By Krista Pirtle
As a record crowd of 1,484, showed up to green out Getterman Stadium, the No. 3 Texas Longhorns shut out the Lady Bears’ softball team, 3-0.
Baylor players, including junior Kayce Walker, said the deficit seemed larger than it really was.
“[Head coach Glenn Moore] wanted us to fight more and show more passion,” Walker said. “We were only down three runs.”
The first two innings of the game showcased the arms behind the plate. Baylor freshman catcher Clare Hosack gunned down freshman Brejae Washington as she tried to steal second in the first. It was the Longhorns’ Amy Hooks’ turn in the second as she threw out senior Dani Leal at second base.
The arms in the circle were what ultimately determined the game. Baylor couldn’t seem to get a read on Blaire Luna with her ability to work the zone and offer an array of pitches; however, she wasn’t hitting her spots early on in the game, allowing Lady Bears to get on base.
“She’s tough,” Moore said. “We had opportunities we didn’t take advantage of. The longer the game went, the fewer opportunities we had. She got better as she went and we were swinging at air most of the night.”
After each Longhorn faced sophomore Whitney Canion once, they had her figured out.
“If you throw a pitch anywhere close to the zone, they’re going to hit it,” Canion said. “They have some big sticks in their line up, all the way through. That’s where you’ve got to make every pitch count. I think I was just throwing too many balls trying to place the ball so well.”
Canion was pulled after allowing six hits in 4.1 innings and replaced by freshman Liz Paul, who allowed three in 2.2 innings.
“[Canion] is obviously not what she was when she pitched against Arizona and UCLA early on,” Moore said. “She’ll come back. She’s out of sync. Confidence is a little bit low. She’s frustrated with that, and it’s snowballed such as a slump would as a hitter. If there’s any kid that will work through a slump and get it back it’s Whitney Canion. She’s too passionate about winning.”
Texas scored first in the fourth inning off an RBI single to right by Kim Bruins. Then, with the bases loaded, Canion walked in Hooks to extend the Longhorns’ lead to 2-0.
Hooks scored again in the fifth with a solo homerun off of a changeup, Canion’s last pitch of the night.
Wednesday was not the first time Hooks saw Canion’s pitching; the two were on the same club team in high school.
“She knows me pretty well,” Canion said.
After that, Paul went to work and Luna kept up her dominance, finishing the night allowing only three hits while walking three and striking out 10.
The Lady Bears look to bring more intensity to the field in Ames, Iowa, when they face Iowa State in a two game series. The first game will start at 2 p.m. Saturday.