By Nathan Keil | Sports Editor
No. 10 Baylor softball opened the Black and Gold Invitational with a 7-1 victory over No. 24 McNeese State Friday afternoon in Hattiesburg, Miss.
Junior pitcher Gia Rodoni followed up her five-inning no-hitter last Friday with a complete game, four-hitter against the Cowgirls.
Rodoni struck out eight, walked two and gave up one run –– a solo home run to sophomore centerfielder Brenique Wright in the bottom of the second inning. McNeese State managed hits in the first, sixth and seventh, but never really threatened Rodoni and the Lady Bears beyond the Wright’s long ball.
Baylor pounded out 11 hits, including two apiece from senior outfielder Jessie Scroggins, senior first baseman Shelby Friudenberg, sophomore second baseman Nicky Dawson and sophomore shortstop Taylor Ellis. Friudenberg and Ellis each drove in two runs as well.
Baylor got on the board in the top of the first with Friudenberg bringing in Scroggins for the game’s first run. Following Ellis’ single in the second inning, senior third baseman Caitlin Charlton delivering the big hit, lining an RBI triple in the gap in right center, putting the Lady Bears in front 2-0.
After the Cowgirls got on the board sigh the home run in the second inning, Baylor responded with three runs in the top of the fourth.
The Lady Bears put runners on second and third with one out for Ellis, who then drilled a double into left-center field, bringing in both runners. Ellis then proceeded to steal third base and come in and score on a fielder’s choice, putting Baylor in front 5-1.
Baylor put McNeese State away with two more runs in the seventh. Friudenberg brought the first run in with a double, which was her second RBI of the game. Sophomore outfielder Maddison Kettler then ripped a double down the left field line, bringing in pinch runner freshman outfielder Alyssa Avalos.
Baylor improves to 4-0, while McNeese State drops to 4-2. The Lady Bears take on Mississippi Valley State at 10 a.m. Saturday and Southern Miss at 7 p.m. Saturday night.