By Parmida Schahhosseini
The No. 22 Baylor Softball team began its season with the 12th annual Getterman Classic on Thursday with a 5-0 win over Illinois State. Under head coach Glenn Moore, Baylor is now 11-2 in opening games and 11-0 when opening its season at home.
Junior left-handed pitcher Whitney Canion earned the win. This was her first game back from a knee injury suffered last season.
“It felt really good,” Canion said. “I felt like the first inning, adrenaline was pumping, and I was just going. I felt like I was throwing hard, at times I felt a little wild, but it felt amazing to be out there and I’m so glad to come out with a win.”
Canion finished the night with eight strikeouts, two walks, three hits and no runs in five innings. Baylor finished the game with runs from senior center fielder Kathy Shelton, freshman outfielder Justine Young and two runs from freshman third baseman Sarah Smith. Redshirt freshman infielder Lindsay Hays also had a run by scoring her first career home run and two RBI.
“It felt really good,” Hays said. “I was anxious to be back on the field and my first at bat. It showed, but I held it together and got a good first hit.”
Canion started the game strong by striking out Illinois State’s Lauren Keller.
Jhavon Hamilton was able to make contact with the ball, but Baylor did its job, leaving Illinois State scoreless in the first inning. Baylor’s offense started with sophomore outfielder Kaitlyn Thumann, but a leaping catch by Hamilton prevented her from taking a base.
Senior outfielder Kathy Shelton batted next and stole a base in that inning.
Redshirt freshman outfielder Lindsay Hays batted a ball with power for a home run.
Shelton, who was on third base, also scored, putting the Bears up 2-0.
The second inning was scoreless as Baylor was in scoring position, but Illinois State’s defense recorded back-to-back outs. Freshman outfielder Sarah Smith hit the ball down the right field line, but Illinois State’s first baseman Laura Canopy bobbled the catch allowing Smith reach first base safely.
However, Illinois State responded, leaving Baylor scoreless.
Canion had another strikeout in the start of the fourth inning. Baylor’s defense dominated with a great catch by Hays to leave Illinois State scoreless.
Thumann hit the ball on a Regan pitching error, allowing freshman Sarah Smith to score putting Baylor up 3-0.
Illinois State remained scoreless at the bottom of the fifth inning, but Baylor’s offense scored another run after a run by freshman outfielder Justine Young. After back-to-back outs, Canion hit the ball and ran to first after Canopy dropped the ball. Young stepped in to pinch run.
Sophomore shortstop Jordan Strickland hit a triple, which allowed Young to score from first base.
Canion was finished for the night in the fifth inning allowing senior right-handed pitcher Courtney Repka to pitch.
She allowed only one hit in 35 pitches and two innings. Smith scored her second run in the sixth inning after a hit by Thumann.
Defensively, Baylor got the job done by not allowing a single run, but Moore knows there is more work to be done.
“Our defense is not where it needs to be for Big 12,” Moore said. “I knew that, but playing a team like that points out your weaknesses and what you need to work on.”
Baylor will try to improve to 2-0, playing Illinois State again at 4 p.m. on Friday at Getterman Stadium.