Softball splits double-header, set for another one Saturday

No. 9 infielder Kathy Shelton slides safely into second base during the game against Southern Miss on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, in Getterman Stadium. Matt Hellman | Lariat Photo Editor
No. 9 infielder Kathy Shelton slides safely into second base in Getterman Stadium.  Matt Hellman | Lariat Photo Editor
No. 9 infielder Kathy Shelton slides safely into second base in Getterman Stadium.
Matt Hellman | Lariat Photo Editor

By Parmida Schahhosseini
Sports Writer

The No. 20 Baylor Lady Bears softball team’s 14-game winning streak was snapped on Friday after a 3-0 loss to North Carolina. However, Baylor responded by winning the second game of the double-header 20-4 against North Dakota. Baylor is now 16-3 for the season and will play in another double-header on Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

The pitchers struggled in both games as left-handed pitcher Whitney Canion had an uncharacteristic day giving up four hits and three runs, including a lead off home run in the sixth inning. She also had three walks and had only five strikeouts against the Tar-Heels. Junior right-handed pitcher Liz Paul gave up six hits and four runs, however, Paul got a little bit more comfortable thanks to the help of her defense and offense. All four of the runs given up were in the first innings in which she had two errors. In the following innings, Paul only gave up two hits.

However, Baylor responded against North Dakota as sophomore outfielder Kaitlyn Thumann and senior centerfielder Kathy Shelton both had grand slams, causing some damage in the second and fifth innings. Freshman outfielder Linsey Hays also hit a 2-run homer shortly after Shelton’s grand slam.

Against North Carolina, Baylor had trouble finding much offense. The first base of the game was from Hays in the fifth inning. Neither team was able to find much offense in the early innings of the game, but North Carolina broke free in the fifth inning and scored two runs on two hits. The error on Canion didn’t help the Bears either. The Tar-Heels hit a home run to lead off in the sixth inning, putting them up 3-0. After the inning head coach Glenn Moore, put in senior right-handed pitcher Courtney Repka to close the game. Repka finished the game giving up three hits and no runs. Baylor’s offense didn’t do anything to help Canion out. Canion had been pitching well until the fifth inning, where she was having trouble finding the strike zone.

Baylor responded in a big way after that loss, scoring 20 runs in five innings of play against North Dakota. Baylor started the game strong by producing eight runs in the first inning. Thumann started the game with a walk and Shelton followed with a base hit. Thumann scored after the overthrow to second when Shelton tried to steal. Junior first baseman Holly Holl followed with a base hit, as did Hays. Shelton scored off of the hit by Hays. Six more players would score for Baylor as it took North Dakota pitcher Michelle Frank 33 pitches for Baylor to record one out. Baylor had eight runs on five hits in the first inning.

Despite the deficit, North Dakota responded by scoring four runs in the first inning. The two throwing errors by Paul didn’t help, because not only would it have led to more outs, but also it would have prevented runs from scoring. Paul and the defense did their job keeping North Dakota scoreless for the remainder of the game.

Baylor wasn’t done scoring. With the bases loaded Thumann hit a bomb passed left field for a grand slam, scoring four more runs for Baylor in the second inning. In the top of the fifth inning, Baylor tried to finish the game by scoring eight runs, including a grand slam from Shelton and a 2-run homer from Hays. The offense scored 20 runs on 16 hits after just one hit in the first game.

Baylor will play East Carolina at 9:30 a.m. Saturday and finish their day with Binghamton at 3 p.m.