By Joe Pratt | Broadcast Reporter
Baylor softball (17-13) was swept in their three game series with undefeated No. 1 University of Oklahoma (29-0) this weekend in Norman, Okla. The Bears dropped Friday, Saturday and Sunday’s games 9-1, 8-0 and 3-1. After game one, Head coach Glenn Moore kept his optimism moving into the rest of the series.
“Hard to find the positives but we have to,” Moore said. “We will look at things we did well and the things we can improve on. I said before [that] they have no obvious weaknesses so we have to play at a higher level tomorrow.”
Outfielders, freshman Taylor Strain and sophomore McKenzie Wilson, were the only two players to record hits in the Friday’s game, with Wilson being the only Bear to score a run in the contest. Sophomore pitcher Dariana Orme started in the circle and allowed seven earned runs, followed by sophomore Maren Judisch who gave up two more to the Sooners. Oklahoma put up eight in the first three innings and the game ended after five innings at a 9-1 mark.
Sophomore Aliyah Binford was set to start in game two, however, Baylor failed to score a single run as the offense struggled once again. Wilson led the way at the top of the lineup with two base hits, and Strain had another knock of her own, but the game concluded once again after five innings in an 8-0 final. Binford pitched into the fourth inning before being pulled, finishing with a line of eight hits and six earned runs. Freshman pitcher Kaci West replaced the sophomore and allowed two additional Sooners across the plate.
“I really thought Aliyah and Kaci challenged their hitters from the start,” Moore said. “We used the short game early and had some things working but couldn’t push a run. This team has the right mindset. I’m a believer in them and they believe in themselves, if they can keep that mentally the game will eventually reward them.”
Game three proved to be a closer contested game. Orme started once again and gave up three runs on four hits after six and two thirds of an inning in the circle.
The Bears held their first lead of the weekend in the sixth inning of game three after a West sacrifice fly and Wilson advanced home. But the Sooners came roaring back in the bottom of the seventh with a Taire Jennings three-run walk-off home run to win 3-1 and secure the sweep.
“This game will go down as a loss but it was anything but, I can’t say enough about the competitive spirit with this bunch,” Moore said. “Dariana pitched one of the best games of any Baylor pitcher. It hurt for them, but we made a decision to play every inning as if the score didn’t matter. They played that way this whole weekend. It was an honor to be in the dugout with them.”
The Bears return to Waco to face Incarnate Word at 6 p.m. CT on Tuesday. A three game series is set for next weekend at home against Oklahoma State.