Freshmen shine in opener, McGlaun delivers late as softball sweeps Saturday doubleheader

Senior third baseman Caitlin Charlton lines a ball to left field in a Feb. 10 game against Northwestern State. Jessica Hubble | Multimedia Editor

By Nathan Keil | Sports Editor

Baylor softball picked up two more victories in the Black and Gold Invitational on Saturday.

The Lady Bears exploded late in a 14-1, five inning win over Mississippi Valley State and scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning to earn a 3-2 win over host Southern Mississippi Saturday night.

Sophomore Goose McGlaun earned her second victory of the season in the opener, tossing three innings, allowing one run on three hits with three strikeouts.

Junior Regan Green got the start against the Golden Eagles, going the first four, allowing two runs on three hits and left with a no-decision in a 2-2 ballgame.

Junior Gia Rodoni then tossed three perfect innings, striking out five to pick up her third win of the season.

In the opener, the Devilettes scored the game’s first run off McGlaun courtesy of sophomore infielder Jodeci Afoa-Tuia’s RBI double to left-center. But the Lady Bears would score the final 14 runs of the game.

Baylor pounded out 17 hits and the Lady Bears experienced a series of firsts on the season. Freshman outfielder Hannah Smith collected her first collegiate hit, an RBI triple to right center in the fourth. Freshman outfielder Alyssa Avalos and freshmen catchers Hannah Thompson and Ashley Marchand all added their first collegiate hits as well, with singles in a five run fifth inning.

It was sophomore shortstop Taylor Ellis’ first home run of the season that sealed the fate for Mississippi Valley State, who fell to 0-6 on the season. Ellis’ third hit of the game was a grand slam to left field that put the Lady Bears in front 14-1 in the top half of the fifth inning.

Senior outfielder Jessie Scroggins reached base all three times and scored twice, sophomore outside Maddison Kettler collected two hits and two RBIs and McGlaun helped herself out in the circle, going three for three with an RBI at the plate.

Freshman Lexi Koltz saw her first action in the circle this season, striking out one and did not allow a hit in two innings of relief work.

In the nightcap, Scroggins singled to open the game and junior outfielder Kyla Walker then reached on an error, allowing Scroggins to come around and put the Lady Bears in front 1-0.

Baylor would then load the bases again in the frame, but a strikeout kept the score 1-0.

Southern Miss then went in front with two runs in the second. Junior catcher Samantha Papp led off the inning with a home run to left. With two outs, freshman outfielder Destini Brown delivered a go-ahead RBI single, putting the Golden Eagles in front 2-1.

Baylor tied it up at two in the third on an infield RBI single by sophomore infielder Nicky Dawson.

With the score still tied at two entering the seventh, Walker singled and took second on an error by the second baseman. McGlaun then delivered the game-winning single, scoring Walker and putting Baylor in front 3-2.

Rodoni made quick work of the Golden Eagles in the bottom of the seventh, getting the leadoff hitter to fly out and ending the game with back-to-back strikeouts.

No. 6 Baylor (6-0) will conclude the Black and Gold Invitational with a 1 p.m. matchup with No. 9 Alabama.