Baylor beats Pacific to win Miken Classic

By Parmida Schahhosseini
Sports Writer

Baylor Softball beat Pacific 3-0 to win the Miken Classic. The Lady Bears went 5-0 in the tournament, but despite a weekend with offensive woes, Baylor got aggressive scoring 32 runs and giving up 3 in the Miken Classic.

The game was scoreless in the first inning when senior centerfielder Kathy Shelton tried to steal second, but the catcher saw it and threw it to second right before Shelton slid. Shelton is 86–of–93 in her career, making this the seventh time in her career that she got an out while stealing a base.

However, after back-to-back outs by junior left-handed pitcher Whitney Canion in the following inning, Baylor was back on offense and freshman outfielder Linsey Hays hit a home run to the left. Freshman infielder Robin Landrith bunted for a single, but she was out when Smith hit a ball toward second due to a fielder’s choice. Junior catcher Clare Hosack grounded out to the short stop to end the inning. The Hays’ homerun put on display the transition Baylor is trying to make going from a speed team to a power team.

“I definitely think we got better than last weekend,” Hays said. “That’s what we’re trying to do, trying to get better every weekend, every game.”

A great defensive play put Baylor back on offense when Pacific flied it out toward right field where sophomore outfielder Kaitlyn Thumann made a sliding catch as she drove to the ground, reading the ball off the bat, to grab the ball to put Baylor back on offense. Thumann had a base hit and stole second when Shelton was on the plate, but after back-to-back outs, Baylor was back on defense.

Hays gave the offense much needed power in the fourth inning with a base hit and slid to second due to an error by the right fielder. After two outs, Baylor got aggressive with freshman third baseman Sarah Smith hitting a single up the middle and advancing to second on the throw allowing Hays to score. Hosack was on the plate next, and Smith stole third before a Hosack walk. Strickland followed with a single to left field. Smith scored and Hosack advanced to second. Thumann popped out to the shortstop to end the inning.

“It was 100 percent better than last weekend,” Smith said. “I think we were more relaxed. We all had more confidence, and I think we just went up there knowing that we could hit it.”

Pacific wasn’t going away quietly. With an out and runners on second base and third base, Canion worked out of a jam with back-to-back outs to stop any threat of scoring. To close the game, Moore put in freshman right-handed pitcher Heather Stearns, who finished without any hits or runs.

“We got a lot better from one weekend to the next, pitching stayed consistently good to great.” Moore said. “We’ll need to continue to improve there as we face better competition, but very happy for what we found our about our pitching.”

Baylor is now 10-2 for the season and will begin the Texas Shootout at 7 p.m. on Thursday against Texas State in San Marcus.