It was a storybook ending for the No. 21 Baylor softball seniors as they swept Kansas this past weekend in their last regular season series at Getterman Stadium.
The Lady Bears (39-12, 10-4) opened the series with a 3-0 win over the Jayhawks (27-16, 4-5) as senior pitcher Heather Stearns struck out the first five batters.
“I thought they were relaxed and excited about the atmosphere, and it was a good atmosphere,” said head coach Glenn Moore. “And, of course, Heather started the game on fire – five strikeouts, first five batters. She lost it a little bit there, but I thought overall she put a pretty good game together.”
The Lady Bears took an early lead in second, but in third, senior third baseman Sarah Smith and senior outfielder Linsey Hays hit back-to-back, home runs to extend the Lady Bears lead.
“It’s actually funny, because I told Linsey before the game that I’m feeling a couple from us this weekend,” Smith said. “She said, `You know what, I am, too.’ Then, that happened.”
In game two, the Jayhawks tested the Lady Bears, and although things were not going their way, the Lady Bears took a 3-2 win.
“We had nine hits, we just could not get them together. I thought answering back in the third inning was important, but we put too many zeros up. At the same time, I’ve got to credit [Alexis] Reid, she threw really well against us and kept us from putting hits together,” Moore said.
“The top of the third, I felt we played a little lethargically defensively; a couple of those balls that got through, I thought we could have made a better effort on. Not sure what happened there. Anyways, a lead of two runs for Kansas, and then we responded. Overall, we played a pretty good ball game against a team that was fighting back after yesterday.”
With a sweep in sight, Moore said that every win is important as the season goes on.
“We’ve got to win. I think I said it yesterday, we need to win every game. We are playing every game to win. I certainly cannot pitch Heather [Stearns] in every game, or it won’t do us any good when we get to the post-season. But we’ve got a bullpen that can win against the competition that we are playing. We need to play to win every game, and we are going to.”
With both teams struggling to get on the board, it was in the top of seventh when the Lady Bears found the spark.
Senior catcher Robin Landrith did the unthinkable as she made her way to the plate.
Entering the game with only five homeruns in her career at Baylor, Landrith crushed a ball over the right field wall to give the Lady Bears the two-run, walk-off win.
“I’ve got to say it’s a little bit priceless. Like they said on the TV, you can’t script it any better,” Landrith said. “I’m just really grateful for that. It feels great.”
Although the weekend was filled with highs, they Lady Bears need to continue to focus as they draw near to the end of the season and look for a chance to host a round of post-season action at home.
The Lady Bears will be on the road for a mid-week match against Abilene Christian at 6 p.m. Wednesday.