By Joe Pratt | Broadcast Reporter
Baylor softball (25-19, 4-8 Big 12) returned to Getterman Stadium for its three-game series with Texas Tech University (22-23, 5-10 Big 12), winning 2-1. Just one run was enough for the Bears Friday night, staving off the Red Raiders 1-0.
Dariana Orme made her record 11-10 after a seven inning, two-hit performance. The sophomore struck out five and fired bullets into the strike zone with 65% of her pitches hitting the zone.
“Whenever I’m in the circle, I’m not even thinking about how many pitches I’ve thrown. I’m like, ‘go pound the zone for the team,’” Orme said. “It is so mental. I really don’t want to know [my pitch count]. I can throw 200 pitches and still get a [win], so it doesn’t really matter at the end of the day.”
One wild pitch was the difference in the contest as Josie Bower advanced home on a wild pitch. The junior outfielder did it all herself with a two-out single to right field in the bottom of the fourth. She then stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by Texas Tech’s catcher.
“We were opportunistic,” head coach Glenn Moore said. “We haven’t had that a whole lot this year. Once we finally got a runner on third base, we’ll take it. It’s all about wins right now. We needed to get the W.”
Orme allowed no hits after the Bears put one on the board, to lead them to victory.
“We’ve already meshed together, so now it’s just putting it all together on the field. I think we’re peaking at the right time,” Orme said.
The Bears posted two complete-game shutouts in a row as the pitching staff picked up its second on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore Aliyah Binford allowed only three hits and struck out ten en route to a 4-0 victory.
Baylor scored four runs despite having just two hits in the game. Bower roped a ball down the first base line and extended it to a triple while scoring sophomore outfielder Ana Watson from first. Watson was hit by the pitch with two outs in her first at-bat. Bower then scored on another wild pitch during sophomore utility player Emily Hott’s first-inning plate appearance.
Hott was the second player along with Bower to have a base hit. However, her two RBIs were a result of a hit by pitch in the fourth, scoring Binford. The second RBI was a fielder’s choice in the sixth which set down Hott on a ground ball and brought home freshman outfielder Ashlyn Wachtendorf. Binford was able to hold off the Red Raiders and secure the series win.
“What an amazing performance by Aliyah [Binford], she could have beaten any team in the country today,” Moore said. “While I would like to have more hits, you have to look at the number of free bases we have been given and the quality at bats that resulted from them was the reason for the four runs. Emily Hott and Josie Bower continue to play big roles for us.”
The offense was unable to keep its momentum going in game three, failing to notch a run on five hits. Orme pitched three and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs on three hits in the 2-0 loss. Binford entered in relief, holding Texas Tech to two hits and one unearned run in the remaining three and a third innings.
The Red Raiders’ runs came in the fourth inning, the first being a single with runners on first and second. Orme was taken out of the game with two outs in the fourth and a runner on second. Binford allowed one hit which brought home Tech’s runner on second.
The Bears had hits from sophomore outfielder McKenzie Wilson, sophomore catcher Sydney Collazos, freshman infielder Kaci West and Aliyah Binford. The offense was less opportune in game three, switching the tides to be shut out.
“Not the outcome we wanted. It stings. It stings a lot,” Wilson said. “We have two great pitchers on the mound working hard and the offense unfortunately couldn’t come through today. But we did get the series win. That’s awesome. We had a chance at the end to put ourselves in a position to win a ballgame, so that’s also hopeful that we didn’t just throw in the towel. Our team was fighting all seven innings until the last out. I think that’s a positive note to end on.”
Baylor continues its long homestand with a midweek matchup with Stephen F. Austin on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. before welcoming Iowa State University on Friday for a three-game series.