By Krista Pirtle and Daniel Wallace
Sports Writer and Reporter
The Lady Bears knocked off any rust from their week-long break as they defeated Florida International in both games of a doubleheader Thursday, first 2-0 then 4-3. The win improves Baylor to 26-4.
Leal blasts eighth homer as Baylor completes sweep
In the second game’s first inning, senior Dani Leal sent a two run shot over the right center field wall in the first inning.
“My homerun felt really great because I didn’t play the last two weeks because I had pink eye,” Leal said. “It was really nice to finally be out here and hit the ball hard and play for the team.”
Offensively, the Lady Bears looked more relaxed at the plate and more in control, as FIU junior pitcher Ashley McClain pitched for only 1.2 innings, allowing five hits and all four of the Lady Bears’ runs.
Mariah Dawson came in to relieve McClain and only allowed three hits, while walking one and striking out three.
For Baylor, sophomore Whitney Canion pitched a complete game, allowing three runs on six hits while walking three and striking out six.
“I think I did good with mixing my pitches and not throwing just one pitch,” Canion said. “I need to have all of [my pitches] this weekend and for the whole conference. Just one pitch is not going to beat teams.”
Coach Glenn Moore said he saw his team calm down in the second game.
“The second game, I thought if there were any nerves in the first game having laid off so long we came back and looked much more settled down and looked a lot better offensively and under control,” Moore said.
Baylor recorded eight hits for the game but also picked up three errors.
“We didn’t play flawless ball tonight, but this is exactly what I had envisioned,” Moore said. “These games were for a purpose to knock dust off. The perfect game was to be in that circumstance and come out victorious. We’ve been off too long to play flawless.”
Flawless play might be necessary as the Lady Bears open conference play, as eight of the 10 Big 12 teams are nationally ranked including No. 22 Texas A&M, who the Lady Bears play at 2 p.m. Saturday in Waco.
Paul collects complete shutout in Game 1
Four was the magic number for freshman starting pitcher Liz Paul in the first game of a doubleheader against Florida International University Thursday. Sporting the number 44 on her jersey, she gave up just four hits and also had four strikeouts. She did not allow a run in her complete game, as she led the Lady Bears to a 2-0 victory.
In the first meeting in the history of the two schools, the Lady Bears scored two runs on just three hits at Getterman Stadium. The victory snapped the four-game winning streak for FIU after it swept Middle Tennessee State last weekend.
Leal drove in Walker on a line drive double into left-center field for the game’s first run.
Five more zeros would go on the board in a pitchers’ duel until the Lady Bears scored their final run in the bottom half of the fourth inning.
With senior KJ Freeland at the plate, freshman Shelbi Redfearn stole second base easily and later was safe on a headfirst slide to steal third as well.
Freeland walked, and Redfearn later scored as Freeland stole of second base.