No. 19 Baylor softball overwhelms Houston Christian 14-4 in run-rule victory

Nine different Bears combined for 14 hits in No. 19 Baylor softball's 14-4 five-inning run-rule victory over Houston Christian on Tuesday night at Getterman Stadium. Photo courtesy of Baylor Athletics

By Michael Haag | Sports Editor

Last week, head coach Glenn Moore called himself a “rally killer” for getting the bulk of his roster at-bats during the team’s midweek win over Lamar.

Moore’s approach changed after the Bears were swept by Kansas over the weekend, as he let his offense erupt for a 14-4 five-inning run-rule victory over Houston Christian on Tuesday night at Getterman Stadium.

This time, he wanted to make sure his lineup developed an offensive rhythm following a dreadful weekend in which the Bears scored just two runs on 14 hits and stranded 19 runners on base. The three losses to the Jayhawks marked the first time Kansas has swept Baylor in program history.

The Bears amassed a season-high 14 hits on Tuesday night, and the 14 runs are also a new season-best.

“It was my objective playing off of that to let them have at least two at-bats, and we had quality at-bats there,” Moore said. “And certainly, I felt we went far enough and were able to continue to push runs across to let people bat. So I was happy with that, was happy with the way we played.”

Baylor (17-8, 1-5 Big 12) produced all but one of its runs in the second (six) and fourth (seven) innings, led by junior designated player Shaylon Govan, who was 2-for-2 at the plate with a season-high four RBIs.

Govan launched a three-run bomb over the right-field wall in the second inning, which marked her team-leading third homer of the season.

“Coach felt like we watched too many pitches and we weren’t getting up there and taking aggressive swings and trying to hit the ball hard,” Govan said. “So today, he was like, ‘I think I want more strikeouts out of y’all.’ So that’s what our plan was — going up there [and] swinging hard, looking for a pitch to hit and driving in some runs.”

Junior right-handed pitcher Kaci West (3-1) secured the win in the circle after allowing one earned run on three hits across 4.0 innings. West matched a career-high with six strikeouts and only walked one batter.

The Huskies’ (13-11, 0-3 Southland) only run through the first four frames came in the top of the first, as they slapped a two-out RBI double to take a 1-0 lead. The Bears responded in the bottom side when Govan brought home a runner on a base hit into right field.

Baylor uncorked a six-spotted second inning off five hits, giving it a 7-1 lead going into the third. Seven more runs on six hits in the fourth put the run-rule in order, and HCU’s three runs in the top of the fifth ended the game with the 14-4 Bears victory.

Moore said this game is a reminder of how talented his group is. After a 1-5 start to conference play, Moore said it’s easy for the team to get down on itself, but it’s his job to remind his squad that it has six ranked wins for a reason.

Now, Baylor hits the road to play at No. 1 Oklahoma for a three-game set. The series opener is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Friday at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, while the Saturday and Sunday contests will be played at Love’s Field in Norman, Okla.

All matches can be streamed on ESPN+.

Moore said the team welcomes the challenge of facing a top-ranked foe like the Sooners (27-1, 6-0 Big 12). Baylor was the last team to beat the three-time consecutive national champions before its 7-5 eight-inning loss to Louisiana on March 3 in Norman.

“I’ll never approach playing Oklahoma, the No. 1 team in the country, [thinking] that the pressure is on us,” Moore said. “Obviously, they play games every week. Very few teams beat them. So we go up there without any pressure, and we just have fun and play and embrace the opportunity to play the best team in the country.

“And we acknowledge that, but that doesn’t mean you bow down to them or concede to them, and we never do. So we’re going to go out there and hopefully make them better and get better playing them.”