By Cody Soto
No. 13 Baylor softball kick off its Easter weekend with a bang as it hosts Big 12 opponent Texas Tech this weekend at Getterman Stadium. The Bears have learned to respect everybody over the course of non-conference play with impressive wins over then-No. 2 Oregon, then-No. 25 Tulsa and a conference opening series win over Oklahoma State.
Baylor (24-7, 2-1 Big 12) earned its first two Big 12 wins of the season with two one-run wins over the Cowgirls at home. But the third and final matchup didn’t go in favor of the Bears. Sophomore pitcher Brooke Seneshen pitched well in the loss, only allowing seven hits and one run in seven innings. Head coach Glenn Moore said he liked her performance on Sunday, minus the outcome.
“I like what I saw out of Brooke on Sunday. We needed that out of her,” Moore said. “We didn’t anticipate being able to go the distance with her and she almost went the distance. That was a positive.”
The Bears were unable to convert seven hits into a single run as they struggled at bat. Moore credits it to the mental lapse the team had on Sunday along with several big plays by the Cowgirls.
“We saw good stuff on both sides and bad stuff on both sides,” he said. “We had some mental breakdowns that hurt us on Sunday and they outplayed us overall. Not from an effort standpoint, but they had some great defensive plays that kept us off the plate. We didn’t swing it well enough to overcome that I guess.”
Although the loss on Sunday was a bit of a setback for the Bears, they look toward this weekend with concentration on their next opponent: Texas Tech. The Red Raiders have had some bad losses this season, including a 21-6 blowout against Big 12 conference opponent University of Oklahoma last Sunday to start out conference play 0-for-3.
Texas Tech (16-20, 0-3 Big 12) is a young yet balanced team that brings a few factors to the plate against the Bears. One big storyline that surrounds the Baylor vs. Texas Tech battle is the matchup between the Strickland sisters.
Senior shortstop Jordan Strickland will face off against her younger sister Kaylee Strickland this weekend. Kaylee, a freshman from Princeton, is an outfielder for the Red Raiders.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had that experience (as a coach),” Moore said. “I always see parents in the stands at football for teams and other teams that have opposing siblings and I always wondered what that would be like for the Strickland family to show up Saturday and be cheering for both. They’re going to win one and lose one.”
The Red Raiders are on a five-game losing streak. Their last win came on March 18 against Seattle University in Seattle. Since then, it’s been a tough road for Texas Tech. After losing their opening series against Oklahoma, the Red Raiders will look to improve their away record in Waco.
“It’s kind of a rebuilding process (for Texas Tech),” Moore said. “[Gregory] is fully capable and has put together a great staff and has a lot of energy. They’ve got some young kids and they’ve had some ups and downs already, but there’s no doubt which direction they’re going.”
Baylor and Texas Tech face off today at 6:30 p.m. in game one, 6:30 p.m. on Friday for game two, and at noon on Saturday for the series finale.