No. 19 Baylor Softball Splits Doubleheader with No. 4 Louisiana-Lafayette
Lady Bears dominate in game one, fall just short of sweep after late rally in game two
WACO, Texas – No. 19 Baylor softball (27-7) split an action-packed doubleheader with No. 4/5 Louisiana-Lafayette (26-3), taking a dominating 2-0 victory in the first game, before falling just short of the sweep after a late rally in the second on Tuesday night at Getterman Stadium.
Heather Stearns (13-2) started game one in the circle, showing total command of the potent UL lineup, allowing just four hits and no runs, while striking out seven.
For the Baylor offense, it took just two runs in the bottom of the third to make the difference, with Robin Landrith roping a single up the middle, followed by a looping single to left by Kyla Walker.
Jessie Scroggins reached on a fielder’s choice, with UL getting the lead runner at third for the first out.
Ari Hawkins legged out a bunt single back UL ace Alex Stewart, loading the bases with one out.
Shelby Friudenberg came through in the clutch, drilling a single into the gap in right field, scoring both Walker and Scroggins to give BU the 2-0 lead, standing as the final score.
In the second game, Kendall Potts (10-1) started in the circle, pitching an effective 5.1 inning game, allowing four runs on three hits with two strikeouts.
All of the UL offense came in the top of the fifth frame, with the Ragin’ Cajuns loading the bases on two walks and a single. Kelsey Vincent drilled a grand slam over the right field wall, clearing the bases and giving UL the 4-0 lead.
The Baylor bats came alive in the bottom of the frame, with Lindsey Cargill leading off with a single.
Caitlin Charlton switched places with Cargill on a fielder’s choice, giving BU a runner on with one out.
Back-to-back singles from Landrith and Walker loaded the bases, still with just the one out. A single by Scroggins to left-center scored Charlton, cutting the UL lead to 4-1.
The winds at Getterman turned on the Lady Bears, with a high drive launched by Ari Hawkins held up just inside the left-field wall, narrowly missing a grand slam, but good for a sac fly to score Browder and put BU down just 4-2.
With one out in the top of the sixth, Potts was pulled in favor of freshman Gia Rodoni, who shut down the UL lineup over the remaining 1.2 innings, allowing just one hit and no runs.
The bats were back for BU in the bottom of the sixth frame, with Sarah Smith finding a gap on the left side of the infield to put the potential tying run at the plate.
A two-out single by Charlton up the middle moved pinch runner Morgan Groppe into scoring position at second base, bringing up Landrith.
A throwing error by UL second baseman Haley Hayden allowed Groppe to score, cutting the lead down to 4-3.
The Baylor rally would end there, with Baylor unable to find the equalizer run on UL’s Alex Stewart, who pitched all 13.0 innings for the Cajuns.
Baylor Head Coach Glenn Moore
On splitting the series…
“That is an indication that God does not care who wins softball games. For the wind not to be blowing when the visiting team hit the ball to right field on their grand slam, then for it to be blowing about 40 miles an hour when Ari (Hawkins) hit it. We played head to head – not even really head to head. I thought we outplayed them for the most part. That is a great UL team, though.”
On the pitching game…
“Clearly, we had outstanding pitching with Heather in the first game. Then, to be able to use our bullpen against that lineup in the second game that effectively, I was really pleased with that as well.”
On ULL lineup…
“You do not want your team to read their numbers because you do not want them to be intimidated. They’ll have a three-run advantage when they get here. Our girls feel pretty confident that we are an outstanding ball club. They (UL) are number four in the country, receiving first place votes, and we felt we should have come out with two victories. We are not exactly happy with that, but we are confident we can play with the best in the country.”
On Heather’s pitching…
“When you look at the lineup she is facing, she was outstanding tonight. She made them swing at some balls where they were missing by a large margin. They are an aggressive lineup, too. When they are that aggressive you do not throw over the middle of the plate. I think she made them look really bad at times.”
On playing a hard opponent once conference began…
“It is difficult, especially coming out of an emotional weekend like we had with Texas. We know each other, we had done this for a couple of years, and we know the importance of the game. This is not a mid-week where you throw your number three pitcher. This is a mid-week where you go with everything you’ve got. You see how important it was for them, by them bringing their number one pitcher in the second game. They needed to win that game just as badly as we needed to win it.”
On shutting ULL down…
“I just really hit my spots tonight and threw a lot out at them. I changed planes, I changed speeds, I hit my corners, so really just kept them guessing.”
On their lineup…
“Every person in that lineup swings the bat hard, and if you make a mistake they're going to hit it out of the park. Really, it's a lineup that capitalizes on mistakes and they're going to hit the ball hard every time they swing.”
On splitting against ULL…
“We came out ready to go in the first game. We were ready to go in the second game. The wind kind of caught that ball (by Hawkins), so it didn't go our way. But I think we won the day definitely.”
On playing a good team in the middle of conference play…
“Coming off the wins over Texas was big for us, so that kind of prepared us for this game and got us ready to go. We knew it was going to be a big game because of our ranking and their ranking but we just came in ready to play and played our game.”
STAT OF THE DAY #1
.170 – Louisiana-Lafayette’s average in the two games with Baylor, well under the squad’s .367 batting average entering the games, good for fifth-best in the country
STAT OF THE DAY #2
Baylor beat a top-five opponent for the second-straight season, after beating No. 2 Oregon (2/21/15) and No. 5 Oklahoma (4/16/15) last year
STAT OF THE DAY #3
.600 – the batting average over the two games for Robin Landrith, who entered Tuesday’s doubleheader batting .197 on the season
STAT OF THE DAY #4
22-1 – Baylor’s record this season when outhitting its opponent, dropping its first game of the season in the second game, outhitting UL (8-4), but narrowly losing the contest, 4-3
The Lady Bears make a quick turnaround, hosting North Texas less than 24 hours after the evening’s doubleheader on Wednesday, March 30 at 6 p.m.