By Matthew Soderberg | Sports Writer
No. 23 Baylor softball defeated Louisiana Tech Tuesday night to end their early season home stand undefeated at Getterman Stadium. Freshman righty Aliyah Pritchett drove in both runs for the Lady Bears and provided three innings of scoreless relief to finish off the Bulldogs.
Redshirt senior righty Gia Rodoni earned the start for Baylor and pitched four innings of one-run ball to raise her ERA to a paltry 0.97. She also recorded three strikeouts over her time on the mound, equaling as many batters as she hit.
Rodoni began the top of the second with a hit batter, followed by a successful squeeze bunt to put runners on first and second. The Bulldogs sacrifice bunted their way to put two runners in scoring position, and a sacrifice fly brought the batter in to score.
Pritchett immediately responded with a home run to open the bottom of the second inning. Then, in the bottom of the third, the freshman doubled to send redshirt junior outfielder Madison Kettler in for the go-ahead run. After the game, she said she didn’t even know it was a home run until well after the ball was off the bat. It was her third homer of the season.
“I didn’t feel like I got all of it,” Pritchett said. “I was sprinting around first base, and then I looked up and realized it was over.”
Pritchett was tapped to relieve Rodoni in the top of the fifth, and it was smooth sailing from there for the Lady Bears. The reliever allowed one hit and one walk while striking out two in her three innings on the mind. Head coach Glenn Moore said she isn’t playing like a normal freshman at this point in her short career.
“But she’s playing to the potential we thought she had going in,” Moore said. “She’s an outstanding player. She’s got ice water in her veins. She doesn’t let a whole lot bother her. Those first two swings I think she tried to hit it over the Ferrell Center, and the third one she was trying to hit it over the fence … It’s just phenomenal for any player, much less a freshman at this level. You’re going to see a lot of good things out of her.”
Baylor (14-2) is now on their best home win streak to open a season since 2009. The team will take a break from life at Getterman Stadium as the Lady Bears travel to Arkansas this weekend for a five-game series. Baylor will get their start at 4:30 p.m. Thursday against No. 22 Arkansas in Fayetteville, followed by two games on Saturday and two on Sunday.