Softball spoils Long Beach State’s home opener with 5-2 win

Sophomore outfielder Maddison Kettler fouls a pitch off the left side in an at-bat against Northwestern State. Photo Credit: Baylor Photography

By Nathan Keil | Sports Editor

No. 12 Baylor softball (12-3) boosted its resume with a big 5-2 win over No. 21 Long Beach State (16-5) Tuesday afternoon in the final game of its west coast swing.

The Bears greeted the 49ers, who were playing their first home game after 20 on the road or neutral sites to begin the year with steady pitching from junior Gia Rodoni and the big bats of senior first baseman Shelby Friudenberg and sophomore designated player Goose McGlaun.

Both McGlaun and Friudenberg finished with two hits apiece and were responsible for driving in all five of Baylor’s runs. McGlaun connected on her fourth home run of the season and added an RBI double. Friudenberg had an RBI single and an RBI double.

After allowing a run in each of the first two innings, Rodoni settled in using a mix of he rise ball and changeup to keep Long Beach State guessing at the plate.

Rodoni (7-2) allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Two of the 49ers hits did go for extra bases, as senior infielder Julia Lombardi and junior infielder Nichole Fry each had doubles off the Los Banjos, Calif. native.

Long Beach State scored a run in the first without the help of a base hit, as Rodoni walked the first two batters of the game and they were moved up on a fielder’s choice groundball to second base. A soft liner to the shortstop fell in front of sophomore Taylor Ellis on a hop, allowing the 49ers to tie the game at one.

In the second, a double and a wild pitch put the 49ers in prime position to take the lead with one out. A sacrifice fly to left field put Long Beach State in front 2-1, but that would be all the offense the 49ers would muster off Rodoni.

As Rodoni settled in, so did the Baylor offense against sophomore and reigning Big West Pitcher of the Week Cieol Meza. Meza entered the contest 9-0 with a 1.31 ERA, with seven complete games, 94 strikeouts and just tossed her second career no-hitter over the weekend against No. 21 Minnesota.

After a walk and a stolen base by senior outfielder Jessie Scroggins, McGlaun doubled to left-center to put Baylor in front 1-0.

Trailing 2-1 in the third, Friudenberg roped a double off the wall in left-center field tying the game 2-2. McGlaun then launched a no-doubter to left-center, giving the Bears a 4-2 lead.

Friudenberg capped off Baylor’s scoring with an RBI single to right center in the fourth.

Meza lasted just five innings, allowing five runs, four earned on six hits with three walks and three strikeouts.

With the win, Baylor finishes 3-3 on its west coast trip and will now fly across the country to participate in the Liberty Spring Classic in Lynchburg, Va.

Baylor battles host Liberty University at 3 p.m. Thursday.