By Krista Pirtle
After 14 straight wins by the Baylor Lady Bears, the streak was snapped in a pitchers’ dual Sunday against the University of Houston Cougars, falling 1-0.
The loss capped the QTI-Powers tournament, in which Baylor won its first three games before falling to the Cougars.
Sunday’s winning run was scored in the top of the third after Katy Beth Sherman hit a slow roller down the first base line and a throwing error advanced her to second.
After forcing the one and two holes to fly out, redshirt sophomore pitcher Whitney Canion threw a change-up to Baillie Lott, who sent it over Canion’s head to center field, scoring Sherman to grasp the game-winning run.
“I think she was ready for it (change-up), but I also threw it too fast, at a good speed,” Canion said. “I threw her two. Sometimes my change-ups are too fast, and that’s when they hit them.”
Baylor’s offense never seemed to be able to get going, hitting the ball hard only to have a Cougar standing right under it, ready to make the out.
“I thought we hit the ball hard at times,” head coach Glenn Moore said. “I thought we hit the ball harder than they did. In fact I know we hit the ball harder than they did, but a good pitcher won’t let you string hits together and she didn’t.”
Houston’s senior pitcher Amanda Crabtree has no off-speed pitch; all she did was paint the corners and exploit the Baylor batters’ weaknesses to get the job done, striking out seven Lady Bears.
“She just works,” Canion said. “If your weakness is away, she’ll work away. She thinks a lot as a pitcher and knows what our weaknesses are and that kept us off-balance.”
Baylor never seemed to conquer Crabtree’s pitch selection as the team only recorded five hits.
“Our balls weren’t falling,” junior Kayce Walker said. “We were trying to hit her pitches instead of the pitches we wanted to hit. We should have had more of a hitter’s mentality instead of letting the pitcher get ahead.”
The rest of the QTI tournament, however, Baylor showed their dominance on offense and defense.
Throughout all four games, the pitching staff, made up of Canion, sophomore Courtney Repka and freshman Liz Paul, combined for 33 total strikeouts.
Canion goes the distance Friday
In their first game of the tournament on Friday, against the Sam Houston State Bearkats, the Lady Bears won 6-0. Sophomore Kathy Shelton led the way with three hits, three stolen bases and two RBI.
Canion was in the circle for Baylor with a complete game shutout, allowing three hits, one walk and striking out six.
Lady Bears win part one, two of Saturday doubleheader
Baylor had a doubleheader on Saturday where they faced Central Arkansas and Louisiana Monroe, defeating both 3-0 and 2-1 respectively.
In the first game, against Central Arkansas, Paul threw a complete game shutout, striking out eight and allowing only four hits.
Canion and freshman Shelbi Redfearn both homered.
The second game of the day, against Louisiana Monroe, was not won by the long ball.
Instead, Baylor capitalized on Warhawk errors.
For the first time this season, Baylor allowed its opponent to score first, as the Warhawks’ Briana Love led the game with a walk on an illegal pitch, advanced to second on another illegal pitch, made it to third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout to second to grab a 1-0 Louisiana Monroe lead.
Baylor regained the lead in the third as Shelton led off with a bunt single, followed by another bunt single by Walker. Shelton advanced to second on a throwing error by the pitcher.
Senior Dani Leal then hit a ground ball to the pitcher, but yet another erred throw allowed Leal to make it to third while Shelton and Walker made the score 2-1.
Courtney Repka threw a complete game as well, allowing one run, four hits, two walks and eight strikeouts.
The Lady Bears have one more matchup at home, a doubleheader against Prairie View A&M at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. today before flying to San Diego. to take part in the Campbell/Cartier Classic, where the defending national champions UCLA await among four other teams.