WACO - No. 16 Baylor (29-7, 3-2) erased a four-run deficit thanks to a perfect relief outing from Heather Stearns, coming back for a 7-5 win over Iowa State (14-19, 0-3) for the series sweep Saturday afternoon at Getterman Stadium.
"Anytime you can get a sweep in the Big 12 you have earned it," head coach Glenn Moore said. "Heather was lights out today and gave us the chance to come back. Our at-bats weren't great today, but our heart and determination were and I am proud of that."
Stearns (9-3) came on in the third inning with two outs and worked 4.1 innings, allowing no runs, hits or walks and striking out eight for the win. Canion pitched 2.2 innings, giving up six hits, five runs, three walks and striking out two.
Kaitlyn Thumann paced the offense, going 3-for-4 with a pair of runs and stolen bases. Jordan Strickland finished 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles and RBI. Holly Holl led the team with two RBI, both off sac flies, as the redshirt junior walked eight times during the weekend.
Iowa State jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first off a two-out, two-run homer to left center from Tori Torrescano.
Baylor answered with a sac fly from Holl, scoring Shelton, pulling within one.
The Cyclones upped its lead to four in the third, as Jorden Spendlove knocked an RBI-single to right and was followed by a Maddie Reese two-RBI double for a 5-1 lead. Following a four-pitch walk to put runners on the corners, Stearns came on for Canion and picked up a strikeout to end the inning.
The Lady Bears, who stranded 10 runners on the day, stranded two in the second, third and fourth innings. They did pull within one in the third, however, plating three runs. Thumann got the offense rolling with a single up the middle and stealing second to reach scoring position. Holl walked and Sarah Smith got hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Linsey Hays then delivered an RBI-single to left center, scoring Thumann, but Holl was thrown out at the plate for the first out. Strickland then doubled down the left field line to score one before Kelsi Kettler singled through the left side to pull within one, but that was all the closer it would get in the third.
Baylor completed the comeback in the sixth, as Kathy Shelton led off with a single to short and stole second to reach scoring position. Thumann singled to right and advanced to second on the throw home that held Shelton at third. Holl drove in her second run on a sac fly to left, tying the game at five. Following a hit by pitch to Smith, Hays delivered a single to left center that was bobbled by the center fielder, allowing Thumann to score for the first lead of the game. With one away and pinch runner Justine Young at third, an illegal pitch was called on reliever Madison Jones, giving Baylor the two-run cushion.
Stearns didn't allow the Cyclones any hope in the seventh, closing out the win with three-straight strikeouts.
With the win, Baylor has won seven in-a-row against Iowa State.
The Lady Bears will next be in action when they travel to Norman to face No. 1 Oklahoma for a three-game series on April 5-7.
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