By Michael Haag | Sports Editor
Baylor softball’s junior right-handed pitcher Dariana Orme was just around 48 hours removed from spinning the program’s first seven-inning perfect game. Then, she had to enter the circle and face No. 1 University of Oklahoma.
As hard as it sounded to top a perfect game, Orme’s arm, paired with a three-run homer by sophomore infielder Shaylon Govan, led the Bears to a 4-3 upset win over the top-ranked Sooners on Sunday afternoon in the Getterman Classic at Getterman Stadium.
It marked Baylor’s (7-1) first win over a No. 1 team since it defeated the University of Florida 1-0 in Gainesville, Fla., on Feb. 8, 2009.
“It gets a little bit tiring out there, but when your adrenaline’s pumping and your team needs you, I don’t even know what the pitch count is [in that moment],” Orme said. “Honestly, that’s the first time I heard of it. I just go until I can’t go anymore.”
Orme (3-1) worked four innings without allowing an earned run, only giving up six hits — five of them singles — with two walks and two strikeouts.
The Bears’ 15-game losing streak to Oklahoma (8-1) ended on Sunday in front of 1,271 fans, and the last time Baylor beat the Sooners was on April 23, 2017 when it won 4-3 in Norman, Okla.
“[I’m] so proud for the girls to put in that kind of off-season work, and just believing in themselves to turn the corner and kind of revive this thing a little bit,” head coach Glenn Moore said. “[That was] a big booster shot right there to even compete with a team that’s so dominant when they play most teams.”
Oklahoma, the two-time defending national champions, had outscored its previous three opponents 41-0 in the Getterman Classic ahead of Sunday’s contest. The Sooners hadn’t lost a regular season game in 309 days. They entered the game hitting .376 as a team to go with 70 runs on 71 hits, all in just eight games.
“[Baylor’s] always pretty balanced,” OU head coach Patty Gasso said. “There’s speed at the top; there’s speed at the bottom. They’re feisty, and Glenn has always had that kind of team — hard working, blue collar, hustling, feisty, fighting.”
As soon as it defeated OU, Baylor had to get right back into shape for the back half of a doubleheader against the United States Military Academy. The Bears comfortably won that game by a score of 7-0 to complete the weekend undefeated in four contests.
The Sooners scored first in the opening game thanks to a one-out triple from senior utility Alynah Torres that was paired with a fielding error by Baylor. The Bears responded in the bottom of the third, thanks to a four-run side that was highlighted by Govan’s blast.
Sophomore infielder Presleigh Pilon started the four-hit inning with a leadoff single through the left side before junior outfielder McKenzie Wilson laid down a bunt on the path to her own base hit. Pilon advanced to third on Wilson’s bunt and was plated by sophomore infielder Amber Toven, who singled into center field.
Govan then lasered in on a changeup and crushed it down the left field line for a three-run homer that actually hit a car in the parking lot. She touched all the bases for her second home run of the season and made it 4-1 in favor of Baylor.
Govan finished the game with two of the team’s five hits.
“No, I did not hear that [I hit a car], wow,” Govan said. “[Oklahoma’s pitcher Jordy Bahl] works very well down and high. The first at-bat, she struck me out with a changeup, so I was looking down. That was the plan. She gave me a low changeup [the next time], so I took it.”
Bahl (3-1), an ace for the Sooners, was the 2022 national freshman of the year and went 22-1 with a 1.09 ERA in 33 outings last season. She suffered her first loss of the 2023 season on Sunday, as she allowed four runs on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
Neither team mustered offense in the fourth, and Orme finished her day with 82 pitches and was replaced by junior right-handed hurler and infielder Aliyah Binford. The righty forced OU into a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth but allowed two runs on two hits in the sixth, bringing the score to 4-3 heading into the final inning.
Needing three outs to secure a victory, Binford forced a line out, pop up and fly out to retire the side and complete the Bears’ first ever upset of a No. 1 team at Getterman Stadium.
“I was so excited when Coach Moore made that call [to put Aliyah in the circle],” Orme said. “I thought it was a perfect timing call because me and Aliyah work well together. She and I just compliment each other so well. As soon as she got the call, I became her biggest cheerleader because I knew she was going to kill it.”
Baylor wrapped up its Getterman Classic with a perfect 4-0 record, and the team now looks ahead to the Baylor Invitational, with the first game of a Friday doubleheader set for 3 p.m. at Getterman Stadium.
The Bears will square off against the University of Minnesota before the night cap versus the University of Maryland at 5:30 p.m.
Govan said the upset win “meant a lot to us” and that this group has been ready for the moment ever since the fall.
“We’ve always known since the fall that there was something with this team that was special,” Govan said. “We’re just ready to compete. We know that we’re a good team and we’re happy to put Baylor on the map. We’re trying to get us back to the Women’s College World Series.”