By Krista Pirtle
After getting run-ruled after five innings in game one of its doubleheader at Houston, No. 15 Baylor softball battled through eight innings in game two to take the win and split the series.
The Lady Bears’ pitching could not contain Houston’s offense in game one, but junior Megan Weldon helped secure Baylor’s game two win with an eighth inning home run.
“It was a wild two games with a lot of swings of emotion,” head coach Glenn Moore said. “But I couldn’t be happier for Meagan Weldon to come home and play the way she did tonight. We could have lost game two when we got behind, but we had new players step up and refuse to lose.”
Baylor fell 8-0 in game one, but bounced back for a 6-4 win in game two.
Game one didn’t begin well for Baylor’s offense, as the first three Lady Bears were retired with strikeouts by Houston pitcher Amanda Crabtree, who accumulated 10 total.
Sophomore pitcher Courtney Repka took the loss for Baylor, allowing eight runs off nine hits.
While the Lady Bears’ bats were struggling, the Houston bats caught fire in the second as they scored four runs off five hits.
The Cougars doubled their score in the fifth off two homers, a three-run shot by Stesha Brazil and a solo bomb by Haley Outon. Outon’s blast forced the mercy rule, automatically giving Houston the victory because of the size of its lead.
In game two, the Cougars were the first to score again, as two errors by Baylor allowed for extra base runners and Houston’s Katy Beth Sherman plated a run with a groundout.
Baylor’s bats awoke in the third inning as junior Megan Turk’s single to center scored freshman Makenzie Robertson, who was pinch running for Weldon after Weldon was hit by a pitch. With the bases loaded, sophomore Whitney Canion singled down the right field line, scoring two. The Lady Bears were up 3-1.
Houston came back to lead Baylor by one in the sixth because of a leadoff homer by Reina Gaber. Then a triple by Sherman scored a run, and Holly Anderson scored Sherman, making the score 4-3.
The Lady Bears hung on in the seventh as Weldon led off with a walk and then scored due to a passed ball. As the game went to extra innings, Weldon remained the hero for Baylor as she stepped up to the plate in the eighth, with two outs and a runner on first, and hit a long shot over left center.
Houston couldn’t answer in the bottom of the eighth as Canion went in for the save, striking out the first two batters and forcing a pop out to center.
Freshman Liz Paul took the win for the Lady Bears, allowing four runs off of eight hits. Crabtree was the losing pitcher after allowing the home run to Weldon.
The Lady Bears finish their eight-game road streak in Lawrence, Kan., against the Jayhawks in a two-game series starting at 2 p.m. Saturday.