Canion pushes Lady Bears past Cowgirls

By Parmida Schahhosseini
Sports Writer

Softball vs Illinois State at Getterman Stadium on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013. Matt Hellman | Lariat Photo Editor
Softball vs Illinois State at Getterman Stadium on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013.
Matt Hellman | Lariat Photo Editor

The No. 16 Baylor Lady Bears (32-20, 5-5 Big 12) defeated the Oklahoma State Cowgirls (24-19, 2-6 Big 12) 1-0 on Saturday despite only having one hit. Baylor scored early in the first inning by capitalizing on an error by the shortstop.

Junior pitcher Whitney Canion (17-6) pitched one of her best games, leading Baylor to a win by striking out 13 batters while only allowing two walks and two hits.

“My rise was really jumping and I thought toward the end my change up was really helping me out,” Canion said. “Seeing this defense pumped up for me and everyone, know that I’ve been struggling, but in the dugout everyone just seems to have my back and saying, ‘Come one Whit you can do this’ and they just kept me going.”

Canion retired the first three Cowgirl batters, putting Baylor on offense. However, catcher Tamara Brown hit a lead off single through the left side, but was caught stealing for the out.

Oklahoma State out-hit Baylor 2-1, but Baylor scored the only run of the game in the first inning.

“That happens sometimes, we’re struggling a little bit,” senior outfielder Kathy Shelton said. “We’re hitting some balls hard, straight at people so hopefully tomorrow the balls will fall for us.”

Shelton advanced to first after getting hit by a pitch, and sophomore right fielder Kaitlyn Thumann followed by getting hit as well. With runners on first and second, junior first baseman Holly Holl tried to hit a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners, but the catcher caught it for the first out.

Freshman third baseman Sarah Smith was at bat when Shelton and Thumann decided to steal bases. Thumann stole second and advanced to third, while Shelton stole third and scored on a fielding error by the shortstop. Smith drew a walk, putting runners on the corners. Smith ended up stealing second, but back-to-back outs ended the inning.

After allowing a walk, Canion struck out three batters in a row ending any kind of threat. Canion allowed another walk in the third inning and gave up a hit, but would retire batters for the remainder of the game.

Senior first baseman Kelsi Kettler had Baylor’s only hit, which came in the second inning when she singled down the left field line.

Oklahoma State pitcher Kat Espinosa allowed only one hit and one walk, but only struck out three batters. In the third inning, Baylor didn’t have more than three at bats, causing their offense to be stagnant. Canion pitched one of her better games of the season allowing Baylor’s lone run to be enough.

“She’s good, it’s a typical Baylor Oklahoma State ball game, not a lot of scoring,” head coach Glenn Moore said. “Very surprised that she came back, I thought even stronger than she was yesterday, although I thought we had some hard hit balls as the game went on as we did yesterday, just right at them. She did a great job, she kept us off the base.”

Baylor has a chance to sweep Oklahoma State with a win on Sunday at Getterman Stadium. A win would also give Baylor a winning conference record for the second time this season.