BU splits games vs. Missouri

No. 27 senior Jordan Vannatta hits a pitch in Saturday’s matchup with the Missouri Tigers. The Lady Bears won, 3-2, but fell to the Tigers on Sunday, 6-0. Baylor is now 28-6 overall and 2-2 in Big 12 play.
Nick Berryman | Lariat Photographer

Weekend features walk-off from Turk

By Krista Pirtle
Sports Writer

The Baylor softball team defeated the Missouri Tigers 3-2 with a walk-off sac-fly to right center on Saturday; however, it could not maintain this momentum as it went into Sunday’s game, losing 6-0.

Game one was full of excitement for the Lady Bears. The win snapped a six-game losing streak to Missouri, and marked the first win over the Tigers since April 29, 2007.

Baylor knew going into the two-game series with Missouri that scoring runs would be tough, considering the dominance of pitcher Chelsea Thomas in the circle.

“We knew how tough it was going to be to get runs off Chelsea Thomas,” head coach Glenn Moore said after winning on Saturday. “We fought every at-bat and got a total team effort. Whitney [Canion] was fantastic today, and Megan [Turk] just seems to have a knack to deliver in the clutch.”

Both Thomas and the sophomore Canion went all seven innings, with eight and 10 strikeouts respectively.

The game didn’t start out quite like the Lady Bears wanted it to as the Tigers jumped out with a 2-0 lead in the first, thanks to a two-out, two-RBI single by senior Catherine Lee. Baylor’s defense made sure the Tigers didn’t score again.

Baylor cut the lead in half in the third as junior Sydney Wilson and sophomore Kathy Shelton led with back-to-back singles. Freshman Holly Holl stepped into the box next, and, as the four hole hitter, was intentionally walked.

That’s when Moore put the injured senior Dani Leal in to bat, pinch hitting for junior Kayce Walker. Leal drew the walk, and Wilson came home.

The Lady Bears evened the score in the fifth when senior KJ Freeland hit a lead off single and advanced to second from a sacrifice bunt by junior Megan Turk. With two outs and a stolen base later, Walker singled to short and scored Freeland.

Baylor’s last home game that was tied going into the bottom of the seventh, against Texas A&M, went into 11 innings and was ended by a walk off home run by Turk. This time, with runners on second and third after back-to-back lead off doubles by Shelton and Freeland, Turk went to work a little earlier with a sacrifice fly to right field to end the game in the seventh.

The second game did not go as the Lady Bears wanted, as Missouri’s Thomas was dominant in the circle for the second game in a row and the combined efforts of Baylor freshman Liz Paul and sophomores Alicia Vasquez and Courtney Repka couldn’t contain the Tiger bats.

“Today just wasn’t our day,” Moore said. “We got some early base runners, but the unearned runs really hurt our momentum. The breaks just didn’t go our way today.”

Walker fared well against Thomas, going 2-2 on the day, counting for half of the Baylor total hits. The game was scoreless going into the third, but just one error with two outs and a runner at third sparked a four run inning, including a three-run homerun by sophomore Nicole Hudson.

Missouri added two more runs in the seventh with an RBI double by senior Abby Vock.

Baylor now has an eight game road trip, beginning with a Big 12 doubleheader against Texas Tech starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday.