By Cody Soto
No. 17 Baylor softball could not pull together one more win over No. 5 Oklahoma following a shutout on Thursday, and the team lost the final two matchups last weekend in Norman, Okla., for the 2-1 Oklahoma series win.
Baylor (31-11, 6-3 Big 12) began the top 20 series with a huge 8-0 win on Thursday night behind junior pitcher Heather Stearns and a dynamic offensive effort. However, games two and three didn’t have the same spark from the Bears.
The Sooners (38-6, 11-1) scratched the board first in the bottom of the first inning as Georgia Casey fired a double down center field, and a home run by Shelby Pendley gave Oklahoma the early 3-0 win.
Oklahoma would go on another scoring run as Pendley hit another homer in the bottom of the second inning to bring a runner in and jump out to the 5-0 lead. That deficit was too much for Baylor.
A two-run home run by freshman first baseman Shelby Friudenberg in the top of the sixth inning put Baylor on the board, but the score didn’t change in the final frame as the Bears lost 5-2 to the Sooners. In the loss, Friudenberg’s 13th season home run made her the freshman home runs leader in program history.
Saturday’s game wasn’t any better for the Bears. Oklahoma returned the favor with a 11-3 run-rule victory to take the series over Baylor. Shelby Chamberlain tied the NCAA all-time home runs leader with her 90th home run of her career in the bottom of the fourth inning. Her teammates Erin Miller and Pendley were the first to put runs on the board with a home run of their own in the bottom of the first inning.
Friudenberg hit a single to bring in senior outfielder Kaitlyn Thumann in the top of the first inning, and she hit another home run to pull Baylor within one, but the fourth inning doomed Baylor.
The Sooners scored seven runs on four hits, and forced Baylor to score a run in order to keep the game alive. Freshman catcher Jessica Tomchesson scored a run in the fifth inning, but an Oklahoma run at the bottom of the frame ended the 11-3 loss.
Baylor returns to non-conference play as it hosts Sam Houston State in a doubleheader at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon.