By Nathan Keil | Sports Editor
With fresh faces in the circle, junior Regan Green for Baylor matching up with Oklahoma sophomore Mariah Lopez, the Lady Bears were hoping to erase the memory of their 5-0 Friday loss to the Sooners and even the series.
Instead, Lopez was even more dominant as the combination of her and senior lefty Paige Lowary combined to no hit the Lady Bears in a 9-0 five-inning game, marking the first time since a 9-1 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette on May 17, 2015 since they have been run-ruled.
It was also the first time since an 11-1 loss on April 28, 2010 to Texas A&M that it has happened at Getterman Stadium.
Baylor head coach Glenn Moore said his team’s play was disappointing all-around, but that Oklahoma may be one of the very best teams he’s ever seen and coached against.
“It’s disappointing. We didn’t play well in any aspect of the game. That wasn’t Baylor softball. That’s what I addressed with the team, that’s not who we are,” Moore said. “I’ve seen few teams as powerful as they’ve been the last two nights in my career, and I’ve been coaching a long time. If you’re going to get intimidated by a team, this is a team that can intimidate you. They’re shooting for the mountaintop for the third time, so they’ve been there and have great athletes. But we’re closer to them than we played tonight.”
Lopez pitched the first three, allowing just one runner on an error in the second, while striking out three. Lowary pitched the final two innings, allowing on runner on a hit by pitch while striking out one.
Baylor senior catcher Carlee Wallace said the Sooners were electric in the circle, but that all teams are susceptible to these outcomes when they aren’t focused.
“They’re good pitchers all the way around,” Wallace said. “We just didn’t show up and when you don’t show up, this it what happens when you play a team like that. No matter who they’re playing, if you don’t show up, this is what’s going to happen.”
Green (5-2), who has now lost her last two outings, made two separate appearances in the game, tossing a total of three innings while allowing four runs on six hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
The Sooners’ offense was pretty good too. Only senior shortstop Kelsey Arnold had more than one hit, finishing with two, but junior outfielder Falepolima Aviu drove in three runs, freshman designated player Jocelyn Alo drove in two and had a double, and despite not having a hit, sophomore outfielder Nicole Mendes scored three times.
Oklahoma also took advantage of a season-high four errors from the Lady Bears, something that Moore said was extremely uncharacteristic of his team.
“It’s not typical of us. We have a high fielding percentage and we’ve faced good teams and played good defense so they’re hitting the ball hard and when you hit the ball hard over and over and over, you’re going to play on your heels a little bit,” Moore said. “It’s hard to keep getting up in the face of that batter when they’re hitting the ball hard like that, but you have to keep getting back up and fighting to give yourself a chance and that’s what we got to do tomorrow.”
After stranding a pair of two-out singles in the first, Green wasn’t so fortunate in the second.
It began with a four pitch walk to Mendes. Senior catcher Lea Wodach then doubled down the left field line to put two runners in scoring position. Arnold then reached on a bunt single before Aviu drove in the first run with a single to center field.
After striking out in the first, Alo then ripped a two-run double down the left field line, scoring a pair and giving the Sooners a 3-0 lead.
Following the double, McGlaun entered and retired her first hitter on a groundball to second. But with two outs, Oklahoma scored its fourth run of the inning after junior infielder Shay Knighten’s line drive bounced off of the glove of sophomore shortstop Taylor Ellis.
Oklahoma kept its foot on the pedal, tacking on three more runs in the third.
Senior outfielder Nicole Pendley singled to leadoff the frame, but was erased on a fielder’s choice. However, Ellis’ throw on the double play attempt was wide of first, allowing Mendes to take second.
Mendes then stole third and came around to score as Wallace threw it in the left field, putting Oklahoma in front 5-0. The Sooners followed that run up with a single, an RBI groundout, a walk and an RBI double from junior infielder Sydney Romero, increasing the Sooners’ lead to 7-0.
Oklahoma didn’t stop there, adding two more in the fourth, as the Sooners scored twice on two walks, a hit by pitch, an error and a fielder’s choice groundout to push the lead to 9-0.
With one final opportunity to extend the game, McGlaun reached after getting hit by a pitch, but a nifty play by Lowary in front of home plate, retired Ellis to end the game.
“Move on. Just move on, keep moving forward,” Wallace said about the mindset heading into Saturday’s series finale.
Baylor will send out junior Gia Rodoni (12-5) to the circle on Saturday. Moore said he expects her to give the Lady Bears a chance tomorrow.
“I expect her to compete and that’ s all I can expect out of her and I think she will,” Moore said.
No. 15 Baylor (20-8, 10-2) and No. 2 Oklahoma (30-2, 5-0) conclude their series at 6 p.m. tomorrow.