EUGENE, Oregon – No. 17/21 Baylor softball (45-13, 2-1) fought back from a 6-0 shutout at the hands of No. 4 Oregon, advancing to a Regional Championship game rematch with the Ducks with an 11-2 win over Long Beach State in Saturday evening’s elimination game at Jane Sanders Stadium.
In the evening’s crucial victory, freshman Gia Rodoni (6-1) took the start, making her first start after appearing in each of Baylor’s two previous 2016 NCAA postseason games.
Rodoni pitched 5.0 innings of work, allowing just three hits and two runs, zero earned, while striking out three. Kendall Potts closed out the final 2.0 frames of shutout ball to close out the win.
For the Baylor offense, another quick start grabbed a quick lead in the second frame.
Lindsey Cargill roped an RBI single through the left side of the infield, scoring Shelby Friudenberg.
Caitlin Charlton followed with an RBI single into the left field grass to score Hawkins, giving the Lady Bears the 2-0 lead.
Back in the fourth, Charlton came up big once again, drilling a single back up the middle, scoring Riley Browder, pinch running for Friudenberg.
Taking a 3-0 lead into the fifth, Cargill kept the hot bat, singling to right field to score Friudenberg from second.
The LBSU throw to the plate on Friudenberg resulted in a throwing error on the right fielder, with the ball ending up in the back stop to allow Ari Hawkins to add another run.
With the Baylor lead at 5-0, LBSU answered back in the home half of the inning, capitalizing on a two out error by the BU defense to cut the lead back to 5-2.
Baylor attacked back in the top of the sixth, with Charlton leading off with a solo home run to left field.
The Lady Bear bats completely took over in the top of the seventh, posting a big inning to put the game completely out of reach.
BU loaded the bases, but had Jessie Scroggins facing a full count with two outs. Scroggins drilled a double to the gap in left center, driving in Charlton, Cargill, and Hawkins.
Kyla Walker followed with a single into left field, allowing Scroggins to race around to plate another run.
Sarah Smith iced the big inning with a single up the middle to score Walker, closing out an 11-2 win for the Lady Bears.
In the morning matchup with Oregon, it was Heather Stearns (20-7) that took the start, with the NCAA’s top batting offense posting nine hits and five runs on her, three earned.
Rodoni closed out the last frame, allowing a run on three hits.
For the Ducks, three-time Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year, Cheridan Hawkins, was at her best, allowing just one recorded hit and shutting out the Baylor offense.
The Lady Bears face No. 4 Oregon in the Eugene Regional Championship game on Sunday, May 22 at 4:00 p.m. PT/6:00 p.m. CT.
Posted at 12:27 PM, May 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-22 13:27:14-04
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