By Krista Pirtle
Baylor softball won third place at the Fairfield Inn North-Texas Shootout this past weekend at Getterman Stadium, but lost its ace pitcher, redshirt junior Whitney Canion, to a torn ACL.
Canion was running out a grounder in the third inning when her left knee buckled as she planted on first base.
She will rehab her leg and attempt to return to the circle later this season.
“Whitney had an MRI that confirmed that the ACL was torn,” head coach Glenn Moore said. “This is a heartbreaker because she is such a great representative of this team and university. She has battled injuries before, and she will face this one with the help of her teammates. We will rally around her, and the next players in line will rise to the challenge.”
The bullpen for the Lady Bears has been impressive thus far and provides strength to fall back on.
Junior right-hander Courtney Repka and sophomore left-hander Liz Paul have only one loss between them. Repka has a 0.81 ERA in 34 innings pitched and Paul has a 2.28 ERA with 15 innings pitched.
The Lady Bears started the weekend with a sweep day one with victories over Texas-El Paso (11-1) and Stephen F. Austin (7-6).
The second day featured a 1-0 upset by Texas State.
“I am disappointed in our effort today,” Moore said Saturday. “We should be playing in the championship game in our home tournament on our home field. Our offense didn’t come through enough, but at least we salvaged a win in game two.”
Down 2-1 going into the bottom of the sixth against North Texas, junior catcher Kelsi Kettler hit a shot to right center, scoring two for the 3-2 win.
The final game of the tournament was a rematch between Baylor and North Texas, one the Lady Bears again would win by one (2-1). After Canion went down in the third, Repka entered the circle and allowed only one hit, one unearned run and struck out three in four innings pitched.
“It was definitely a tough situation, but I warmed up real quick and did what I had to do,” Repka said. “You don’t want to ever see another pitcher go down, but we had to refocus and do our best. We’re going to fight with whomever we have out there.”
Her performance kept Baylor in the lead as it scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the second.
Guy scored on a wild pitch, and senior Sydney Wilson hit a sacrifice fly to score Kettler.
“Courtney has been doing a great job all year and we were excited to be behind her,” third baseman senior Megan Turk said. “I think this says a lot about our girls because we don’t like to lose. Whatever happens, we’ll just have to push through it.”