By Parmida Schahhosseini
Baylor won both games of Tuesday’s double-header against Southern Mississippi. After a dominant first game, No. 22 Baylor (5-2) squeaked out a win after a walk off home run by freshman right-handed pitcher Heather Stearns to seal the deal.
Baylor needed to be aggressive on offense and it was in the first game. After sophomore outfielder Kaitlyn Thumann struck out, senior outfielder Kathy Shelton stepped to the plate and had a base hit. While running toward first base, the first baseman committed an error allowing Shelton to advance to second. Shortly after, freshman outfielder Linsey Hays was on to bat. Shelton stole a base sliding toward the third base. Hays hit the ball, but the centerfielder dropped it. Hays raced on to third base, and Shelton scored.
Junior first baseman Holly Holl walked in the third inning to put runners on first and second. Hays’ sacrifice allowed Thumann to advance to third base and Holl to advance to second. Junior left-handed pitcher Whitney Canion gave Southern Mississippi trouble not just with her pitching, but also with her bat. Canion singled left for a base hit allowing Thumann and Holl to score. Canion finished the game with 12 strikeouts, one hit, no runs and 2 RBIs.
“I am feeling like myself pitching, but not so much hitting, but I’m getting back on the mound and it’s what I love to do and it seems like every time I get out there I feel more and more like myself,” Canion said.
Baylor did miss opportunities to score more in the fifth inning when the offense had the bases loaded. Holl hit a double to start off the inning and Hays followed that with a base hit, which allowed Holl to move to third. Smith followed by getting hit with the pitch. The bases were loaded, but a fly ball by Chalmers forced Baylor to go back on defense. Baylor defeated Southern Mississippi 3-0 after Repka closed the game.
In the second game of the double-header, Stearns took the circle. In the first inning, Southern Mississippi found some offense after back-to-back base hits from Evans and Sher. Evens was thrown out while trying to advance to second. Southern Mississippi’s Nelson hit a double shortly after allowing Sher to move up to third. After a wild pitch from Stearns, Sher scored putting up Southern Mississippi 1-0.
Baylor’s offense struggled in the second game after an aggressive first game. Baylor had nine hits in the first game, but only had one until the sixth inning when it found some offense. Shelton singled up the middle, and stole a second shortly after. Holl doubled, which allowed Shelton to score, tying the game at one.
“Quite honestly I’m disappointed in our offense. As a coach, you want to put up more runs than that,” Moore said. “We need to give our pitching more runs. Our pitching is doing an outstanding job and we’ve got to find a way to score more runs.”
Stearns and the defense allowed Baylor to stay in the game. At the top of the seventh, Southern Mississippi had two outs, and Stearns pitched a strikeout to keep the score tied. Sterns followed with a walk off home run to end the game as she won her own game.
“’I felt good towards the end of the game, getting really comfortable, loose, and after the first two innings I was feeling good,” Stearns said.
Baylor’s pitching has gotten the job done with Canion, Repka and Stearns all having strong games thus far. Baylor won its last four games and will take on Northern Colorado at 3 p.m. and Pacific at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Getterman Stadium.