Utah run-rules Baylor softball 9-1 in 5 innings

The Bears played at Dumke Family Softball Stadium for the Salt Lake City regional during the 2023 postseason but didn't face the Utes. Photo courtesy of Baylor Athletics

By Michael Haag | Sports Editor

Baylor softball was run-ruled in five innings by Utah by a score of 9-1 on Wednesday night at Dumke Family Softball Stadium in Salt Lake City.

The Bears (25-19, 8-13 Big 12) cut their early four-run deficit to three after putting up a run in the bottom of the second inning, but the Utes (29-17, 7-11 Pac-12) plated five more runs between the third and fifth innings to end the contest.

Junior right-handed pitcher Aliyah Binford was hit with the loss in the circle after giving six earned runs on six hits in 2.0 innings of work. Binford (8-10) also walked two batters and totaled 43 pitches after hurling two complete games in Baylor’s three-game sweep of UCF over the weekend.

Utah senior left-handed pitcher Mariah Lopez hurled a five-inning complete game in which she allowed just one unearned run on seven hits. Lopez (18-0) remained unblemished in the circle this season, and she tallied six strikeouts and walked none of the 22 batters she faced.

The Bears fell into an early hole after the Utes ripped a two-out bases-loaded triple to make it a 3-0 ballgame going into the second inning. Baylor responded with a run off a fielder’s choice by junior outfielder Ashlyn Wachtendorf in the top of the second inning.

The Bears notched two hits in both the top of the first and top of the second, but that first and only run didn’t come across until the second side thanks to Wachtendorf’s fielder’s choice. Utah matched that run in the bottom of the second to increase its lead to 4-1 through two innings of play.

Baylor couldn’t muster any offense the rest of the way, and Utah scratched across three runs in the third and two more in the fifth to end the game via run rule. Bears senior catcher Sydney Collazos opened the fourth inning with a leadoff double but was part of six batters who were left on base on the evening.

Junior right-handed pitcher Kaci West replaced Binford in the bottom of the third inning and held Utah to three earned runs on seven hits. West finished her outing having thrown 2 ⅓ innings, suffering one walk and one wild pitch in the process.

Wednesday marked the Bears’ last nonconference game of the season, as they finished those contests with a 17-7 record. Baylor has now lost three of its last four nonconference outings after winning 17 of 19 going into that stretch.

Baylor has a quick turnaround, as it’ll face BYU for a three-game set in Provo, Utah. The Bears and Cougars (26-19, 8-13 Big 12) will open the series with a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. CT on Thursday due to inclement weather. The series finale will take place at 6 p.m. CT on Friday.

Michael Haag is a third year Journalism student from Floresville, a small town about 30 miles south of San Antonio. Haag is entering his third year at the Lariat and is hoping to continue developing his sports reporting skill set. After graduation, he plans to work on a Master’s degree in Journalism in order to one day teach at the college level. He does, however, plan on becoming a sports reporter for a publication after grad school.