Trying to snap a season-long four-game losing streak, the Baylor softball team is looking for some quick answers and hopes to find them against Texas.
Swept in a three-game weekend series by Oklahoma State in Stillwater, the No. 16 Lady Bears will face another hot team when they meet the Longhorns at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at McCombs Field.
The losing streak has dropped Baylor to 25-13 overall and 3-6 in the Big 12 with nine conference games remaining. Texas (26-15) is coming off a three-game home sweep of Texas Tech to improve to 9-0 in the Big 12.
“We’re playing poor ball in all aspects, and we’ve started pressing and panicking a little bit,” said Baylor coach Glenn Moore. “I don’t think we’re in a terrible place mentally but maybe we’re shellshocked a little bit. But it’s nothing we can’t repair.”
Baylor ace Gia Rodoni (14-9) pitched in all three games against Oklahoma State and was twice the losing pitcher. She struggled at the start of the first and third games, allowing four hits and five runs in two-plus innings in a series opening 14-6 loss and then allowing seven hits and five runs in the first two innings in a 5-1 loss in Sunday’s finale.
But Rodoni hasn’t gotten a lot of support from Baylor’s offense and defense. The Lady Bears made two costly errors in the first two innings of Sunday’s game while second baseman Nicky Dawson’s seventh-inning error in the second game led to a 2-1 loss.
Baylor’s offense struggled to produce the entire series as it finished with 17 hits and eight runs in the three games.
“The hitting is a big concern,” Moore said. “We’re not taking quality at-bats. We’re not seeing the ball well and our timing is off.”
The Longhorns have played the weaker Big 12 teams as they swept Kansas and Iowa State before the sweep of Texas Tech over the last weekend.
Texas’ pitching staff is led by Paige von Sprecken (10-6, 1.44 ERA) and Brooke Bolinger (10-5, 2.51 ERA) while Erica Wright (4-2, 2.90) has been solid out of the bullpen with five saves.
The Longhorns’ offense is led by Janae Jefferson with a .373 batting average and 16 RBIs and Kaitlyn Washington with a .365 average, three homers and 15 RBIs. Bekah Alcozer and Taylor Ellsworth lead Texas with four homers apiece.
The final two games of the Baylor-Texas series will be played May 5-6 at Getterman Stadium.