By Krista Pirtle
Baylor softball ventured out to Lubbock over the weekend and returned with one win in a three-game series.
The opening game featured a first inning three-run bomb that put the Red Raiders up 3-0, a lead they would never relinquish.
“They got the big hit tonight and we didn’t,” head coach Glenn Moore said. “[Junior pitcher] Courtney Repka did a nice job coming back in and shutting them down the rest of the way. We just weren’t able mount a comeback.”
Sophomore pitcher Liz Paul began the game but didn’t make it past the first inning, walking the leadoff batter and giving up a double before the next hit was over the wall. Repka took the circle for the remaining six innings, allowing one hit and striking out five.
The Lady Bears would come back in the seventh.
Junior Kelsi Kettler began the inning with a single but was out at second due to a fielder’s choice by freshman Kaitlyn Thumann. Freshman Sarah Crockett stepped up to the plate to pinch-hit and drove a double down the left field line to place runners at second and third with one out. A wild pitch scored Thumann from third to cut the Tech lead to two before a grounder to third ended the game.
The only Lady Bear to cross home plate for Baylor came out firing on all cylinders in the second game, hitting 4 for 4 at the plate.
Thumann’s four hits were a career high and marked just the second time a Baylor player has recorded four in a game this season, as Kathy Shelton did so on March 13 against UTSA. Four Lady Bears recorded a pair of hits on the day: senior Megan Turk, sophomore Holly Holl, freshman Jordan Strickland and sophomore Clare Hosack.
With 15 hits in the game, Baylor marked a season high in a conference play.
“We took an aggressive approach at the plate today and executed,” Moore said. “I was really happy with our response to last night, but we have to be ready for a battle tomorrow.”
Baylor snatched a 4-0 lead after the first off a Kettler sac fly with runners on second and third. Turk and Thumann followed with RBI-singles of their own. Strickland also brought a runner home with a single before the end off the inning.
The score was increased by a run in the third thanks to Thumann’s first career home run, a shot to left center.
A pair of Lady Bear runs was added in the fifth when Crockett stepped up to the plate with bases loaded and brought two of them home with a single to left.
Texas Tech cut the Baylor lead down from seven to three with a grand slam in the bottom of the fifth, but that was all the scoring that would happen for the Red Raiders.
The Lady Bears added one more run in the top of the seventh with a home run from Strickland.
Repka pitched the entire game for Baylor, allowing five hits and striking out eight.
The final game featured the Lady Bears up 5-3 before committing a pair of errors that led to three unearned runs for Texas Tech to take the win.
“I am really proud of this team for the way we performed and fought,” Moore said. “We had a couple bad breaks in the seventh inning, but we had players step up and perform this weekend that will give us momentum the rest of the way.”
A grounder bounced off Strickland, which turned an out into an extra base, putting a Red Raider on second to begin the inning.
The next play featured Shelton and Thumann colliding in shallow right field to snag a popup that fell out of Shelton’s glove.
A two-RBI hit followed to tie the game before a single drove in the game-winning run for Texas Tech.
Baylor’s road trip will continue at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday with its final venture to College Station to take on No. 19 Texas A&M.