WACO - The No. 16 Baylor softball team (33-10, 6-5) scored five unanswered runs for a 5-2 win to complete a three-game sweep of Oklahoma State (24-20, 2-7) Sunday afternoon at Getterman Stadium. The sweep was the second of the Big 12 season for the Lady Bears, who swept Iowa State on March 29-30.
"We finally broke through on (Kat) Espinosa," head coach Glenn Moore said. "Our hitters kept fighting until we got it done and both of our pitchers threw great and kept us in it until we could. Anytime you win in the Big 12, you have earned it and a sweep is icing on the cake."
Kathy Shelton had a two hit day, adding a triple, two runs, a triple and a stolen base. Jill Reid had a career day with her first ever two-hit game, while Holly Holl added a pair of RBI.
Whitney Canion (18-6) picked up the win in relief, going 4.0 innings, allowing no runs, one hit, one walk and striking out four. Heather Stearns started the first 3.0 innings, giving up just two hits, two runs, two walks and fanning six.
In all, Baylor pitchers struck out 34 batters in 21.0 innings over the weekend, giving up only six hits and two runs.
Stearns struck out six of the first seven batters she faced before falling into trouble with one out in the third. After allowing a single and walk, an RBI-single from Tamara Brown gave OSU its first run of the weekend. Stearns got a grounder to third for the second out of the inning before an intentional walk loaded the bases for Samantha Chrisman who got hit on an 0-2 pitch to pull ahead 2-0.
Canion came on to start the fourth and got the Cowgirls in order to begin the momentum swing back towards Baylor.
Shelton led off the bottom of the fourth with a single to left center and stole second for her 31st of the year, pulling her within five of the BU single-season mark of 36, set by Harmony Schwethelm and Tiffany Wesley. Kaitlyn Thumann followed with a hard single to right, advancing to second on the throw home. With runners at second and third, Espinosa got a pair of grounders to put two outs on the board, but a wild pitch scored Shelton to pull the Lady Bears within one.
Jill Reid had her second hit of the day, both coming with two outs, in the fifth and advanced to second when it was bobbled by the left fielder. But her rally attempt was cut down when she was thrown out in a close play at third on a steal attempt.
BU's offense finally busted the game open in the sixth as Shelton led off the inning with a triple down the right field line. Following a Thumann walk and steal, Holl delivered a double down the left field line for the 3-2 lead. Sarah Smith laid down a sac bunt, sending pinch runner Justine Young to third, before a Linsey Hays hit by pitch. Jordan Strickland delivered an RBI on a perfectly placed squeeze-bunt down the third-base line for a 4-2 advantage. Clare Hosack kept the momentum rolling on a double down the right field line, making it 5-2.
Canion shut the Cowgirls down in the seventh, finishing them off with a pair of strikeouts.
Baylor will step out of Big 12 play for the next four games, beginning with a doubleheader at North Texas on Wed., April 17 at 4 and 6 p.m. in Denton.
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