By Shehan Jeyarajah
No. 13 Baylor softball used a balanced effort to win its opening Big 12 series against Oklahoma State last weekend at Getterman Stadium.
The first game placed junior Baylor ace Heather Stearns against Oklahoma State’s Brandi Needham in a pitchers duel. Stearns got the best of Needham, holding OSU to four hits and one earned run in a tight 2-1 finish.
The Bears set the tone early, scoring in the first inning. Senior right fielder Kaitlyn Thumann singled up the left side and scored an unearned run after a sacrifice bunt and pair of throwing errors.
Baylor added to its lead in the third after sophomore left fielder Lindsey Cargill stole second and scored on a single from junior third baseman Sarah Smith.
Stearns finished with only the one earned run, along with 13 strikeouts and only one walk given up to the Cowgirls.
“I’m very happy with the way [Stearns] was throwing,” head coach Glenn Moore said. “The ball was moving and she was throwing hard.”
The Bears honored former All-American pitcher Whitney Canion before the second game on Saturday. The Baylor great had her No. 11 jersey retired and threw out the first pitch at Getterman Stadium. Contrary to Canion’s pitching dominance when she was at Baylor, Saturday turned into a slugfest.
Heading into the fourth inning, the game was tied at 1-1, at which point the bats took over.
After a strikeout to open, freshman first baseman Shelby Friudenberg and junior catcher Robin Landrith reached on singles and Friudenberg scored on a muffed throw during centerfielder Jessie Scroggins. Cargill then hit an RBI single to drive home freshman pinch-runner Jessica Tomchesson and make it a 3-1 ballgame. Smith and junior designated player Linsey Hays each walked to drive home another.
Oklahoma State responded in the fifth with four runs, including a two RBI double from Vanessa Shippy and a two unearned runs off a fielding error from left field.
With the Cowgirls up 5-4, Baylor scored two runs in each the fifth and six innings to take an 8-6 lead heading into the top of the seventh. Oklahoma State was unable to recover, and the Lady Bears clinched the series.
The bats finally went cold on Sunday, as the Bears fell 1-0 in a tightly-contested ballgame.
The lone run of the game came in the second inning. An RBI single as Davis singled the third to drive Gessenia DeLaCruz home.
Sophomore pitcher Brooke Seneshen went six and two-third innings in her first loss of the season, giving up seven hits, three walks and the lone earned run.