Baylor will try to reach the Women’s College World Series for the fourth time in program history when it faces No. 2 national seed Arizona in the Super Regional in Tucson.
The 15th-seeded Lady Bears have already played Arizona once this season, dropping a 4-0 decision Feb. 11 on the opening weekend in the Hillenbrand Invitational. The Wildcats collected seven hits and four runs off Baylor starter Kelsee Selman.
However, Baylor coach Glenn Moore feels confident going on the road since Gia Rodoni and Selman are pitching so well. Rodoni no-hit Kent State and James Madison in 1-0 Waco regional wins while Selman threw a four-hitter in a 4-2 win over James Madison.
“I certainly wouldn’t pick Arizona to be in front of me to get to the World Series,” Moore said. “They’re a very good team and we’ve already seen them this year. But we did some good things against them earlier in the year when we thought this team was in a rebuilding mode basically. Earlier in the year, to have been in that environment, is going to help us now I believe.”
The Lady Bears have played tremendous defense all season, and nobody has been better than centerfielder Jessie Scroggins.
In Sunday’s 1-0 win over James Madison, the Big 12 defensive player of the year threw out Megan Tolle when she tried to advance to third on Megan Good’s fly ball in the first inning. Then she hauled in Taylor Newton’s long fly in left-center before crashing into the fence in the seventh.
“As I said earlier, we’ve had great ones that have played here with great speed and ability to read off the bat,” Moore said. “We’ve got a big park, it plays big. It was almost not big enough today. But she can run them down, and she’s fun to watch, and the crowd loves her. She lives for that moment.”
Walker hits record
Kyla Walker tied the Baylor single-season record for hits when she got her 81st with her third-inning double against James Madison on Sunday.
Walker tied Harmony Schwethelm who set the record in 2005 and Ashley Monceaux who tied the mark in 2007.
The Lady Bears finished with five hits off James Madison ace Megan Good after collecting six against her in Saturday’s 4-2 win. But Moore didn’t think Good had the same velocity Sunday in her fourth start of the regional.
“We were seeing her better,” Moore said. “I don’t know her speeds, but other than here and there, she threw one burner. But she was hitting 71 consistently for three games in a row as we were watching her and facing her. That’s big-time speed. That’s a 100 miles per hour baseball pitcher right there.”