WACO, Texas – No. 18 Baylor softball (32-8, 5-1) could not find an answer for the power of No. 12 Oklahoma (28-7, 4-1), dropping the series opener, 5-0, on Friday evening at Getterman Stadium.
Heather Stearns (15-3) pitched effectively over the first three frames, holding the Sooners scoreless with just one hit.
A solo shot in the fourth, followed by a pair of two-run home runs in the fifth and sixth powered the Sooners to the five-run lead.
After 5.1 innings with five strikeouts by Stearns, Kelsee Selman closed out the final 1.2 scoreless frames, striking out one and keeping the Sooners from extending the lead.
Facing OU ace Paige Parker (15-3), the Baylor offense managed to pick up five hits and three walks, with at least one Baylor runner reaching in every inning.
Shelby Friudenberg and Kyla Walker both had multi-hit nights, with Friudenberg finishing with a 2-for-3 night and Walker at 2-for-4.
Sarah Smith recorded the fifth hit for the Lady Bears, matching her season-high on-base streak of 14-consecutive games.
Unable to put significant pressure on Parker, the Lady Bears could not find the run production needed to fight back the Sooner bats, falling 5-0 to open the three-game series.
Baylor Head Coach Glenn Moore
Thoughts on the game…
“I thought we played hard for two innings. After the first home run we just looked a little stunned and didn’t have a lot of fight after that. I thought we were ready to play, but we just backed down too quick. We should have fought a little harder, that’s what I just voiced to them. I was disappointed in the fight we had tonight. We’ve got to come tomorrow and do a better job.”
On Stearns’ struggles…
“She did not have her best stuff tonight. This team knows how good Heather is, and she can be very good against any lineup. It was not a good night to be 90 percent, you need to have everything. It happens, I think you will see her bounce back before the weekend is over.”
On OU’s Parker…
“She is throwing too hard late in the game, that means we did not work her hard enough early on in the game.”
Sophomore Shelby Friudenberg
On not finishing early…
“We left some runners on at the start and we definitely had the momentum going. We just weren't able to get them in at the time. We've got to step up more in the box and be more aggressive when we have our chances.”
On adjustments for Saturday…
“We need to step it up and be confident and adjust a little more in the box instead of swinging at the same thing over and over.”
Senior Heather Stearns
On the early innings…
“It went down really quickly. They had some great hits and made good adjustments. Each hitter completely changed where they were in the box. Each at-bat they changed their mindset. We came in with a game plan and they were really good at adjusting to it.”
On her performance…
“I feel like I was little off, but I think it was more so that they made adjustments more than anything.”
On pitching tomorrow…
“I want to throw tomorrow. Now, looking back, there are adjustments I can make tomorrow. Ultimately, this is the Big 12 Championship, and I want that more than anything.”
STAT OF THE GAME #1
11 – the hitting and on-base streak for freshman outfielder Kyla Walker, extending a Baylor season-high hit streak.
STAT OF THE GAME #2
8 – the number of Baylor runners left on base, with at least one Lady Bear reaching safely in all seven innings.
The Lady Bears will look to even the series with Oklahoma on Saturday, April 9 at 4:00 p.m. at Getterman Stadium.