By Nathan Keil | Sports Writer
Baylor softball failed to scratch across a run as it dropped its season opener in the Hillenbrand Invitational in Tucson, Ariz., 1-0 to Fordham.
Rams’ sophomore infielder Jessica Hughes’ two out home run to left field in the bottom half of the fifth inning was all they needed to get the victory.
Baylor head coach Glenn Moore credits Fordham for keeping the Bears guessing up there at the plate.
“Of course, I expected more from our offense,” Moore said. “Fordham did a great job of keeping us off balance, and we didn’t capitalize on the few opportunities we were given.”
Baylor was not short of scoring opportunities. The Bears put had runners on second and third with two outs in the top of the second following singles by senior utility Lindsey Cargill and junior outfielder Jessie Scroggins. A strikeout ended the first Baylor threat.
Once again, Baylor came knocking on the door of opportunity in the fifth inning, this time with runners on first and second following a hit by pitch and error on the Rams’ shortstop. A double play ball to the second baseman sent the Bears back to the dugout empty-handed again.
Finally in the sixth inning, Baylor opened with consecutive singles by sophomore outfielder Kyla Walker and senior infielder Ari Hawkins. However, Walker was thrown out at third base on Hawkins’ single.
Moore took objection to the call and was eventually ejected from the game during Baylor’s next at bat.
Five different Bears recorded hits against Fordham. The highlight for Baylor was not at the plate but instead was the play from freshman outfielder Maddison Kettler. She recorded two outfield assists, including saving a run by throwing out Hughes at home plate to keep the scored tied at zero. To start the fourth inning, she threw out a Fordham base runner attempting to stretch a single into a double.
Kettler also recorded the first Baylor hit of the season, a two out single to right in the second inning.
Sophomore pitcher Gia Rodoni got the start for the Bears and went four innings, allowing five hits and striking out four. Freshman pitcher Shelby McGlaun pitched the final two innings and took the loss after allowing the home run.
Senior infielder Lindsay Mayer had two hits to lead Fordham at the plate. Senior pitcher Lauren Quense went the distance for the Rams, allowing five hits and striking out four.
Despite the disappointment, Moore knows the season is young and there is plenty of time for improvement.
“It’s game one. Fifty-five more to go in the regular season,” Moore said. “We will get better.”
Baylor will continue the search for its first win at 4 p.m. today against Cal-State, Northridge. It will then take on Northwestern at 8 p.m.