1 batting team in the Big 12. Canion allowed five hits and a run.
On the verge of a shutout, Kansas hits a one-out home run in the bottom of the seventh. However, Canion retired the remaining two batters to win the game.
In the second game, the Jayhawks came with a fight. Freshman right-handed pitcher Heather Stearns struggled against the Kansas batters. In three and one-third innings, Stearns allowed seven hits and four runs as Kansas began to respond in the fourth inning.
Despite being down 5-1 at the top of the seventh, Baylor came back to tie the game after a three-run homer to left field by Hays. Previously, Shelton advanced to third when freshman third baseman Sarah Smith reached on a fielder’s choice. Shelton ran toward third and scored due to a throwing error by the short stop.
Kansas got on the board first when Maddie Stein singled through the left side and Cassen Salamone followed with a bunt single. Chanin Naudin singled to right field, leaving the bases loaded without any outs. Stearns got a key strikeout, but Ashley Newman hit a three-run triple to left center. With the bases cleared, head coach Glenn Moore made a pitching change in favor of senior right-handed pitcher Country Repka. After two key outs, the threat was over, but the damage had been done.
With the score tied, the Lady Bears hoped to send the game into extra innings, but Alex Hugo hit a walk-off home run with the second pitch of the inning to end the game.
Baylor will wrap up the series at noon Sunday in Lawrence, Kan.