Mired in its longest losing streak in 16 years, the Baylor softball team is looking for any hint of life in a dismal injury-plagued season.
On the verge of getting run-ruled for the second straight day, the Lady Bears finally found an offense that had gone AWOL for most of the last month.
Scoring six runs in the final three innings, Baylor couldn’t overcome No. 15 Texas Tech in an 11-6 loss Sunday that completed a three-game weekend sweep at Getterman Stadium.
But the Lady Bears (15-24, 2-11) have something to build on as they head into a busy week of home games beginning with Tuesday’s doubleheader against Lamar followed by a three-game series against last-place Iowa State on Thursday through Saturday.
Baylor’s eight-game losing streak matches the 2003 team for the longest in Baylor coach Glenn Moore’s 19 seasons. But the Lady Bears’ 10 hits were their most in the Big 12 this season.
“We finally put up some double-digit hits on a team, and I think we can build on that momentum in a week of games that we can compete and possibly get some wins in,” Moore said. “It’s easy to throw in the towel, and I think many teams would right now, and we’re still hanging on. Maybe by a thread, but we’re still fighting.”
The Red Raiders (35-8, 6-6) came into the weekend with the Big 12’s second-best offense, and showed why as they scored 28 runs in the three games. In Sunday’s finale, Texas Tech amassed 11 hits including two-run homers by Trenity Edwards and Taylor Satchell.
After Sidney Holman started in Baylor’s first 12 conference games, Moore gave her a rest after the Red Raiders’ 11-2 run-rule win on Saturday.
“It’s always nice to have her out there, but we haven’t performed with her out there lately,” Moore said. “So I thought what the heck, let’s do something different and give her a chance to recover mentally as much as physically. Mentally you just can’t keep getting beat up the way she’s been and expect her to perform. We’re going to let her heal up a little bit and hopefully have her ready for next weekend.”
Baylor first baseman Goose McGlaun (0-1) got her first start of the season following seven relief appearances as she split pitching duties with third baseman Kassidy Krupit.
“It’s a long shot to think that’s going to work, but there was a possibility with the offense we saw late in the game of giving us a chance,” Moore said. “But they’re a strong offensive team. I thought Kassidy did a great job and I thought Goose did all right when she was in there.”
With ace Missy Zoch (14-5) shutting out Baylor through the first four innings, the Red Raiders built an 8-0 lead.
But Baylor fought back against reliever Morgan Hornback by scoring three fifth-inning runs to avoid the run-rule. Nicky Dawson, who collected three hits, opened the fifth with a triple and scored on Lou Gilbert’s sacrifice fly. After McGlaun singled, Krupit lifted her team-leading ninth homer of the season over the left-field fence to cut Tech’s lead to 8-3.
With Satchell blasting her two-run shot, the Red Raiders scored three in the top of the seventh. But Baylor kept pounding Hornback by scoring three more runs as Ana Watson drilled a two-run single.
With one out in the seventh, Zoch re-entered the game and walked a pair of batters to load the bases before striking out Gilbert to end the game.
“I was really impressed with our fight, no matter what the score was,” Dawson said. “It really wasn’t close at one point and we just kept getting hits and they came together. With the energy we had I think we can turn it around, and that’s something we’re focused on doing. Hopefully we can carry that energy over to the rest of the season.”