By Ben Everett | Sports Editor
In a rare midweek conference matchup, Baylor softball had a chance to pick up a home win against the No. 9-ranked team in the country. The Lady Bears (14-15) came up short, falling 2-0 to the Texas Longhorns on Wednesday night at Getterman Stadium.
Longhorn freshman pitcher Shealyn O’Leary pitched a perfect game, controlling the Baylor batters from start to finish. Baylor head coach Glenn Moore said the Lady Bears needed more from their offense, but O’Leary’s performance should not go unnoticed.
“We just have to find ways to score, but ran into a buzzsaw tonight,” Moore said. “They had to pitch a perfect game to be able to beat us tonight, and they did.”
Errors plagued the Lady Bears, as both of the Longhorns’ runs were tied to mistakes by the Baylor defense.
Filling in for junior infielder Nicky Dawson, who was out due to illness, freshman outfielder Lou Gilbert was forced to play out of position at second base. Gilbert committed two of the three Baylor errors.
Baylor sophomore pitcher Sidney Holman pitched a complete game with four strikeouts while only giving up four hits and no earned runs. Moore said Holman was Baylor’s biggest bright spot on Wednesday.
“She threw a great game and gave us a chance to win,” Moore said. “She was very efficient. I was very happy with her tonight.”
Holman started the game strong with a strikeout, but walked the next batter and then gave up a single. Holman recovered, retiring the final two batters to send it to the bottom of the first scoreless.
The Baylor defense helped out Holman in the second, with Gilbert and junior shortstop Taylor Ellis each assisting in impressive outs at first to send the Longhorns to another scoreless inning.
In the top of the fourth, Texas junior third baseman Shannon Rhodes advanced to second on an error and later scored on a sacrifice fly by junior outfielder Kaitlyn Washington to put the Longhorns up 1-0.
In the top of the fifth, an error by Gilbert helped Texas junior outfielder Reagan Hathaway score to put the Longhorns up 2-0.
The Lady Bears tightened up their defense, holding Texas scoreless in the sixth and seventh innings to set up a potential comeback in the bottom of the seventh.
Baylor looks to bounce back as they face Kansas in a weekend series starting Friday in Lawrence, Kan. Holman said the Lady Bears are close to turning the corner, they just need to stay consistent.
“I think we’re just going to have to get it to where we’re firing on all cylinders,” Holman said. “Everybody competed tonight. We’re just going to have to keep fighting.”