By Parmida Schahhosseini
The No. 22 Baylor Softball team looked to rebound from a disappointing performance against Illinois State in the triple-header on Saturday. Baylor finished the day going 2-1 with both wins against Northern Illinois University. Baylor has a 3-2 record thus far this season.
Baylor’s first game was filled with missed opportunities. In the third inning, junior left-handed pitcher Whitney Canion forced back-to-back strikeouts putting Baylor back on offense. However, with two outs, Baylor missed an opportunity to score after back-to-back base hits from right fielder Kaitlyn Thumann and senior centerfielder Kathy Shelton. Both ended up stealing bases to advance to third and second base respectively. However, after a diving catch by Sam Houston State’s left fielder Slater, Baylor got their third out and couldn’t capitalize.
In the following inning, Baylor’s defense did their job giving Baylor another opportunity to score. After two outs, Thumann was up to bat and hit a double through to the right fielder and centerfielder, but her teammates were unable to bring her home.
Baylor’s offensive struggles continued. With two strikes in the bottom of the seventh inning, catcher Clare Hosack had a base hit and advanced to first. Landrith had a base hit as well, and Hosack ran from first to third base. Thumann walked, which allowed Landrith to advance to second base. With the bases loaded, Baylor got another out, forcing the game into extra innings. In overtime, those missed opportunities came to haunt the Lady Bears as Sam Houston scored two runs at the top of the eighth inning.
“We had people on base, but with two outs often without opportunities to bunt runners over and force mistakes,” head coach Glenn Moore said. “We shouldn’t get into the flow.”
Baylor’s second game seemed to be going the same way. Baylor was down by one in the top of the third and the bases were loaded, but after a fly ball, the team couldn’t score.
It wasn’t until the sixth inning of the game that Baylor got its offense going. Baylor had four runs beginning with a base hit from junior first baseman Holly Holl. Freshman left fielder Linsey Hays also had a base hit, which allowed freshman outfielder Justine Young, who pitch ran for Holl, to advance to second base. Canion had a base hit, allowing Young to advance to third and Hays to second. Freshman infielder Bailey Chalmers went up to the plate and singled down the infield line. Hays and Young scored on the play.
Canion advanced to second, but had freshman outfielder Sydney Betke pitch run for her after that. Freshman third baseman Sarah Smith singled to the left field and advanced to second after an error by the infielder. Chalmers and Betke ended up scoring.
Baylor did its job on defense causing the game to end 4-1. Chalmers had two RBI’s as Baylor had four runs and five hits in that inning.
“My adrenaline was pumping and everyone was so excited,” Chalmers said. “That’s what helped me, it was my team.”
Due to potential inclement weather, the game scheduled for Sunday was moved to Saturday night, which meant the Lady Bears would have to play in a triple-header. After an undesirable game from freshman right-handed pitcher Heather Stearns, she learned from her first game and pitched a no hitter.
“The team really pumped me up and just being more comfortable and confident,” Stearns said, “I mean I always know I have a team behind me, but they really supported me and told me that no matter what they’ll be there, so just my confidence going in today was completely different than it was [Friday].”
Baylor’s offense only scored one run from Thumann, but that was all it needed after a great game from the freshman pitcher and the defense.
Baylor will play Southern Mississippi at 4 p.m. Tuesday in Getterman Stadium.