No. 21 Baylor Softball Opens Series with 3-0 Shutout over Kansas

Posted at 10:54 PM, Apr 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-22 23:54:44-04

WACO, Texas – No. 21 Baylor softball (37-12, 8-4 Big 12) made a strong start to its final regular season home series, snagging a dominating 3-0 victory over Kansas (27-14, 4-3 Big 12) on Friday evening at Getterman Stadium.

Heather Stearns (17-6) went the distance, pitching 7.0 scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and striking out 10.

For Stearns, the 10 strikeouts was the fifth game this season with double-digit K’s and the 18th of her Baylor career.

It didn’t take long for the offense to rally behind Stearns, striking first in the bottom of the second inning. Ari Hawkins led-off with a walk, stealing second and advancing on the stolen base after a throwing error by KU’s catcher.

Standing on third base with no outs, Hawkins would come home to score on a ground ball by Jessica Tomchesson, putting Baylor up, 1-0.

Back in the bottom of the third, it was two seniors who made the most of their last guaranteed home games in Getterman, with Sarah Smith and Linsey Hays belting back-to-back solo shots, snagging a 3-0 lead for the Lady Bears.

The insurance runs looked handy in the top of the seventh, when KU led off with a single and a hit-by-pitch, putting the tying run at the plate with no outs.

After a strikeout looking from Stearns, it was Smith who came up clutch once again, fielding a sharp ground ball to third, stepping on the bag for the force out and whipping the ball to first for the game-ending double play.


Baylor Head Coach Glenn Moore

On looking focused…
“I thought they were relaxed and excited about the atmosphere, and it was a good atmosphere. And, of course, Heather started the game on fire, five strikeouts, first five batters. Lost it a little bit there, but I thought overall she put a pretty good game together.”

On back-to-back HRs…
“Those were two no-doubters. Hays really jumped on that pitch, and it was nice to see them swing the bat that well. But we need to do it a little more consistently. I thought they made a good move changing pitchers and kept us off-balance. Wesley, I thought she was throwing really hard as well. She was keeping it up in the zone, had a good up-pitch, and she kind of kept us off-balance. We made some attempts, but we couldn’t get anything going off of her.”

On the importance of winning after losing the opener in the previous two series…
“It was big. It’s big, we’ve got to win now. We’ve just got to take them one at a time and win them. But I can tell you, this is the same team that beat Oklahoma and really should have beat Oklahoma twice. So we’re not going to fall asleep and think we’re going to cruise through this thing. They’re a very good team and very capable and, honestly, they were one swing away from tying it up there at the end. So, we’ve got to come back ready to play again.”

Senior Pitcher Heather Stearns

Importance of starting series with a win…

“It definitely is. It gives us motivation and confidence moving forward.”

On what was working …

“Really everything. I tried to work all corners on them. Toward the end of the game my changeup got a little slower and that was really effective. I don't know what my speeds were, but I felt like I was throwing pretty hard.”

Senior Infielder Sarah Smith

On winning the first game of the series…

“We kind of went back to the basics during practice. We thought, you know what? There's 20 girls on this team and we're not playing for anybody else but ourselves. That's what we're focusing on, just each game, and we pull out wins every time.”

On getting on a hot streak towards the end of the season…

“I feel like toward the end we always kick it into gear when we need to. We're not playing at our best yet, but we're getting there.”

On hitting a home run…

“It's actually funny because I told Linsey (Hays) batting before the game, I'm feeling a couple from us this weekend. She said you know what, I am too. Then that happened.”

Senior Outfielder Linsey Hays

On hitting a home run…

“It had been a while. I've really been focusing on staying through the ball and hitting it well and not trying to hit home runs. I've been trying a little too hard and getting under it a lot. Just trying to stay through it and focusing on hitting line drives and that was the result.”

On getting the win on the first game of the series…

“It's really important to come out here and get this first win. It's senior weekend too, so there can be a lot of distractions. For us to come out and get a first win is huge. It's really going to pay off in this series.”


38 – the career home runs for Linsey Hays, moving into a tie with Kelly Osburn for No. 3 on Baylor’s career leaderboard, six away from the program record.


44 – the career double count for both Hays and Smith, tying for the No. 2 spot in the Baylor record book. Both now trail Chelsi Lake by four for the top spot, at 48.


The Lady Bears continue on to game two of the weekend series with Kansas, facing off with the Jayhawks on Saturday evening at 5:00 p.m. at Getterman Stadium.