Baylor softball drops two of three in Iowa State series

While the outstanding pitch of the sophomore duo of Dariana Orme [#24] and Aliyah Binford continued, Baylor softball dropped two of three games against Iowa State in Getterman Stadium over the weekend. Photo courtesy of Baylor Athletics.

By Joe Pratt | Broadcast Reporter

Baylor softball continued its homestand with a three-game series against conference foe Iowa State University. The series featured a 1-0 win for the Bears, followed by a pair of 6-1 losses.

Friday’s series opener featured a low-scoring pitcher’s duel. Sophomore Dariana Orme went the full seven frames, firing a shutout performance while giving up four hits. Iowa State’s Saya Swain and Ellie Spelhaug threw four and two innings respectively. The Cyclones’ duo gave up six hits combined with the one run belonging to Spelhaug. Orme spoke after the game about the low-scoring affair.

“For me, I know the type of team I play with, and I know that as long as I can keep going out there and we can get a zero on the board, they’re going to come around and put a run on the board for me,” Orme said. “I trust them, I know they’re going to get it done. Sometimes it does take a little bit longer, but I know at the end of the day they’re going to get it done. So, it’s a little easier to work with that.”

The only run of the game came at the top of the sixth inning. Sophomore catcher Sydney Collazos singled through the left side, scoring sophomore outfielder Ana Waston from second.

“It was awesome, we finally got some back-to-back hits to bring in a run because we have a lot of people on this roster hitting the ball hard, just not clicking with the back-to-back, so that was huge,” Collazos said. “It was nice, it felt good that it was me and to be productive for my team.”

It was Baylor’s 11th shutout of the season, but the Bears barely squeezed away with a 1-0 win. Head coach Glenn Moore reflected on the team’s opportune hitting and stellar pitching.

“We couldn’t get it to fall at the right time,” Moore said. “I thought we did good stuff though. Dariana [Orme], of course, was very efficient. I don’t know when she’s thrown less than a hundred pitches … We had some good at-bats, just couldn’t get them to fall. Aliyah [Binford] hits one hard, McKenzie [Wilson] starts the game off by smoking one off the wall that’s out of any other park. We just can’t seem to push them across, but we got enough. All we needed was one because of our defense and because of Dari, and we got that right in the nick of time.”

Game two was another quiet game for the first six innings. Baylor put up one in the third and the Cyclones responded in the fourth with one of their own. But in the seventh, Iowa State collected five runs to boost them to a 6-1 victory.

Binford was in the circle for all but two outs as she tried to set up the Bears to secure the series win. The sophomore held the Cyclones to just one hit and a run in the first two innings. She then allowed four more hits in the seventh after two errors, which tallied up to five runs.

“Aliyah threw an outstanding game again,” Moore said. “Our pitchers are in sync, but we can’t score runs. We’ve been playing good defense, but we didn’t late in the game today. We made some good defensive plays early on, but [ISU] did as well. It’s really two close-matched teams.”

Baylor’s one run came off a Wilson single to right which brought home Watson after getting hit by the pitch and stealing second. Wilson, in her sophomore season, grabbed her second multi-hit game of the weekend and was the only Bear to notch an RBI on Saturday.

“When you have a pitcher like Aliyah [Binford] out there working her hardest to put zeros on the scoreboard for the opposing team, it’s our job offensively to push some runs across for her so she can pitch at least more comfortably,” Wilson said. “The frustrating part is we played six innings of hard, strong softball. Unfortunately, the game of softball is seven innings, so we need to play all seven innings hard. As you probably saw, we didn’t get a lot of breaks today as far as offensively; we hit the ball hard, couldn’t really find holes, they made plays. And then for the defensive part, [when] Aliyah is pitching a great game like that, the defense needs to back her up.”

ISU ran away with the series win on Sunday afternoon with another 6-1 triumph over the Bears. The Cyclones finally got to Baylor’s Dariana Orme with their first run against the ace in the fourth inning. Orme went six and a third and was pulled with two outs left after giving up six runs on eleven hits. She threw 117 pitches in the series finale and now holds a record of 12-12 on the year.

Offensively, the Bears only scratched one run across the plate on two total hits, both knocked by senior outfielder Rhein Trochim. Trochim was 2-2 on the day with one RBI in the fifth. A single up the middle scored pinch-runner Grace Powell from second, the only run of the game. Moore touched on Trochim’s performance on senior day.

“Rhein [Trochim] we recruited her out of high school, and wanted her in green and gold,” Moore said. “She’s a special kid. She comes to work every day and puts forth as much effort as anyone we’ve ever had at practice, trying to better her game. On Senior Day, she’s got our only two hits. I wish she would have been in the mix with a lot of hits. But for her to step up into the nine-hole and get our only two hits, I really was proud of her. I think she would say the same thing.”

Iowa State (24-25, 4-11 Big 12) scored at least one run from the fourth on. Headed into the sixth, the Cyclones held a 3-1 lead, but quickly put the game out of reach for Baylor. A two-run homer from ISU’s Mikayla Ramos in the seventh backed a 6-1 win for the Cyclones.

Baylor (27-21, 5-10 Big 12) hopes to recharge in its week off ahead of its final games of the 2022 regular season. The Bears welcome the University of Texas on May 6 before heading to Austin for two more games with the Longhorns ahead of the Big 12 Championships beginning on May 12 in Oklahoma City, Okla.