WACO, Texas (KWTX) The Baylor softball team combined to allow just three runs in two games on Saturday afternoon at Getterman Stadium. Of the 45 outs recorded, 23 of them were strikeouts. Gia Rodoni finished one shy of career high with 16 Ks against Western Illinois, while the combined efforts of Sidney Holman-Mansell, Madison Lindsey and Aliyah Pritchett put up seven strikeouts against Grand Canyon.
Each game featured late-inning offensive heroics by freshmen. Emily Hott walked things off in the first game of the day for Baylor with a single up the middle in the eighth inning. Later in the day, Aliyah Pritchett’s double plated a pair of runs in the fourth inning to give the Lady Bears the lead for good.
GAME 1: BAYLOR 2, WESTERN ILLINOIS 1 (8)
There almost wasn’t enough room across the backstop at Getterman Stadium for the K Counter wall as Gia Rodni struck out 16 batters in Baylor’s 2-1 extra-inning win over Western Illinois. Between the third and fifth innings, Rodoni strung together six-straight strikeouts.
While Rodoni went to work in the circle, the Lady Bears tried to string together some hits at the plate. BU finished with 10 hits on the day, led by Nicky Dawson with three, two of which were doubles.
Her second double of the day came with two outs on the board in the bottom of the third inning. With a runner in scoring position, Josie Bower singled up the middle to tie things up.
The game remained knotted in a 1-1 tie until the eighth inning. The International Tie Breaker was used, which puts a runner at second base to start the inning.
Western Illinois put runners on the corners with one out, but Rodoni recorded her 16th strikeout of the day and then fielded a grounder and tossed it to first to end the top of the inning.
Hott stepped to the plate for the Lady Bears with a runner on third and two outs. She singled up the middle to win the game for Baylor.
GAME 2: BAYLOR 4, GRAND CANYON 2
Baylor jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead over Grand Canyon with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. Goose McGlaun doubled down the right field line to score Nicky Dawson before a single by Taylor Ellis scored Josie Bower.
Grand Canyon plated a pair of runs in the top of the fourth inning before the Lady Bears immediately answered in the bottom of the frame.
With one out and two runners on, Aliyah Pritchett doubled up the middle to score two and give the Lady Bears back the lead. Baylor finished with eight hits on the day, led by Kyla Walker and Ellis with two hits each.
Sidney Holman-Mansell picked up the win in the circle for Baylor as she gave up two runs off five hits with three strikeouts in four innings. After Madison Lindsey pitched 2.1 innings of relief work with two hits allowed and three strikeouts, Pritchett recorded her first career save as she came on in the seventh.