By Parmida Schahhosseini
The No. 14 Baylor Lady Bears took sole possession of third place in the Big 12 after a dramatic victory over the Kansas Jayhawks on Sunday.
Baylor won the series against the Jayhawks after splitting a double-header on Saturday.
“I am proud of the way this team fought through adversity,” head coach Glenn Moore said. “We treated this game with a lot of importance, so credit Kansas for giving us everything we could handle.”
Junior left-handed pitcher Whitney Canion hit a home run, which sparked in her offense. After hitting a home run in the fifth inning of the first game of the series, Canion followed with a single that scored additional runs. She also hit a critical lead off single in the third game, which led to an eventual score.
Canion was also effective inside the circle. Allowing only two walks, five hits and one run, Canion was hoping for a shutout during game one, but a home run to right field from shortstop Chaley Brickey put Kansas on the scoreboard.
With the series tied, Baylor had a four run lead over Kansas leading to the bottom of the seventh, but Kansas game fighting back in hopes of preventing a Baylor victory.
Canion allowed a lead off walk, but then back-to-back singles following an error led to a multiple Kansas scores.
With two outs and a runner on third, Canion came through and delivered a strikeout to win the game.
“It’s lowering,” Canion said in regards to allowing walks. “It’s better than what it has been. I just have to keep working at it.”
Baylor’s offense came alive during the series as they recorded double-digit hits in two of the three games.
During the first game, Baylor had 13 hits and six runs in the first game. Sophomore shortstop Jordan Strickland went 2-3 with two runs.
Freshman infielder Robin Landrith had a strong outing with a double in the third game that led to a run and went 2-3 in the first game with a RBI.
Sophomore outfielder Kaitlyn Thumann had struggled hitting, but made the hits when it counted.
Thumann doubled to left field allowing two scores and widening a narrow lead in game one. Thumann also hit a home run, which helped Baylor maintain a lead despite a late offensive surge by Kansas.
Baylor was able to get hits late in the game. Unlike the game against Houston, Baylor scored most of their points after the fourth inning.
“When you make a pitcher throw a lot of pitches, she’s going to get worn down and hopefully make most their mistakes,” senior center fielder Kathy Shelton said.
Baylor is now in third place in the Big 12 trailing No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 7 Texas.
The Lady Bears have four conference games left to play: a three game series against Texas Tech and a lone game against Texas.
It is critical for Baylor to sweep Texas Tech and take advantage of playing the team placed last in the Big 12.
With hopes of going to another NCAA tournament, Baylor needs to continue winning and paddings its numbers.
Baylor will be the favorite against Texas Tech because it has only won three conference games, one against Oklahoma State and two against Iowa State for the series win.
Texas is second in the Big 12 with a 12-2 record with its only losses coming against Oklahoma.
Baylor was competitive in the previous two games against Texas, but made costly errors that the team couldn’t overcome.
Texas had already won the series due to winning the first two games, but a big win against the No. 7 team in the national can not only help Baylor’s tournament seeding, but also it can give the team confidence moving forward.