By Nathan Keil | Sports Writer
Baylor softball finished an impressive 4-1 over the weekend in the extremely difficult Judi Garman Classic. The Lady Bears beat all four ranked opponents they faced, including Arizona State, Michigan, Washington and UCLA before falling in their finale to host Cal-State Fullerton.
The Lady Titans were able to scratch across the game’s only run in the bottom half of the seventh inning on a fielder’s choice following a pair of singles earlier in the frame.
Baylor was limited to four hits and ran itself into multiple outs, getting caught stealing twice. Freshman pitcher Shelby McGlaun took the loss, her second of the year, going 6 1/3 innings and allowing one run on four hits with four strikeouts.
The complete silencing of Baylor’s bats came just shortly after the Lady Bears exploded for 11 runs in knocking off No. 7 UCLA 11-6, their third win over the PAC-12 in the tournament.
Baylor put up three runs in the second and fifth innings and sealed the win with four runs in the seventh.
McGlaun led the way at the plate, going four for four with two home runs and five runs driven in. Senior infielder Lindsey Cargill had three hits, two of them doubles and the Lady Bears pounded out 14 hits and took advantage of three Lady Bruins’ errors in the victory.
Sophomore pitcher Gia Rodoni only lasted 2 1/3 for Baylor, allowing three runs on three hits — one of them a home run before Baylor head coach Glenn Moore turned the game back over to senior pitcher Kelsee Selman. Selman went the rest of the way, allowing three runs on eight hits but picked up the win, her tenth of the year.
Other than the offensive woes against Fullerton, the tournament went just about as good it could for Baylor.
Baylor head coach Glenn Moore said his team was ready for every challenge of the weekend.
“It has been a tremendous weekend for Baylor softball,” Moore said. “We beat every ranked team we played and faced the ace pitchers as the starter in three of those games. I couldn’t be happier with how this team responded to the challenge and I thought we played every aspect of the game at an elite level.”
On Friday of the Judi Garman Classic, Baylor softball picked up twin wins against ranked opponents, knocking off No. 20 Arizona State and No. 14 Michigan.
In the opener, the Lady Bears wasted little time getting on the board against the Sun Devils. Following a single by sophomore outfielder Kyla Walker, Arizona State committed a costly error moving Walker into scoring position. Senior infielder Ari Hawkins then brought Walker home on a single. Two batters later, junior infielder Shelby Fruidenberg continued her torrid streak at the plate by blasting a home run to left field, putting the Lady Bears up 2-0.
Freshman infielder Taylor Ellis brought in the fourth Baylor run in the top half of the fourth inning on a run scoring single to left field.
Arizona State managed to scratch home two runs in the bottom of the seventh, but was mostly controlled offensively as it was held to four hits and struck out seven times as a team.
Rodoni got the win for the Lady Bears, going 5 1/3 innings, allowing two hits, one walk and struck out seven.
In the Lady Bears’ second game of the day, they shutout No. 14 Michigan 4-0.
Selman went the distance for her eighth win of the season, allowing just two hits, three walks and struck out six Wolverines.
For six innings, Baylor and Michigan were locked in a pitcher’s duel. The seventh inning, however, belonged to the Lady Bears as they scratched across four runs to topple the Wolverines.
McGlaun led off the inning with a solo home run to left center. Three batters later, Scroggins delivered a run scoring single to center field, putting up Baylor up 2-0. After a single by Walker, Fruidenberg finished the damage with a two run single, as both Walker and Scroggins came across to score for the Bears.
Selman then worked around a one out walk in the seventh, striking out the final two batters to complete the upset win.
On Saturday, Selman was right back at it in the circle for Baylor, delivering another gem as the Lady Bears upset No. 7 Washington 3-1.
After three and a half scoreless frames, Baylor struck first with a sacrifice fly by McGlaun in the bottom of the fourth. Washington quickly answered the bell in the fifth with a home run to right center from Gibson.
The Lady Bears took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth when Hawkins singled and when the ball was misplayed by the pitcher, Scroggins scored the go ahead run. Walker then scored on a groundout by Friudenberg, putting Baylor up to 3-1.
Washington was only able to manage one single in the final two frames against Selman, including going down in order in the seventh.
Baylor improves to 18-4 overall and picked up some key victories to add to its resume heading into the final two weeks of non-conference play.
Moore said that the team’s confidence is only growing after the weekend.
“We gained a lot of momentum and confidence to carry through the rest of spring break and on throughout the regular season,” Moore said.
Even after the difficult slate in California, the schedule doesn’t get any easier for Baylor as it will travel to Natchitoches La. for a doubleheader at 5 and 7:30 p.m Wednesday against Northwestern State. It will then play No. 18 Louisiana Lafayette at 4 p.m Thursday before returning to Waco.