WACO, Texas — After getting swept in their first two series to start Big 12 play, the Baylor softball team was in desperate need of a confidence boost. In the seven games since, the Bears have won six, setting up a crucial series with Texas Tech.
Coming into the weekend, the Bears (23-18, 2-7) sit in fifth place in the Big 12 standings, just one spot behind Texas Tech (21-21, 4-8). With a series win, the Bears would move 0.5 games behind the Red Raiders in the standings. Baylor would overtake Tech with a series sweep.
The Bears are led in the circle by pitcher Dariana Orme, who threw a career-high nine strikeouts in Baylor's 2-1 win over UT-Arlington Tuesday night. Center fielder McKenzie Wilson hit a game-winning home run in the ninth to seal the Bears' victory.
Wilson enters the series third in the Big 12 in batting average (.417), second in hits (50) and first in stolen bases (23).
"I think this team is on a high right now, coming off this win," Wilson said. "And I'm excited to see where this takes us Friday, Saturday and Sunday."
The series is crucial for Baylor's postseason chances. The Bears enters the weekend ranked No. 57 in NCAA RPI. Head Coach Glenn Moore said that number needs to be in the mid-40s, maybe even the 30s, for Baylor to make the postseason.
"I spoke earlier this year in front of you guys about how we had to be process-oriented," Moore said. "Now the outcome is more important because we have to win ball games. Our backs are against the wall and we know that."
The Bears open the three-game set with Texas Tech Friday night at 6:30. All three games will be played at Baylor's Getterman Stadium.