In case you missed it: Baylor sports year in review

The Baylor softball team celebrates its 4-3 upset win over No. 1 University of Oklahoma as part of the Getterman Classic on Feb. 19 at Getterman Stadium. Kenneth Prabhakar | Photo Editor

By Michael Haag | Sports Editor

From upsets over top-ranked teams to protecting home turf against conference foes, Baylor athletics has had another strong year. Even though both golf teams, softball, baseball and track and field are still competing as part of the 2022-2023 season, here’s a compilation of the best sports moments of the past year.

No. 16 Baylor volleyball upsets defending national champs No. 3 Wisconsin

After falling to fifth-ranked Minnesota on Aug. 26, No. 16 Baylor volleyball upset No. 3 University of Wisconsin — the defending national champions — 3-2 on Aug. 27 in the Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth. The match went the distance as the Bears found their first win of the season after five sets: 21-25, 25-22, 26-24, 21-25, 15-12. Baylor became the first squad to defeat the reigning national champion within a season’s first three matches since Stanford University went 0-3 in 2020 after winning in 2019.

Baylor cross country opens season with dual second-place finishes

The Baylor cross country team recorded twin second place finishes at its season-opening meet on Sept. 1 at the Tornado Watch Invitational in Round Rock. In total, the Baylor men tallied 39 points, a mark that was 20 points behind first-place University of Texas. The women posted 37 points for the Bears, just 15 points behind the winning Longhorns.

Vargas’ goal lifts Baylor soccer, edges Kansas 3-2 for first conference win

In a 90-minute thriller, Baylor soccer shut down the University of Kansas 3-2 after scoring two goals in the last three minutes of play at Betty Lou Mays Field on Oct. 6. Head coach Michelle Lenard’s team had struggled to find the back of the net in conference play to that point. Freshman forward Reneta Vargas looked to be the difference maker for the Bears. The striker netted two goals for the green and gold, one being the game winner.

No. 10 Baylor equestrian knocks off No. 1 TCU 12-7

In a “Go Gold” match, No. 10 Baylor equestrian upset No. 1 TCU 12-7 on Oct. 21 at the Willis Family Equestrian Center. Following a 5-4 lead at halftime, the Bears executed a 5-0 sweep in flat to secure the victory over the top-ranked Horned Frogs. The win marked the second time Baylor has bested a top-ranked team under head coach Casie Maxwell.

Apex predator: ‘Sqwirl’ devours OU defense, leads Baylor to 38-35 win

Baylor football claimed its second-ever win at the University of Oklahoma by a score of 38-35 on Nov. 5 at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The last time the Bears won a game in Norman was in 2014, and the record now stands at 2-14 all-time at OU.

No. 17 Baylor men’s basketball takes down No. 9 KU 75-69

No. 17 Baylor men’s basketball got its biggest win of the season over No. 9 University of Kansas — the defending national champions — 75-69 for its fifth consecutive win on Jan. 23 in the Ferrell Center. There were 34 NBA scouts in attendance for the Big Monday showdown, and the Bears improved to a 12-1 record against top 10 opponents over the last three seasons following the victory over the Jayhawks.

No. 12 Baylor men’s tennis bests No. 9 Florida State, advances to ITA Indoors

No. 12 Baylor men’s tennis continued its dominance in the ITA Kickoff Weekend, as it advanced to its 12th-straight ITA National Team Indoor Championships with a 4-2 win over No. 9 Florida State University on Jan. 28 in the Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center.

The Bears improved to 5-1 all-time versus the Seminoles at the time and moved to 24-0 in ITA Kickoff Weekend matches.

No. 24 Baylor women’s golf jumps to 10-shot lead, wins Collegiate Invitational

No. 24 Baylor women’s golf head coach Jay Goble wanted to keep things simple ahead of the Collegiate Invite at the Guadalajara Country Club in Guadalajara, Mexico. With that approach, Goble’s squad secured the overall win on Feb. 6, besting 11 other programs. The Bears are also still on the hunt for an NCAA national championship if they make the cut, which begins on May 19 in Phoenix.

Baylor men’s golf captures second-straight tournament title, wins Border Olympics

Baylor men’s golf won back-to-back tournaments for the first time since 2019 after capturing the Border Olympics title on Feb. 14 in Laredo. All five Bears finished in the top 13 individually, including four in the top 10 after their collective 8-under 856 performance.

Orme’s arm, Govan’s homer leads Baylor softball to 4-3 upset win over No. 1 OU

Baylor softball junior right-handed pitcher Dariana Orme’s pitching paired with a three-run home run by sophomore infielder Shaylon Govan led the Bears to a 4-3 upset win over the top-ranked Sooners on Feb. 19 in the Getterman Classic at Getterman Stadium. The Sooners also hadn’t lost a regular season game in 309 days. OU proceeded to go on a 41-game winning streak heading into the Big 12 Tournament.

No. 7 seed Baylor WBB rallies past No. 10 seed Alabama in opening round of NCAA Tournament

No. 7 seed Baylor women’s basketball trailed by as many as 18 points in the first quarter, but a program record of seven 3-pointers from graduate student guard Ja’Mee Asberry helped rally past No. 10 seed University of Alabama 78-74 in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on March 18 in Storrs, Conn. Baylor’s 18-point comeback tied for the third biggest recovery in tournament history.

Baylor baseball drops tight series to No. 12 Texas despite late-inning heroics

Baylor baseball hosted the top team in the Big 12, No. 12 University of Texas, and gave the Longhorns a run for their money at Baylor Ballpark. Entering the weekend, the Bears had already won two conference series and looked to add another against Texas. Head coach Mitch Thompson and Baylor produced in several areas but fell one game short of a series win. The Bears took one of three contests on April 15.

Baylor track & field struts in front of university legends at Michael Johnson Invitational

Baylor track and field hosted its final home meet of the season with the Michael Johnson Invitational April 21-22 at the Clyde Hart Track and Field Stadium in Waco. The two-day meet brought a few Baylor legends back and showed off some current Bears as well. The squad was in the presence of Michael Johnson, the meet’s namesake, as well as Jeremy Wariner, Skylar White and others.

No. 1 seed Baylor acro & tumbling wins eighth-straight national title, Mulkey wins 12th

No. 1 seed Baylor acrobatics and tumbling completed the repeat after beating No. 2 Oregon for the third time this season, winning the 2023 NCATA National Championship by a score of 278.855-268.555 on April 29 at West Liberty University. The Bears (11-0) have now won eight straight national titles, all under 12-time champion head coach Felecia Mulkey.

Baylor women’s tennis erases 3-1 deficit to take down SMU 4-3

Baylor women’s tennis took down Southern Methodist University 4-3 in a thrilling NCAA first round matchup on May 5 at the Mitchell Tennis Center in Bryan-College Station. The Bears went on to lose 4-0 in the second round to No. 2 seed Texas A&M University, the regional host team, on May 6 in the same venue.