STILLWATER, Okla. – On a cold, blustery Sunday afternoon, Baylor’s bats remained in the deep freeze as Oklahoma State cruised to a 5-1 win to finish off a weekend sweep.
It marked the first time Oklahoma State (32-12, 10-2) swept a three-game series against Baylor (25-13, 3-6) since the Big 12 went to the current three-game series format in 2012. With a 7-3 loss to McNeese State on Wednesday, the No. 16 Lady Bears have dropped four straight games.
Samantha Clakley (13-5) limited the Lady Bears to five hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings before Logan Simunek nailed down the final out in the seventh to seal the win.
Clakley shut out the Lady Bears until they scored their only run in the seventh. During the three-game series, Baylor collected 17 hits and scored just eight runs.
“We’ve had team meetings and we’re trying to keep the wheels from falling off, but they fell off this weekend,” said Baylor coach Glenn Moore. “Nothing is in sync for us just when we’ve needed it. The hitting is a big concern. We’re not taking quality at-bats. We’re not seeing the ball well and our timing is off.”
Baylor ace Gia Rodoni (14-9) allowed nine hits and two walks while striking out eight. Only two Oklahoma State runs were earned as the Lady Bears made two errors in the first two innings. The Cowgirls jumped on Rodoni for three runs in the first inning and two more in the second to grab a 5-0 lead.
The Lady Bears hope to resolve their issues before facing Texas at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in Austin.
“After the first inning, Gia pitched a great game,” Moore said. “But with our offense and defense right now, we can’t afford that first inning. We started pressing and panicking a little bit. We’re just playing poor ball in all aspects.”
Vanessa Shippy opened the first inning with a single and scored on Baylor centerfielder Jessie Scroggins’ error following Taylor Lynch’s single. Madi Sue Montgomery’s double brought in the second run and she scored when Chelsea Alexander reached on a fielder’s choice.
Oklahoma State pushed its lead to 5-0 in the second inning with run-scoring singles by Sydney Pennington and Whitney Whitehorn.
The Lady Bears had a chance to cut into the Cowgirls’ lead in the third when Scroggins singled and Shelby Friudenberg drilled a long fly ball. But centerfielder Maddi Holcomb made a leaping catch over the wall to rob Friudenberg of a homer.
Baylor finally punched across its only run in the seventh when Taylor Ellis reached on a fielder’s choice and scored on Maddison Kettler’s two-out double. Simunek relieved Clakley and walked Kyla Walker before Carlee Wallace flew out to the the game.
The Lady Bears’ four-game losing streak has come after senior third baseman Caitlin Charlton went out with a season-ending knee injury against McNeese State last Tuesday. Goose McGlaun has played the last two games at third base.
“I don’t want to say losing Caitlin is not an issue, but we do need to shore up the third base position,” Moore said. “I’m happy with the potential Goose has playing there, but she’s brand new to the position and we got hurt a few times on bunts.”