By Michael Haag | Sports Editor
With Baylor softball and baseball underway, every spring sport is in full swing. This past weekend was the first of what will become three-consecutive weekends to feature a boat load of home sports with a splash of a few on the road.
But don’t fret; we’ve got you covered. Here is everything you may have missed over the weekend.
Baylor softball head coach Glenn Moore has been with the program for 23 years and had never seen a seven-inning no-hitter. Junior right-handed pitcher Dariana Orme threw a career-high 10 strikeouts and pitched seven perfect innings as the Bears scooted past Stephen F. Austin State University 3-0 on Friday at Getterman Stadium as part of the Getterman Classic.
“It’s pretty amazing when you think about some of the good arms we’ve had here — Heather Stearns, Whitney Canion, Lisa Ferguson, Kelsee Selman,” Moore said. “That just tells you how difficult it is to do that, especially in this day and age.”
The Mitch Thompson era started off with a bang when redshirt freshman infielder Jack Johnson hit a walk-off RBI single to secure Baylor’s 6-5 win over Central Michigan University in extra innings Friday night at Baylor Ballpark.
“First game of the year, [there’s] a lot of energy riding and to get Coach T’s first win right there was huge,” Johnson said.
The Baylor women’s tennis team fought hard against the University of Arkansas, but ultimately fell in a 5-2 decision Friday night in the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center. Four of the six singles matchups went to a determining third set.
“I thought we responded really well from our last match,” head coach Joey Scrivano said. “Unfortunately, it’s not the result we wanted, but the response was there, and it was overall a competitive match. Eventually, we will get the result we want as long as we keep fighting together as a team.”
The Bears (7-4) will stay at home and host the University of Washington at 6 p.m. Friday at the Hurd Tennis Center.
Brittney Griner is headed back to the Phoenix Mercury on a one-year contract according to a person familiar with the deal. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity on Saturday because no announcement has been made.
The 32-year-old Griner said she would return to Phoenix in a social media post in December after she returned home from her 10-month ordeal in Russia that included time in a Russian jail and ended with a dramatic prisoner swap.
No. 8 Baylor equestrian could’ve thrown in the towel when it trailed No. 7 Oklahoma State University 7-2 at the half, but the squad had other ideas. The Bears went on a second-half rally and came up just short, 10-9, Saturday afternoon at the Willis Family Equestrian Center.
“I think the big takeaway today is that they didn’t get down on themselves in the first half when the score deficit was so rough,” head coach Casie Maxwell said. “Flat made a huge rally coming in there and getting the score much closer, and then Reining fought until the very end. So, I have to give it to them for pulling it within one point.”
Up next, the Bears (5-6, 2-3 Big 12) will host No. 1 Southern Methodist University on March 2 at the Willis Family Equestrian Center in Waco for Baylor’s Senior Day meet. The opening ride is scheduled for 1 p.m.
No. 9 Baylor men’s basketball dropped a double-digit lead in the second half and lost to No. 5 University of Kansas 87-71 Saturday afternoon in Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan.
“That’s a good game for the Big 12,” head coach Scott Drew said. “You saw what we were capable of in the first half and what Kansas is capable of in the second half.”
Up next, the Bears (20-7, 9-5 Big 12) are staying in Kansas for another ranked matchup with No. 12 Kansas State University at 6 p.m. on Tuesday in the Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kan.
Despite four-straight losses in conference play, Baylor women’s basketball head coach Nicki Collen said she doesn’t care what the haters have to say. In the aftermath of the Bears’ 81-77 double-overtime loss to No. 22 Iowa State University Saturday evening in the Ferrell Center, Collen said she’s just going to keep coaching.
“For all the people that think I should be fired and have a lot to say, A) I don’t read it, and B) people that know, know, and people that don’t, don’t. And I’m just going to keep coaching my butt off, and we’re going to keep getting better,” Collen said.
The Bears (16-10, 7-7 Big 12) have an opportunity to avoid a five-game skid when they play Texas Christian University at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth.
No. 10 Baylor men’s tennis wrapped up the ITA Indoor National Team Championships with a 4-2 loss to No. 16 University of Florida Sunday afternoon in Chicago.
“Today was a real positive step in the right direction,” head coach Michael Woodson said. “It was a great college match today, credit to Florida for being able to get over the hump there at the end. We did a really good job of battling back at some positions, giving ourselves a chance and, of course, winning a double and two singles courts.
“Of course, you don’t want to lose, but we are really making positive progress and moving in the right direction. I’m excited to get back to Waco and get to work with these guys. I think we have a bright future.”
The Bears (5-8) now look ahead to a doubleheader versus Abilene Christian University and Brown University on Saturday. The first match is set for noon and the second contest will be at 6 p.m. at the Hurd Tennis Center.
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.
“[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.”
Baylor (7-1) 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.
Baylor baseball lost in the series finale to Central Michigan University, 4-3, Sunday afternoon at Baylor Ballpark.
“We’re going to be growing up every game, every inning we play,” head coach Mitch Thompson said. “We’re learning as a coaching staff. We’re learning as players. We’re getting experience. We have guys out there who have never been out there before. They competed hard. I think it showed a lot of heart for our guys how we came back after yesterday’s ballgame. They showed the fire and the fight.”
Baylor (1-2) will be back in action at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday against Houston Christian University at Baylor Ballpark.
No. 1 Baylor acrobatics and tumbling defeated No. 14 Presbyterian College 274.055-243.375 on Sunday to improve to 3-0 on the season. The defending national champs have now won 19-straight meets.
“There’s a lot I’m proud of, but we have some tweaks to make,” head coach Felecia Mulkey said. “We have some time off before our next meet that will do us some good, but I think we’re right where we need to be heading to Oregon in a few weeks. I think the judges got it right in Pyramid, I couldn’t find anything wrong with heat two, but it’s hard to make two groups be perfectly in sync.
“We moved the lineup around in tumbling, and I thought they did a great job. We have some more in our arsenal I’m looking forward to tapping into.”
Up next, the Bears get a quick break before returning to action on March 8 for their 8 p.m. CT matchup against No. 5 University of Oregon at the Matthew Knight Center in Eugene, Ore.