By Nathan Keil | Sports Writer
Baylor softball finished the weekend with a record of 4-1 to claim the 2017 Getterman Classic Championship in Waco. The Lady Bears placed four on the All-Tournament team including senior pitcher Kelsee Selman, who went 3-1 over the weekend, sophomore outfielder Kyla Walker, junior outfielder Jessie Scroggins and senior infielder Lindsey Cargill.
Baylor softball head coach Glenn Moore said that the Lady Bears did not play their best softball this weekend, but through that they can become a better team as the season moves on.
“We knew we would go through some growing pains early this season. We certainly did this weekend, but this team showed something, being able to go 4-1 with a tournament championship,” Moore said. “We’ve got a bitter taste in our mouth that we didn’t finish the way we wanted to and play as well today, but I think we experienced some of those growing pains.”
Baylor started the Getterman Classic off on a good note Friday with a 5-0 shutout over the University of Texas San Antonio.
Selman earned the victory, her second of the year by pitching five scoreless frames, while allowing just one hit and one walk. She always fanned season-high 10 roadrunners at the plate.
The offense got going early for head coach Glenn Moore and the Lady Bears. Baylor put up a four spot in the first inning behind a two-run single from freshman first baseman Shelby McGlaun and then a towering two run home run to center by junior second baseman Ari Hawkins.
The Bears added a fifth run in the bottom of the sixth on a sacrifice fly to center field from junior catcher Sydney Christensen.
In the second game of the tournament against Grand Canyon University, things weren’t quite as easy for the Lady Bears.
It started in the field as Baylor committed three errors. Antelopes senior pitcher Taylor Nowlin kept the Lady Bears off balance, scattering four hits over six innings of work.
Fortunately for the Bears, sophomore pitcher Gia Rodoni was just as good, going 5 2/3 innings in the circle, scattering three hits and two walks to go with her four punch-outs.
Baylor scratched across the only run in the game with an RBI triple from Walker that scored Scroggins from the second base, giving Baylor the 1-0 victory.
Walker said that she needed a bit of redemption after missing an opportunity to score a run in an earlier at bat and just needed to trust herself.
“My second at bat, when Scroggins was on second, I should’ve moved her over. So I felt like I had to score this run,” Walker said. “ I trust myself enough, so I can swing away. Then she pitched three straight balls, so then I knew she was coming with the pitch. I watched it for a long time and just went with it. She left it kind of fatty.”
Selman, once again found herself the victor, pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings.
On Saturday, Baylor was able to hold off a late inning rally in downing Lamar 5-3.
Selman made it three for three by earning the victory in the circle for the Lady Bears. The senior tossed four scoreless innings while allowing just one hit.
Baylor scored three runs in the bottom half of the third inning on a two-run single by McGlaun. The Bears then used an aggressive double steal to draw an arrant throw from the catcher, allowing Scroggins to come around for the third run.
Junior infielder Shelby Friudenberg added a run scoring double the fifth and Cargill scored on a Lamar error in the sixth to round out the scoring for the Bears.
In the matinee on Sunday, Baylor dropped a 3-2 decision in eight innings at the hands of North Texas.
Selman pitched well enough to win, allowing three runs, only two earned while striking out nine and scattering six hits, but took the loss, her second on the season.
The Bears trailed 2-1 the entire game before tying the game at 2 in the bottom of the sixth following an RBI single from freshman outfielder Maddison Kettler. North Texas got the go ahead single in the top of the eighth on a single to the center field.
Walker continued to hit the ball well for the Bears, tallying four hits in four at-bats.
The final game of the tournament for the Lady Bears was a rematch with UTSA from Thursday. This time around, Baylor found itself on the wrong side of several bizarre calls, but would ultimately get the last laugh and prevail 7-6.
After both teams scored three runs in the first, the Roadrunners took a 4-3 lead in the third inning after a home run by freshman third baseman Rylee Rodriguez.
In the bottom half of the fourth, the Lady Bears appeared to deliver the big hit they had been looking for as McGlaun sent a towering fly ball over the fence in left for a grand slam. The third baseline umpire immediately raced over and called foul ball. McGlaun eventually hit into a fielder’s choice to end the inning, preserving UTSA’s one run lead.
In the top half of the fifth, another strange play went against Baylor. Following an a dropped popup at third base that led to a double play to end the inning, the call was once again reversed in favor of an infield fly rule allowing all the UTSA runners were able to advance, extending the lead to 5-3. The Roadrunners later added a run scoring single to push the lead to 6-3.
Baylor however refused to go away quietly. Scroggins delivered a two run double and Walker followed it with a game tying single in the bottom of the sixth.
Cargill would be the hero for the Lady Bears in the seventh as her single to center field brought in Hawkins for the winning run.
Cargill said the team was able to collect themselves and play through some difficult situations on Sunday.
“It was crazy. You can blame it on this, you can blame it on that. But we have to step up, and we have to play each and every inning. We have to fight through those adversities, and that’s what we did.”
McGlaun would get the victory going 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief. Scroggins and Walker both collected three hits for the Lady Bears.
Moore firmly believes that his team is ready to learn from its mistakes this weekend.
“I think we’ll grow up from it a little bit – I hope we do – but I know we certainly have a lot of work to do,” Moore said. “We’ve got a good team coming in on Wednesday [McNeese State]. So we’ve got to take a day off and then regroup on Tuesday and address some of those concerns.”
Baylor improves to 7-3 on the season. The Lady Bears will host a doubleheader with McNeese State beginning at 4 p.m. Wednesday.