The Baylor softball team fumbled a chance to notch a key Big 12 series sweep against Oklahoma State on senior day at Getterman Stadium.
Instead, the Cowgirls fired back from losing the first two games of the series on Friday night by thumping the Lady Bears, 9-4, on Saturday afternoon.
Oklahoma State pounded out 13 hits, which were compounded by four Lady Bears errors and four walks, allowing the unranked Cowgirls to salvage the final game in the series against 13th-ranked Baylor.
“We gave up 13 hits and then we had four walks between the two pitchers and four errors, I believe. So that’s about 21. I count (errors and walks) as hits,” Baylor coach Glenn Moore said. “You can’t win ball games in the Big 12 or any high level with that kind of performance. I’m happy for the series win, but the way we played today, we wouldn’t beat anybody in the Big 12.”
Oklahoma State (33-19, 12-3 Big 12) not only avoided a sweep by capturing Saturday’s game, the Cowgirls also squeezed past Baylor (39-10, 11-4) into second place in the Big 12 standings going into the final conference series.
Baylor will finish Big 12 play with a home game versus Texas on Friday, then two more against the Longhorns next weekend in Austin.
Oklahoma State pitcher Brandi Needham kept Baylor from rallying very often as she scattered 10 hits and struck out three with no walks. Needham induced nine ground outs and eight fly outs.
The Lady Bears’ offense surged for three runs in the bottom of the third inning to tie the game at 4.
Lady Bears shortstop Taylor Ellis singled to start the frame, then center fielder Jessie Scroggins dropped the perfect bunt down the third-base line that hugged the chalk, but stayed fair. Right fielder Kyla Walker singled to load the bases, then second baseman Ari Hawkins brought home the first run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to foul territory in deep left field.
Baylor first baseman Shelby Friudenberg came up with the key hit of the inning as she hit a looping single that bounced on the left-field line, scoring Scroggins and Walker.
With that, Baylor had erased Oklahoma State’s early 4-1 lead. But the Cowgirls answered by rallying in the fifth and sixth innings.
Oklahoma State pinch hitter Hayleigh Galvan doubled into the gap in left field to score Madi Sue Montgomery and Lauren Mason, putting the Cowgirls back in front, 6-4, in the top of the fifth.
Then errors burned Baylor for the second time in the contest.
The Lady Bears committed a pair of errors in Oklahoma State’s four-run second inning and surrendered a couple more errors in the sixth.
Baylor right fielder Walker and left fielder Maddison Kettler each let the ball get away from them while fielding base hits and those two plays led directly to all three of Oklahoma State’s runs in the inning
“I just felt like we played distracted today,” Moore said. “Those are not typical errors for the outfield. Both of them, I believe they took their heads off the ball at the last second. It’s just a fundamental mistake that you’re not going to see very often, especially from this outfield.”
Scroggins singled in the bottom of the seventh, but couldn’t ignite a rally. Needham finished a complete game by getting three fly outs to end the game.