By Max Calderone | Sports Writer
No. 16 Baylor softball (24-9, 3-3) completed a three-game sweep of Texas Tech (21-18, 1-8) this weekend in Lubbock after picking up a 2-0 victory on Saturday and a 5-1 win on Sunday.
After being chased early from her start in Friday’s game one, junior pitcher Gia Rodoni was electric on Saturday, leading the Lady Bears to a 2-0 win in a pitcher’s duel.
Rodoni allowed just two hits to the Red Raiders and struck out 14 batters in seven innings of scoreless work in the second game of the series.
Baylor was held in check throughout most of the game by Texas Tech’s sophomore pitcher Kassidy Scott, who scattered seven hits and gave up one run in both the sixth and seventh inning.
In the sixth, junior left fielder Kyla Walker led off with a single, part of her team-leading three hits in the game, but was later erased on a fielder’s choice. Senior first baseman Shelby Friudenberg worked a walk and then came around to score on an RBI knock by sophomore right fielder Maddison Kettler.
The Lady Bears manufactured another insurance run in the final inning when sophomore second baseman Nicky Dawson reached base with a walk, stole a base, and scored on Walker’s RBI single to left field.
Rodoni capped off the victory by striking out the side in the seventh. Her 14 punchouts were a season-high.
On Sunday, Texas Tech struck first in the bottom of the first inning with junior first baseman Jessica Hartwell scoring on a single by junior shortstop Kiana Workman to go ahead 1-0.
From there, Rodoni settled back in as she returned to the mound for her third start in as many days. Once again, she threw a complete game, this time striking out 12 batters. It was the seventh time this season she finished a game with double-digit strikeouts.
The Lady Bears scored two runs in the fourth inning off a two-run home run by Friudenberg and three in the sixth in an inning which sent eight Baylor batters to the plate.
Freshman pinch-hitter Ashley Marchand began the top of the sixth with a single and was replaced by Dawson on the bases. Dawson advanced on a single by Walker and came around to cross home plate thanks to an error by Red Raiders’ redshirt freshman center fielder Michaela Cochran.
With Baylor ahead 3-1, the rally continued in the sixth with a hit from senior center fielder Jessie Scroggins, an RBI groundout by senior catcher Carlee Wallace and and RBI hit-by-pitch by Kettler as the Lady Bears extended their lead to 5-1.
Rodoni shut it down the bottom half of the seventh, once again striking out three Red Raiders in the inning to finish off the weekend.
Baylor will next take on McNeese State for a two-game mid-week series at home at Getterman Stadium. Game one will start at 5 p.m. on Tuesday with game two’s first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m. on Wednesday.