By Matthew Soderberg | Sports Writer
Baylor softball opened its 2020 home campaign with a 10-1 win against Abilene Christian Thursday night. Redshirt senior righty Gia Rodoni pitched her best game since coming back from injury.
Rodoni started the first inning with two groundouts followed by a home run, the only run she allowed in her four innings on the mound. She struck out eight of the next 10 batters she faced, shutting down ACU until sophomore lefty Madison Lindsey took over in the fifth. Head coach Glenn Moore said after the game that Rodoni went above and beyond his expectations Thursday.
“Coming out here and throwing in this cold, gives up the home run and then I think that triggered her adrenaline, and she pretty much dominated after that,” Moore said. “We wanted to push her a little bit tonight, let her go a little bit further than we might need her just to kind of get her in shape, and she did an outstanding job.”
The Lady Bears tied up the game after hits from senior second baseman Nicky Dawson and senior first baseman Goose McGlaun with help from a wild pitch by the Wildcats. Two more outs in the first inning brought Rodoni back out to pitch, but she said the success of the offense pushed her performance higher.
“After my first inning, I felt pretty comfortable,” Rodoni said. “Once we scored it back to 1-1, I was like, ‘We got this.’ And they just kept exploding, so the offense was phenomenal tonight.”
After tying up the ballgame in the first, Baylor’s offense exploded in the second, scoring six runs before even registering an out. The Lady Bears followed up their crooked second with three more runs in the fourth inning. Freshman shortstop Emily Hott (1-for-2 with a double, two RBIs and a walk) said postgame that the team knew to be patient at the plate.
“We were very selective at the plate when we saw at first she was kind of getting a little wild out of the zone,” Hott said. “We were definitely making sure we got our pitch before we went out and attacked.”
The Lady Bears stayed hot through the end of the game despite the cold weather, as the temperature had dropped to 42 degrees. Hott said postgame that with the stadium design and a strong mental presence, it’s possible to stay warm.
“It’s hard, but it’s all mental,” Hott said. “If you tell yourself it’s sunny and 70, that’s what it feels like. So we have a great facility, and it kind of blocks all the winds. It’s really not that bad.”
The Baylor softball team will get to stay home for five games this weekend with matchups against Prairie View A&M at 3 p.m. and Grand Canyon at 5:30 p.m. tonight. The Lady Bears then play Western Illinois at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The semifinal for the Getterman Classic is scheduled for Saturday afternoon and the final game will be played Sunday. All games this weekend can be streamed on ESPN+ through the ESPN app.