By Cody Soto
No. 14 Baylor softball picked up its first Big 12 series sweep of the season as it knocked off Texas Tech in three straight games over the weekend.
The Bears (27-7, 5-1 Big 12) used a balanced effort from several players in the weekend matchup in order to run away with the sweep. Freshman outfielder Jessie Scroggins was the highlight of Friday night’s brawl as she collided with the center field wall to make a near over-the-fence hit from Texas Tech’s Kristi Belshe at the top of the seventh inning.
With Scroggins’ catch and junior pitcher Heather Stearn’s 10th shutout of the game, the Bears blanked Texas Tech 3-0.
“One of the best catches I’ve ever seen in my life,” head coach Glenn Moore said. “She was playing somewhat in and had to turn and run and get it. (Texas Tech) certainly had the momentum in their favor, if they get a couple of runs right there, it was going to be tough to come back from.”
Less than 24 hours later, the Bears and Red Raiders met back at Getterman Stadium. Freshman pitcher Kendall Potts came out of the bullpen and threw a no-hitter from the pitching mound. Senior shortstop Jordan Strickland and freshman infielder Caitlin Charlton hit back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take the quick 2-0 Baylor lead.
Charlton hit another home run in her second time at bat on Saturday for another RBI, and with runs from freshman pinch runner Kina Cummings and junior designated player Linsay Hays clinched the series over Texas Tech with a 5-0 shutout.
Although the Bears already clinched the series on Friday and Saturday, the Red Raiders were not going away quietly, and they showed that in the Sunday finale. Although Texas Tech is 0-for-6 in conference play, the team has the potential to pose a threat to any team.
“In conference three wins is tough. (Texas Tech) is kind of like a wounded animal, they need a win,” Moore said. “They were fighting hard. I thought Cara Custer threw the ball well Thursday and she came back today and threw the ball well again.”
Baylor jumped out to an early 3-0 lead at the bottom of the first inning when senior outfielder Kaitlyn Thumann, senior outfielder Lindsey Cargill and sophomore infielder Ari Hawkins each scored a run in the inning.
All looked well for the Bears until the Red Raiders made a game-tying run in the top of the seventh inning to force the game into extra innings. Hawkins ended the game with the game-winning double to bring home Cargill for the tight 6-5 win.
The Bears will now play five non-conference games in four days before returning home on April 14 to host Houston Baptist. Baylor faces Texas State in San Marcos at 6 p.m. today.