By Nathan Keil | Sports Editor
Playing in cold, windy conditions, Baylor softball completed a doubleheader sweep of Northwestern State Saturday afternoon at Getterman Stadium.
The Lady Bears pounded out 12 hits in an 8-4 win in the opener behind three hits from senior center fielder Jessie Scroggins and the strong pitching debut of junior Mississippi State transfer Regan Green in the circle.
In the second, it was timely, situational hitting and a strong performance from sophomore pitcher Goose McGlaun in the circle as the Lady Bears finished off the day with a 4-1 victory.
Moore said that in difficult conditions, it can be hard to stay focused with the task at hand, but his Lady Bears more than up to the challenge on Saturday.
“Today is tough. The elements are tough but I thought our girls did a good job at staying focused and getting the job done,” Moore said. “It was a game that was somewhat well-played, good situational hitting, our hitters taking advantage of mistakes, getting good at-bats, working deep in the count, certainly stuff to work from a pitching standpoint. We are going to be much better than what we saw today”
In the opener, it was Scroggins with her three hits, including a double off the wall in center that was the catalyst for the Baylor offense. McGlaun added a double and drove in three runs and senior designated player Shelby Friudenberg drove in three runs as well.
Green, the junior right-hander, making her first start for Baylor, struggled at times had issues with her command, but got the outs when she needed them the most. Green lasted six innings, allowing three runs on five hits with three walks and five strikeouts.
The Lady Bears got two in the first on a fielder’s choice and an RBI single from sophomore shortstop Taylor Ellis. McGlaun added a sacrifice fly in the third before Baylor tacked on three more in the fifth and two more in the sixth.
Northwestern State freshman second baseman Cayla Jones got the Lady Demons on the board with an RBI single in the third. They added two more in the sixth and an unearned run in the seventh.
After pitching her third no-hitter in a row at Getterman Stadium, junior Gia Rodoni came in out of relief to pitch the seventh, allowing one hit, one unearned run while striking out three, bringing her season total to 14 in just six innings.
In game two, it was McGlaun going the distance in a 4-1 victory over the Lady Demons.
McGlaun scattered four hits and gave up one run, a solo shot to Jones in the fourth inning while walking just one and striking out two.
“Those are always tough to have especially the first one of the year,” McGlaun said. “But I was just ready to get settled back in and get going and get back in my groove.”
Baylor got the offense moving once again in the third inning. Scroggins got the Lady Bears on the board with an RBI single. They tacked on two more thanks to a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly from Friudenberg.
Baylor added their fourth run off a Northwestern State miscue in the bottom of the fourth, as a throwing error allowed senior shortstop Caitlin Charlton to cross home plate.
One key element that stuck out to Moore throughout the course of the weekend was his team’s ability to respond whenever Northwestern State put runs on the board. In all three innings where the Lady Demons scored, the Lady Bears had the answer.
“It’s vital to be offended when a team scores on your pitching or your defense,” Moore said. “Good, quality teams have that characteristic and this team responded.”
For Scroggins and the Lady Bears, this weekend was about confidence as the schedule takes a turn next weekend with a trip to Hattiesburg, Miss. for the Black and Gold Invitational.
“It is really important its always great to get a win at home. It will give a lot of confidence heading to Mississippi next weekend,” Scroggins said.
Scroggins finished the weekend with five hits and scored five times. Walker had six hits and scored five times and McGlaun had three hits, drew four walks and drove in five runs at the plate, hitting that Moore can certainly live with moving forward.
“I’d like to have produced a few more runs today and have a few more of those balls leave the park, but we didn’t get any long balls but we did have great situational hitting, so I’ll take that. I’m pretty happy with our hitting overall,” Moore said.
No. 10 Baylor (3-0) now heads to Hattiesburg, Miss. to participate in the Black and Gold Invitational hosted by Southern Mississippi. The Lady Bears will take on McNeese State at 4 p.m. Friday. On Saturday, they will take on Mississippi Valley State at 10 a.m. and Southern Miss at 7 p.m. Baylor will conclude its tournament play with a 1 p.m. matchup with No. 11 Alabama.