Late rally lifts No. 7 Baylor past Softball, 5-2
WACO, Texas -- The No. 17 Texas Softball team fought back late in the game to knot the game at 2-2, but a three-run sixth-inning rally by No. 7 Baylor pushed the Bears to a 5-2 victory, Thursday night in front of a record crowd of 1,455 at Getterman Stadium.
The victory improved the Bears to 44-12 on the year and 13-3 in the Big 12, while the Horns dropped to 33-17 and 8-10 in league play.
The Bears answered Texas' sixth inning rally with three runs in the sixth, using back-to-back hits by Tiffany Wesley and Courtney Oberg. Wesley moved to second when Shannon Thomas had trouble fielding her single and advanced to third on a passed ball, before scoring on Oberg's RBI single. Senior first baseman Ashley Monceaux walked to advance Oberg and Brette Reagan loaded the bases when she was hit by relief pitcher Erin Tresselt's first pitch.
Senior catcher Chelsi Lake did the final damage for the Bears, driving home Monceaux and Oberg with her two-run single to shallow leftfield. Baylor ended the rally with three runs on three hits and took advantage of one Texas error to seal its 5-2 victory.
After trailing 2-1 late in the game the Longhorns used two hits and a Baylor error in the top of the sixth to even the tally at two. Thomas got things going with a single through the middle and stole second to move into scoring position. Senior catcher Megan Willis brought Thomas home to tie the game when she stepped to the plate with two outs in the frame and laced a single to centerfield. Horns' designated player Tallie Thrasher reached on an error to keep the rally going and freshman shortstop Loryn Johnson followed with a single, but Willis got hung up in a rundown on the play and was tagged out at the plate.
Texas starter Meagan Denny (20-14) suffered the loss for the Longhorns, after scattering five hits and fanning five in 5.2 innings of work. Baylor starter Kirsten Shortridge tossed the first 5.2 innings for the Bears before giving way to Lisa Ferguson (21-7) in the sixth inning. Ferguson pitched the final 1.1 innings, holding the Longhorns scoreless en route to picking up the victory.
Baylor jumped out to an early lead in the first when Monceaux led off the contest by hammering a line-shot home run just to the right of the centerfield scoreboard. Monceaux's blast proved to be the only Baylor offense in the first, as Denny notched a pair of strikeouts to escape the inning with the Bears leading, 1-0.
The Longhorns answered the Bears first inning rally in the second, using a pair of singles and a wild pitch to even the game at one. Freshman designated player Tallie Thrasher led off the frame with a single through the left side. Pinch runner Kori Cook advanced to second on Kacie Gaskin's sacrifice bunt and then moved to third on a wild pitch by Shortridge. The wild pitch proved to be costly when senior first baseman Jacqueline Williams placed an infield single to second base, allowing Cook to score and knot the score at 1-1.
Baylor responded in its next at bat, taking advantage of back-to-back errors by sophomore third baseman Crystal Saenz. Shortridge led off the Bears' second with a slap down the third baseline and reached on a Saenz throwing error. Tiffany Wesley followed with a sacrifice bunt and advanced all the way to third when Saenz' errant throw rolled all the way to the rightfield corner. Shortridge scored on the play, pushing the BU lead to 2-1, but Denny managed to escape the threat with no further damage, stranding Wesley at third base.
The Bears threatened again in the fourth, using a leadoff walk by Oberg to start the rally, but Willis' great defensive play stunted the BU rally. Centerfielder Miriam Ramirez advanced pinch runner Jordan Daniel with a sacrifice bunt, and both runners took an extra base on a throwing error by Saenz. Willis rose to the occasion and erased the Bears threat throwing out Daniels on an attempted double steal. Texas then walked Monceaux, before Willis eliminated the Bears scoring threat, throwing out Romero as she attempted to take third base.
Texas returns to action Thursday, May 10 when it travels to the Big 12 Conference Tournament in Oklahoma City, Okla. Check TexasSports.com for game times and opponent information.
We knew that we couldn't give their offense extra opportunities and unfortunately we gave them too many extra chances tonight. Baylor is a good team and they capitalized on the extra opportunities and took advantage of our errors.