WACO, Texas – No. 20 Baylor softball (24-6) was pushed to the limit by the UTSA Roadrunners (11-18), but outlasted the home team, 6-5.
Gia Rodoni started in the circle, allowing a run in each of the first three frames, with solo home runs in the first two.
Kendall Potts (9-0) was forced on in relief, picking up her ninth-straight win of the season. Potts made it through 3.1 innings, allowing two runs on three hits and striking out three.
Heather Stearns picked up her team and Big 12-leading fourth save of the season, closing out the final 1.2 innings and striking out two.
For the Baylor offense, it took two big innings to plate the needed runs, getting the game started with a four-run, five-hit first frame.
Ari Hawkins got the run going with a single up the middle. Shelby Friudenberg drove another single, with a double steal moving both into scoring position.
A single by Linsey Hays would score Hawkins and push Friudenberg to third.
Sarah Smith picked up her first RBI, hitting the fourth-consecutive single to score Friudenberg, running off UTSA’s Chelsea Parker after just 0.1 innings.
Lindsey Cargill reached on a fielding error by the UTSA shortsop, scoring Hays and moving Smith to second. A single from Charlton loaded the bases with just one out.
Sydney Christensen launched a deep shot to right field, easily scoring Smith on the sac fly, giving Baylor the 4-0 advantage.
With runs in each of the first three innings, UTSA had cut the Baylor lead down to 4-3, entering the top of the fifth.
A one-out single by Hays brought Smith back to the plate.
Smith launched her fifth home run of the year, another no-doubt bomb, pushing the Baylor lead back up to three.
The insurance runs would prove handy, with UTSA plating two runs in the bottom of the sixth, forcing Stearns on in relief.
Stearns entered with runners on first and second with just one out, striking out one and ending the sixth frame on a huge defensive play by Kyla Walker, with Walker gunning a runner down at the plate from right field for the third out, preserving the one run lead, 6-5.
That would stand as the final score, with Stearns working the three up, three down frame in the bottom of the seventh, picking up the 12th save of her career.
STAT OF THE DAY
3 – the number of RBI for Sarah Smith, accounting for half of the team’s run production in the game
The Lady Bears host Texas for the opening weekend of Big 12 play, beginning on Friday, March 25 at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 26 at 8 p.m. Friday’s game will be televised regionally on FOX Sports Southwest, with Saturday’s game televised to a national television audience on ESPN2.