Baylor softball finishes 3-2 out west

Photo credit: Lariat File Photo

By Nathan Keil | Sports Writer

After Baylor’s bats were silent in a 1-0 loss to Fordham on Thursday, its bats came back with a vengeance on Friday.

In the first game of their Friday doubleheader, the Lady bears exploded for six runs in the second and three more in the fourth to deliver a 9-0 knock out punch to Cal-State University Northridge.

Senior utility player Lindsey Cargill’s two-run single got the scoring going and sophomore outfielder Kyla Walker’s two-run double kept the attack alive. Senior infielder Ari Hawkins added a two-run single in the sixth and senior pitcher Kelsee Selman went the distance, allowing just two hits to the Matadors.

In the evening game on Friday, Baylor and Northwestern traded blows before the Lady Bears eked out the victory in the 8th inning.

After consecutive hits to open the 2nd inning, freshman infielder Taylor Ellis drove in the game’s first run and a second one cam in thanks to an error by the Wildcats. But Northwestern wasted little time catching up, tying the game at 2 in the to half of the third.

Northwestern then took the lead in the fourth inning after a two-run single from Nelson. In the bottom half of the firth, Walker drove in the tying runs with a single to center field. An RBI double by junior outfielder Jessie Scroggins in the bottom of the sixth put Baylor three outs from the victory. But the Wildcats tied the game and sent it to extra innings on an infield RBI single.

In the 8th, Cargill pushed the first run across with an RBI groundout to the shortstop and then junior catcher Sydney Christiensen hit the Bears’ first home run of the season, pushing the lead to 8-6. Northwestern got one back in the bottom half, but the comeback fell short.

Scroggins and freshman utility player Maddison Kettler both finished with three hits a piece to lead Baylor against Northwestern. Sophomore pitcher Gia Rodoni picked up the win in relief for the Lady Bears.

Baylor head coach Glenn Moore said that he was pleased with his team’s rebound effort on Friday.

“It was great to see the team bounce back like that after a tough loss yesterday,” Moore said. “We did a lot of good things today and at times we were asking a lot of things from this team and they came through. It was good to get two solid wins over quality opponents.”

Saturday started much the same way for Baylor as it did on Friday. The Lady Bears blasted Tulsa for five runs in the first and four more in the second, en route to a 9-1 win over the Golden Hurricane.

Hawkins delivered the key blow in the first, blasting a grand slam to left field. A two-run triple by Walker in the second inning fueled the attack in the second inning.

Rodoni picked up her second win of the season, allowing one unearned run and two hits while striking out seven in three innings of work.

In the tournament finale, Baylor battled No. 10 Arizona valiantly before falling to the host Wildcats 4-0. Selman went 5 2/3 innings in the circle, allowing seven hits and four runs while striking out three against a potent offensive lineup. Unfortunately for Baylor, two of those hits were home runs, including a two-run inside the ballpark home run that just escaped the glove of a diving Scroggins in the center field.

Moore said that he thinks the team has fewer questions to answer moving forward after the way that it performed throughout the entire weekend but especially against a top team in the Wildcats.

“Another great day of competition,” Moore said. “We had a lot of questions answered today and I thought the score was not indicative of how close that game was.”

Moore added that he couldn’t have expected anything more from Selman and how she held her own in the circle against Arizona.

“I’m extremely pleased wit how Kelsee Selman pitched,” Moore said. “Going up against one of the best lineups in the country, and she held her own.”

Baylor leaves Tucson, Ariz. 3-2 overall but with much to be proud of. Despite being shut out in both of its losses, the Lady bears hit .346 as a team and both Rodoni and Selman posted sub 2.00 ERAs.

The Lady Bears return to action later this week as they play host to the Getterman Classic. Baylor will open the tournament at 6 p.m Thursday against the University of Texas San Antonio.