WACO, Texas – No. 18 Baylor softball (32-7) mounted a late comeback to avoid a midweek slip-up against the Lamar Cardinals (21-14), grabbing a 5-4 win on Tuesday afternoon at Getterman Stadium.
With early struggles from Kendall Potts, Gia Rodoni was forced into action, working 4.0 innings in relief. Kelsee Selman (4-3) walked away with the victory, pitching 1.0 innings of scoreless relief, setting up for the late-inning comeback.
Heather Stearns (6 saves) pitched the final frame, closing out the win on three strikeouts.
Lamar jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first, with Baylor answering with a two-run spot in the home half to retake the lead.
Kyla Walker singled up the middle to get the rally going, extending a 10-game hitting and on-base streak.
With Walker stealing second, Shelby Friudenberg would reach safely on the first of three Lamar errors in the inning.
Linsey Hays would reach safely on a fielder’s choice, with Friudenberg pushed to second with two outs.
Sarah Smith reached on a bobbled grounder to third, loading the bases.
Ari Hawkins singled on a hard hit ball that took a Baylor bounce off LU’s second baseman, with both Hays and Friudenberg scoring on the play to give Baylor the 2-1 lead.
Lamar posted two runs in the top of the third and one in the top of the fifth looking to take control of the game, while keeping Baylor scoreless over four frames after the first.
Facing a 4-2 deficit entering the bottom of the sixth, Hays got the bats rallied with a lead-off single up the middle, advancing to second on a wild pitch. A sac bunt by Smith advanced Hays to third with just one out.
A walk and stolen base for Hawkins put two in scoring position, bringing up Caitlin Charlton.
Charlton flashed her clutch hitting ability, driving a double into the gap in left-center, easily scoring both Hawkins and Hays.
Sydney Christensen followed with a double into the corner down the left-field line, scoring Charlton to regain the 5-4 lead for the Lady Bears.
Named the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week just moments before the first pitch, Stearns put the game away, finishing off the save opportunity for the victory.
STAT OF THE GAME #1
10 – the hitting and on-base streak for freshman outfielder Kyla Walker
STAT OF THE GAME #2
14 – career saves for Heather Stearns, drawing within five of tying Lisa Ferguson for the program record
The Lady Bears host No. 12/14 Oklahoma in a highly anticipated top-20 matchup, kicking off the three-game series on Friday, April 8 at 6:30 p.m. at Getterman Stadium.