By Shehan Jeyarajah
Leading off the second inning, junior third baseman Sarah Smith smashed a ball to left field that looked like it was gone; it fell just a few feet foul. Such was the day for Baylor softball in a disappointing 2-0 loss to drop the series to No. 13 Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon at Getterman Stadium.
Playing in front of a record crowd of 1,835 on national television, senior pitcher Whitney Canion did all she could for four innings. To that point, she had only given up two hits; no runner had gotten past first. Up to that point however, Baylor’s offense had not reached base.
“I always say, the box score doesn’t tell the whole story,” softball coach Glenn Moore said. “We squared some balls up and almost hit one out of the park. When you look at it from that perspective, we had an opportunity to take advantage and give Whitney some breathing room. As long as you have to pitch behind the 8-ball as long as she did, it’s tough. She’s going to break eventually.”
Just like Friday night, Canion only broke for one inning, this time the fifth. Center fielder Destinee Martinez singled to lead off the inning and right fielder Callie Parsons singled as well two batters later. After a sacrifice fly from shortstop Georgia Casey advanced the runners to second and third, left fielder Kady Self hit an RBI single to drive home Martinez for the first score of the ballgame. In the next at-bat, third baseman Shelby Pendley added an insurance run with an RBI single to drive home Parsons and give Oklahoma a 2-0 lead that they would not relinquish.
“They made an adjustment at the plate,” Canion said. “It’s kind of the same story as yesterday; just one inning with clutch hits, and that was it. There was only two hits I wish I could take back.”
Baylor did not reach base against the Sooners until the fifth inning, when junior third baseman Sarah Smith walked to spoil pitcher Kelsey Stevens’ perfect game bid. Senior first baseman Holly Holl reached on a fielder’s choice and designated player Linsey Hays and shortstop Jordan Strickland each flied out to end the inning.
Baylor had an opportunity to turn their fortunes around in the bottom of the seventh with the game on the line. Junior third baseman Sarah Smith reached base on a walk with one out and advanced to second after a wild pitch from Stevens. However senior first baseman Holly Holl and sophomore designated player Linsey Hays each flied out to end the game.
Baylor had multiple long hits early that were pushed back into fielders by the wind.
“Things weren’t falling our way,” junior right fielder Kaitlyn Thumann said. “We were hitting it hard but there were lines out. That’s the game of softball though; you can line out every single time, but you’re still not on base. Today it just didn’t fall our way.”
Thumann had Baylor’s sole hit of the game: a deep double in the sixth inning that Baylor failed to capitalize on.
Stevens picked up her second win in two days after allowing only one hit and two walks in her second straight complete game. Canion moved to 16-7 after her second loss in two days after allowing six hits and two runs in 88 pitches.
“Stevens got dominant as the game went on,” Moore said. “Our hitters have not been put the sleep the way we were today. We just weren’t able to match up to them. The best team won the game today, which I don’t know that was the case yesterday.”
Baylor softball will close their series against Oklahoma at noon on Sunday at Getterman. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest Plus on Dish Network in Texas.