By Parmida Schahhosseini
The No. 25 Baylor softball team defeated North Texas 8-3 on Saturday after Baylor responded with runs after being down 1-3. After leaving 18 runners stranded in the double-headers on Friday, Baylor started slow again leaving four stranded before showing up with their power offense.
Senior infielder Kelsi Kettler had a big day with three doubles on her first three at-bats of the season. She also had some key defensive plays in critical moments, making the most of her start. Junior catcher Clare Hosack also hit a three-run, go-ahead homer to give Baylor the lead. Center fielder Kathy Shelton hit a triple in the fifth inning to put Baylor in position to win.
After back-to-back base hits from sophomore outfielder Kaitlyn Thumann and senior infielder Kathy Shelton, junior first baseman Holly Holl flied out to the second baseman and freshman infielder Sarah Smith was on the plate. Hitting the ball over the head of the shortstop, Thumann and Shelton advance leaving the bases loaded for freshman outfielder Linsey Hays. After reading the pitches well, Hays walked, allowing Thumann to score. Runners were stranded on bases after back-to-back outs with the bases loaded.
North Texas responded with a two-out, three-run homer, the first home run junior left-handed pitcher Whiney Canion has given up this season. Kettler did respond with a stand up double and advanced to third on a wild pitch to Hays. However, after three straight outs, Kettler was left stranded on third and Baylor was unable to capitalize.
Not being able to generate any kind of offense, North Texas put Baylor back on offense. With Landrith at bat, Hays stole second base. After a strikeout, Hosack was on the plate next with runners on second and third with two outs. Hoping not to leave any runners stranded being down 3-1, Hosack popped a three-run homer. Kettler was back on the plate and followed it up with a double after a missed play by the centerfielder.
Baylor did its job on defense and was back on offense. After a big third inning, Baylor wanted to widen the gap and that’s what did, using a combination of power and speed. After two outs, Hosack followed up with a base hit and Kettler hit her third double of the day. Sophomore infielder Jordan Strickland hit a bomb that went off the center fielder’s glove for a double. Hosack and Kettler both scored. Thumann singled and Shelton followed with a triple, allowing Strickland and Thumann to score.
Baylor didn’t allow any runs the next two defensive positions and won the game. The Lady Bears will play in the title game Sunday at 12:30 in San Marcos.