By Shehan Jeyarajah
No. 14 Baylor softball was named champions of the 2014 Getterman Classic after a strong 4-1 weekend in Waco.
Baylor started off the tournament by defeating UAB in their Classic opener on Friday night 4-2 on a walk-off three-run home run by senior catcher Clare Hosack.
UAB struck first blood in the top of the second when left fielder Hayley Davis hit a leadoff triple. Designated player Kristen McGrath hit an RBI double to score Davis and give the Blazers a 1-0 lead.
Senior first baseman Holly Holl hit an RBI double to drive in senior catcher Clare Hosack in the bottom of the second inning to tie the game.
The Bears and Blazers played to a 1-1 deadlock after regulation, so the game headed to extra innings.
In the top of the ninth inning, Shortstop Caitlin Attfield bunted and reached base after an error that allowed center fielder Amy Waters to score.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Hosack hit a walk-off homer to left field to give Baylor the 4-2 victory.
“We were down by one, so I was just thinking about getting it in to the gap and trying to score at least one of the runners,” Hosack said. “I wasn’t thinking about a home run, but I knew it was good off the bat.”
Senior left-hander Whitney Canion threw a complete game and only allowed one earned run and struck out 13. Hosack had three hits and three RBIs in four at-bats.
Baylor played Drake in the second game of the Getterman Classic. The Bulldogs came in losers of their first six, and this one would be no different in a 4-2 Baylor victory.
Freshman center fielder Lindsey Cargill hit a single in the top of the first, but advanced to second after a throwing error. Sophomore third baseman Sarah Smith drove Cargill home with a double in the next at-bat.
Singles by pitcher Gronewold, third baseman Ashlie Chambers and an RBI single from first baseman Liz Buck led to Drake’s first run of the ballgame in the top of the second inning.
Junior right baseman Kaitlyn Thumann hit a lead-off double in the top of the third. With Thumann on second, Cargill hit a two-run home run, her second of the season and first ever at Getterman Stadium, to give Baylor a 4-1 lead.
Shortstop Amy Pierce homered in the bottom of the seventh to cut the Baylor lead to 4-2, but it was too-little-too-late for the Bulldogs as Baylor won 4-2.
Sophomore pitcher Heather Stearns and senior pitcher Liz Paul combined to allow only five hits and two runs. Cargill had two hits and batted in two runs in two at-bats.
Baylor played Lipscomb in the third game of the Classic. The Bears would lose 1-0 on an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth.
Right fielder Gracey Aguirre reached base after a throwing error by junior Baylor shortstop Jordan Strickland. Shortstop Bridgette Begle hit a triple to drive home Aguirre and score the lone run of the game.
Baylor left numerous opportunities on the table. Twice they had the bases loaded, once with one out, once with no outs. Both times they failed to score even one run. The Bears finished with nine runners left on base on the night.
Canion threw a complete game and allowed no earned runs, only one walk and struck out 11 in six innings. Thumann added two hits and a walk in three at-bats.
Baylor bounced back with a 2-0 shutout of Iowa in the second game of the double-header.
After a ten-pitch at-bat, Smith took walked to first base with two outs in the first. Hosack hit an RBI double with a full count to drive in Smith for the 1-0 lead.
Sophomore left fielder Justine Young advanced to second base to lead off the fifth inning on a throwing error. Thumann grounded out to the first baseman, but advanced Young to third. Cargill reached first on a fielder’s choice, but Young scored to give Baylor a 2-0 lead.
Stearns and Paul combined to allow only three total hits in the seven-inning shutout. Freshman second baseman Ari Hawkins contributed with two hits.
Baylor closed the tournament against No. 18 Missouri in what would turn out to be the de-facto championship game. The Bears beat Mizzou 2-1 to win the tournament.
“I don’t know if I’ve ever scheduled a schedule this difficult,” Baylor coach Glenn Moore said after the win. “Bringing Missouri in of course strengthened that and put a lot of emphasis on the final game. We’re going to be better because of it.”
Thumann led off the bottom of the first with a single. Cargill added another to move the runner to second. Smith bunted to advance runners to second and third, where Hosack hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Thumann for the first run of the ballgame.
Hawkins led off the fifth with a single and advanced to second after an error. Hawkins stole third on the next at-bat to set up a Thumann RBI single to drive home Hawkins and give Baylor a 2-0 lead.
Second baseman Ashtin Stephens and center fielder Taylor Gadbois singled to start off the fifth inning. Right fielder Emily Crane hit a single, and Stephens sprinted from second to home for Missouri’s single run of the ballgame.
Canion threw her third complete game of the weekend, and only allowed one earned run and five hits in seven innings. Thumann added three hits and an RBI in four at-bats.
“I felt pretty good about how I pitched,” Canion said after the win. “The team’s attitude of today really kept me going today. My legs are tired, but I just kept mixing it up and I think it kept them off balance.”
Baylor, Missouri and Lipscomb all finished with a record of 4-1 in the tournament, so the champion was determined by tiebreaker.
The first tiebreaker was runs-against in games against the tied teams, which eliminated Lipscomb. Next was runs-for against tied teams, which Baylor took with its 2-1 win over Missouri.
With the tournament win, Baylor moved to 10-2 on the season.
Freshman second baseman Ari Hawkins, junior right fielder Kaitlyn Thumann and Canion were all named to the All-Tournament Team.
The Bears were joined on the All-Tournament team by Iowa freshman infielder Claire Fritsch; UAB freshman infielder Mary Warren and senior infielder Kristen McGrath; Lipscomb junior infielder Paige Neely, junior outfielder Brianne Welch and sophomore pitcher Tanner Sanders; Missouri freshman pitcher Tori Finucane, junior third baseman Angela Randazzo and sophomore shortstop Sami Fagan.
Baylor softball will return to action on Thursday in The Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Palm Springs, Calif. They will play No. 18 Missouri again, No. 14 Stanford, Cal State Fullerton and Northwestern between Thursday and Saturday.