Baylor softball walks it off to split series with Houston

Senior pitcher Gia Rodoni had her 12th-career game with double digit strikeouts against Louisiana on Saturday. Lariat File Photo

By Will Chamblee | Sports Writer

Baylor softball put on a pitching clinic at Getterman Stadium this weekend, as the Bears split a weekend series with Houston, dropping game one 1-3 on Saturday and picking up a 2-1 victory Sunday.

Senior righty Gia Rodoni was in control for most of the first game on Saturday, striking out 10 batters and pitching a complete game. Saturday was Rodoni’s 12th-career game with double-digit strikeouts. However, a strong first inning from the Cougars allowed Houston to pull out a close victory.

Houston wasted no-time getting their bats going, as senior Sarah Queen hit a two-RBI double to put Houston up 2-0, one of the only five hits Houston managed to rack-up against Rodoni.

Baylor responded quickly in the second inning, however. Sophomore designated hitter Josie Bower grounded out to first base but was able to score senior first baseman Goose McGlaun in the process, bringing the Bears within one run.

Houston was able to seal the win in the top of the seventh, when Bethany Busch hit a sac-fly to center field, scoring Jordan McClain and putting the Cougars up 3-1.

“As expected, Houston came out of the gates hungry,” Baylor associate head coach Britni Newman said. “We gave away opportunities early in the game and couldn’t recover. We will bounce back tomorrow.”

The Bears did bounce back on Sunday, as junior pitcher Sidney Holman-Mansell delivered another masterful performance from the mound and junior center fielder Alyssa Avalos hit a walk-off single to give Baylor the win.

Baylor started off strong, immediately going up 1-0 after McGlaun doubled to center field, scoring sophomore left fielder Lou Gilbert. Mansell struck out seven batters and locked down the Cougars.

Houston finally got some offensive production in the seventh inning, tying the game 1-1. Kati Ray Brown hit a double to left field which scored Aspen Howie, tying the game. But Avalos was able to produce some late-game heroics for the Bears, as she singled to left field with runners on second and third, scoring McGlaun to snatch a victory for Baylor.

“It’s good to get a win against a tough Houston team,” Newman said. “Sidney pitched well and Alyssa was clutch. Today was a team-effort win.”

Baylor will square-off next against Sam Houston State on Tuesday in Huntsville at 6:30 p.m.