The Baylor softball team’s late effort pushed them past Texas State Wednesday night at Getterman Stadium, 3-0.
“We had to really fight. I thought we had quality at bats. We were able to use the short game, but we had some balls hit hard. We had some good things happen offensively tonight,” said head coach Glenn Moore. “I know it only came together in the fifth inning, but we had some really good things happen. I think it certainly prepared us for this weekend.”
The Lady Bears (36-12), who set a season high record of 13 strikeouts on the night, knew they were going to have to battle against the Bobcats (27-18).
Senior pitcher Heather Sterns, the starting pitcher for the Lady Bears, came out in the first attacking, getting three strike to start the game.
Although Sterns continued to strike batters out, the Lady Bears struggled to capitalize on the offensive end.
“That first pitcher really challenged us; I believe she is No. 4 in the country in strikeouts,” said senior Linsey Hays. “We just really had to stay focused and play our game and hit good pitches. I feel like we did that well.”
The Lady Bears saw a glimmer of hope in third with two runners on base and only one out, but they were unable to convert anything.
“I was really pleased,” Moore said. “Heather threw so well you don’t want to pull her, but if you take a pitcher out of there without a hit, you feel like you are jinxing your team a little bit.”
The Lady Bears made a pitching change in the fourth, and freshman pitcher Gia Rodoni came in for Sterns.
Rodoni came out shaky, forcing a walk on her second batter, but settled in to throw pitches that allowed the defense behind her to make the plays to get the outs.
Senior third baseman Sarah Smith got things going for the Lady Bears in the fourth with a double to left center, but, once again, efforts to get two girls on base was to no avail as Texas State got the remaining two outs.
A double play in the fifth for the Lady Bears got the crowd cheering.
With bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth and two outs, the Bobcats made a pitching change to try and stop the Lady Bears’ momentum, but it led to a wild pitch that allowed the Lady Bears to steal home and take the lead 1-0.
A double to right field by Hays drove in two runs, giving the Lady Bears a 3-0 lead heading into the top of the sixth.
“I feel like we are playing really well and that we are going in the right direction,” Hays said. “We are getting in sync for post season, and that is what it is really all about.”
Sophomore pitcher Kendall Potts came in the sixth to replace Rodoni at the mound, and although the Bobcats got two on base, Potts remained focused to get the third out at first and ultimately get the save for the Lady Bears.
“I think we felt sorry for ourselves a little bit after Oklahoma and we weren’t playing our best ball, but I think we are getting back on track now,” Moore said.
The Lady Bears lost a heartbreak to Oklahoma in their last conference series.
The Lady Bears’ next test will come at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Getterman Stadium where they host Kansas in a three-game weekend series.