By Parmida Schahhosseini
It was a tough series for the No. 17 Baylor Lady Bears who fell to the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners 8-0 Sunday. Baylor got swept this weekend, putting them at 3-5 in Big 12 play. Breakdowns near the end of the game were a constant theme throughout this series as Oklahoma began to break away in the later innings.
The pitching staff struggled with the three pitchers on the mound only generating three strikeouts, all from freshman right-handed pitcher Heater Stearns. Junior left-handed pitcher Whitney Canion played only two innings before head coach Glenn Moore made the pitching change for Stearns.
“This team is hitting Canion pretty hard,” Oklahoma head coach Patty Gasso said. “We didn’t get things through, but we were right on the money, and you could see it was about ready to explode so I wasn’t surprised.”
Stearns struggled down the stretch, allowing five runs on eight hits. Moore put Canion back on the mound, but after seven pitches without a strike, Moore put in senior right-handed pitcher Courtney Repka to finish the game.
Baylor struggled throughout the series against Oklahoma left-handed pitcher Keilani Ricketts. Senior center fielder Kathy Shelton came into the game with a 20-game on base streak, but couldn’t generate a hit or a walk during her three at bats.
Throughout the game, Baylor’s offense struggled, but freshman infielder Sarah Smith was on base twice during her three at bats by drawing a walk and hitting a single up the middle. Junior catcher Clare Hosack had a two-out double and a single through left field. Senior infielder Kelsi Kettler also had a double, but Baylor couldn’t capitalize on any of the hits generated.
Ricketts only struck out five players, but the Sooners’ strong defense complimented Ricketts by giving her the support needed. Sooner third baseman Shelby Pendley made key playes throughout the game. Pendley also contributed to a pair of plays that stranded two Baylor runners in the fifth inning, allowing Ricketts to work out of a jam.
Despite the struggle, Baylor made some nice defensive playes of its own. At the bottom of the fifth, Shelton slid down with her glove open to catch a fly ball for the second out to prevent even more damage. Sophomore infielder Jill Reid also made some defensive plays early in the game.
Chamberlain, who came into the game averaging a home run every other game, hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth. After the home run, the Sooners followed with a double, forcing Moore to put in Canion to relief. However, Canion struggled and allowed a runner to score off of a wild pitch. Moore put in Repka, but after two more runs scored, the game ended due to the mercy rule.
Baylor will next play Texas State at 6 p.m. Tuesday in San Marcos.