By Michael Haag | Sports Editor
After being swept by No. 2 Oklahoma State University over the weekend, No. 21 Baylor softball got back into the win column by dismantling the University of Texas at San Antonio, 8-0, Tuesday night at Getterman Stadium.
The Bears (24-8, 0-3 Big 12) blew past the Roadrunners (6-24, 2-4 Conference USA) in the form of a five-inning rule-rule victory. It marked Baylor’s fifth run-rule win of the season, and the team has scored eight or more runs for the ninth time this year.
The Bears didn’t start producing until the third inning, but back-to-back four-spot innings propelled the group to the victory.
With not much happening in the first two innings, the green and gold looked to the third. Following a leadoff groundout, junior outfielder McKenzie Wilson singled up the middle to take first base. Wilson advanced on another groundout and was plated two at-bats later.
Despite the team having two outs, junior catcher Sydney Collazos walked, and junior outfielder Ana Watson sliced one down the right-field line to bring home Wilson. Watson then advanced to second on a wild pitch before junior utility Emily Hott walked.
Sophomore infielder Presleigh Pilon kept the squad rolling by hitting the ball to the right field wall. The base hit allowed Watson and Collazos to score. Senior outfielder Josie Bower finished off the four-run inning by lacing an RBI single to right field, giving Baylor a 4-0 lead.
The Roadrunners recorded their first hit of the game in the top of the fourth inning, but they stranded the runner and turned the side over to the Bears.
After a leadoff groundout, Wilson stepped up and singled again to put her on first base. When Baylor suffered another groundout, the group put together another two-out rally.
Collazos reached first with a single to left-center, scoring Wilson in the process. Then, Watson came around and doubled to make it 6-0 in favor of the Bears. Hott was hit by a pitch and then Pilon was walked to load the bases for Bower, who knocked a two-RBI single.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Kaci West was in the circle for relief and threw a 1-2-3 top of the fifth, which included a game-ending strikeout to secure Baylor’s ninth shutout of the season. West (5-1) earned the win, pitching in relief for freshman right-handed pitcher RyLee Crandall, who was given the start.
West pitched 3.0 innings, faced 10 batters and allowed the only hit of the game. She added three strikeouts and walked zero UTSA batters. The one allowed hit marked the third time this season that the Bears have allowed one or fewer hits. Offensively, Wilson, Bower and Watson each had two-hit outings. Pilon, Watson and Bower also notched multi-RBI performances.
Baylor has a quick turnaround, as it takes a short trip south to face Texas State University at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Bobcat Softball Stadium in San Marcos.