Wallace, Rodoni deliver as softball knocks off No. 9 Alabama

Junior outfielder Kyla Walker connects on one of her six hits against Northwestern State in Baylor's opening weekend sweep. Jessica Hubble | Multimedia Editor

By Nathan Keil | Sports Editor

With runners on second and third and one out in the seventh inning, junior Gia Rodoni came through for Baylor softball.

After allowing back-to-back singles with one out, giving the Crimson Tide the tying run 60 feet away and the go-ahead run at second, Rodoni struck out the next hitter and induced a weak popup to shortstop to preserve a 2-1 win over No. 9 Alabama Sunday afternoon.

Rodoni allowed one run on four hits with two walks and eight strikeouts, but was consistently her best when she need it most.

Rodoni allowed leadoff walks in the first and fifth innings, but settled down to retire the side in order after, including being the beneficiary of some excellent defense from sophomore shortstop Taylor Ellis, who caught a rocket line drive then fired a bullet to first for the double play, ending the threat in the fifth.

Alabama had an opportunity in the sixth to tie it as well. Sophomore outfielder Elissa Brown singled and stole second with nobody out for the Crimson Tide. Rodoni then struck out freshman outfielder Kaylee Tow, got a weak groundball to senior first baseman Shelby Friudenberg and then struck out sophomore first baseman Bailey Hemphill swinging to keep Baylor in front.

Alabama got its lone run of the game on a towering home run in the third inning off the bat of Tow, but despite several other ample opportunities, the Crimson Tide simply couldn’t come up with the big off Rodoni.

The Lady Bears spotted Rodoni two runs in the bottom of the first and that would be good enough to get the win.

Senior outfielder Jessie Scroggins led off the game with a double down the right field line. Junior outfielder Kyla Walker drew her first of two walks and then they both advanced on a sacrifice bunt.

With two outs, it was former Auburn catcher Carlee Wallace, who was just two for 12 life-time against senior Alabama pitcher Alexis Osorio, who did the damage.

With two strikes, Wallace played a pop up in no-man’s land on the infield, allowing both Scroggins and Walker to come around and score.

Baylor had opportunities in the third and fifth innings, putting two runners on with nobody out, but couldn’t muster the clutch RBI hit.

Scroggins finished with three hits in three trips to the plate.

No. 11 Baylor (7-0) finishes the Black and Gold Invitational with a perfect 4-0 record and is the last undefeated team in the Big 12 after No. 1 Oklahoma’s stunning 4-3 loss to Boston University on Saturday.

The Lady Bears will remain on the road with a 5:30 p.m. Tuesday game at UTSA before welcoming Jackson State, Incarnate Word and Abilene Christian to town as part of the Baylor Invitational. Baylor will play Jackson State and Incarnate Word in a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. Friday.