By Matthew Soderberg | Sports Writer
Baylor softball powered through day two of the Baylor Invitational with two 2-1 wins against Texas State and No. 17 Minnesota. The Lady Bears won each game in walk-off fashion.
Freshman righty Aliyah Pritchett got the start for the Lady Bears in the first game of the day and pitched seven innings of one-run ball with five strikeouts and eight earned baserunners. Pritchett limited the damage to the first inning in her game on the mound as she pitched six scoreless to finish off Texas State.
The Lady Bears responded in the bottom of the first inning when sophomore right fielder Josie Bower singled in redshirt senior center fielder Kyla Walker after she had doubled to open the inning. Both teams were held scoreless over the next five innings, but the Baylor offense came alive once more in the bottom of the seventh.
Pritchett doubled to right-center to open the inning and junior outfielder Alyssa Avalos subbed in to pinch run for her. Sophomore outfielder Ana Watson singled Avalos to third and made her way to second after a stolen base during the next at-bat. Sophomore third baseman Lou Gilbert doubled in Avalos for the winning run, pushing Baylor’s record to 11-2.
Redshirt senior righty Gia Rodoni started game two for the Lady Bears and pitched eight innings with seven strikeouts, six hits and two walks. After allowing one run in the bottom of the first, she shut out the Gophers the rest of the evening.
Baylor tied up the ballgame in the bottom of the first after Bower doubled in Walker for her second RBI of the afternoon. The next six innings both teams were held scoreless, but the Lady Bears were able to plate Walker thanks to a fielders’ choice by freshman second baseman Emily Hott in the bottom of the eighth. Head coach Glenn Moore said after the game it’s good to consistently pull out these close games.
“We certainly are waiting late in the game to take care of things,” Moore said. “When you see the caliber of pitching we’re seeing right now, that’s how you win those games. You have great pitching, and we did. You play great defense, and we did. And, you know, you find a way to scratch across a run whenever it matters most.”
Baylor (12-2) will look to resume their win streak pick back up against Louisiana Tech at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Getterman Stadium. The game can be streamed on ESPN+ and through the ESPN app.