By Shehan Jeyarajah
No. 13 Baylor softball attacked Lamar early and often to earn a 6-1 win over the Lady Cardinals in a wid-week nonconference tilt Tuesday at Getterman Stadium in Waco.
In her third start of the season, Baylor senior pitcher Liz Paul pitched four innings of scoreless, two-hit softball. After walking her first batter, Paul retired eight straight, including four strikeouts.
“I was very happy with how Liz threw today,” Baylor head coach Glenn Moore said. “She came in and threw strikes. She’s got an unorthodox delivery, which naturally throws hitters off already. Good movement, a lot of spin. When she’s in control of her game, she’s tough to hit.”
Junior right fielder Kaitlyn Thumann led off by reaching base on an error from Lamar pitcher Tina Schulz. Freshman second baseman Ari Hawkins added a single, and sophomore Linsey Hays loaded the bases with a fielder’s choice. Senior catcher Clare Hosack was hit by a pitch, and Baylor scored its first run of the game. Junior third baseman Sarah Smith drove Hawkins home with a sacrifice fly in the next at-bat, and Baylor took a 2-0 lead out of the first.
Sophomore designated player Robin Landrith picked up a triple in the first at-bat of the second. After Thumann grounded out, Hays hit a home run to center field to give the Bears a 4-0 lead.
“My first at-bat, she threw me two inside pitches,” Hays said of her homer. “Coming up again, I told myself to back up off the plate a little bit. She threw me a perfect inside pitch, and I just turned on it.”
“It makes me feel a lot better [to play with a lead],” Paul said. “It takes a lot of pressure off, and allows me to just go out and pitch.”
Paul was in trouble in the third when she allowed a walk to shortstop Stephanie Meeuwsen and a single to third baseman Casey Cromwell. In the next at-bat, center fielder Candyce Carter singled, which would have loaded the bases, but Meeuwsen tried to score and was called out at home.
Sophomore pitcher Heather Stearns replaced Paul in the top of the fifth. Stearns retired all three of the batters she faced. Hays walked in the top of the fifth, and Hosack singled to left to advance runners to first and second. Catcher Christy Lisenby hit an RBI single, and advanced to second on the throw to give Baylor a 5-0 lead. Hosack was called out at third on the throw. Freshman center fielder Lindsey Cargill singled against Dannelley to move Lisenby to third. Cargill proceeded to steal second, and Lisenby scored an unearned run on a muffed throw by the second baseman.
“This is our weekend off, but we have a good Houston team to play on Tuesday,” Moore said. “We’ll practice through the weekend, maybe have one day off. We took a couple days off before heading to South Florida and went on a slump, so we’re going to practice more this time.”
With the win, Baylor moved to 28-6 on the season, and 7-2 at home. Baylor will play a road double-header against Houston on Tuesday.