EUGENE, Oregon – No. 17/21 Baylor softball (44-12, 1-0) opened NCAA tournament play in the Eugene Regional with a 3-2 walk-off win over Long Beach State (32-21, 0-1) on Friday evening at Jane Sanders Stadium.
The Baylor pitching depth split the game, with Kendall Potts taking the start, Gia Rodoni working in middle relief, and Heather Stearns (20-6) picking up the win to close out the game.
For the Baylor offense, a quick start grabbed an early lead in the bottom of the first.
A lead-off single to center field for Jessie Scroggins got the ball rolling, moved to second by a hit-by-pitch from Baylor’s career HBP-leader, Sarah Smith.
The program’s career doubles leader followed in similar fashion, with Linsey Hays roping a double to right-center, scoring Scroggins.
Lindsey Cargill capped off the big inning for the Lady Bears, drilling a single back up the middle to score Smith, giving BU a 2-0 lead.
From there, it was lock-step for the two teams, with neither side able to crack through until the top of the fifth, when LBSU broke onto the scoreboard with an RBI sac-fly.
A walk and a pair of singles in the top of the sixth would tie the ball game at 2-2, with the score staying even through to the bottom of the seventh.
Back to the top of the order in the home half of the seventh, Scroggins led off the frame.
With a 2-2 count, Scroggins drilled a high fastball well into the stands in straight-away center field, giving the Lady Bears the 3-2 walk-off win in the crucial first game of the NCAA Eugene Regional.
STAT OF THE DAY #1
6 – the number of walk-off victories for Baylor this season, including the season opener over McNeese State, the series opener with UCF, game two against Texas, a pair of walk-off wins over Kansas, and Friday’s win over Long Beach State.
STAT OF THE DAY #2
20 – the season win total for Heather Stearns, one away from matching her 2015 win mark (21).
STAT OF THE DAY #3
3-for-4 – the batting performance for Jessie Scroggins, complementing the walk-off home run with a triple and two runs, just a double shy of hitting for the cycle.
The Lady Bears await the winner of No. 5 Oregon/Fordham, facing the victor on Saturday, May 21 at 2:00 p.m. PT/4:00 p.m. CT.
Posted at 6:34 PM, May 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-21 19:34:26-04
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