Feb. 11, 2001
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas -
Koral King slapped a double off the right-center field wall and Naomi Fitzgerald trotted home from third with one out in the bottom of the seventh as Baylor defeated No. 21 Southern Mississippi 5-4 here Saturday night in the quarterfinals of the winner's bracket at the UTA/Isuzu Motors Intercollegiate Classic.
Baylor improves to 8-3 with the victory and is now 2-1 this season against nationally ranked opponents. The Lady Bears, who defeated Stephen F. Austin State 2-1 earlier in the day, have won seven consecutive games, the longest winning streak for a Baylor squad since the 1999 team won a school-record tying nine straight. BU has come from behind to win all five games during the weekend.
At 5-0 on the weekend, Baylor will face Louisiana-Monroe in the semifinals of the winner's bracket Sunday at 9:30 a.m. The winner of that game will face the winner of the other semifinal, No. 2 Oklahoma against Texas A&M. All four semifinal teams are 5-0 on the weekend.
The Lady Bears and Golden Eagles staged a classic contest. USM scored first with a run in the top of the second and another in the top of the fourth. Then, Friday's hero, Ryan Stukel, knotted the game with her second home run of the year, a two-run, line-drive blast to right-center. Southern Miss took the lead back in the top of the fifth, but then Baylor jumped ahead in the bottom of the inning 4-3 thanks to a Sarah Caudle RBI single and a pair of USM errors.
But the excitement was far from over. The Eagles tied the game in the top of the sixth when Tammy Edwards singled up the middle to score Channika Gant, who led off the inning with a double to right-center.
That set the stage for King's heroics. Fitzgerald led off the inning with a double to the left-center gap and then moved to third on a Caudle sacrifice bunt. King then ripped her third double of the season to give Baylor the victory.
Joni Miller (5-1) pitched the final two innings in relief to get the victory, she did not allow a run on two hits with one strike out. Felicia Gonzales (1-2) went the distance for USM, allowing five runs, four earned, on eight hits with five walks and four strike outs.
Against SFA, Baylor got the win thanks to a dropped fly ball in the bottom of the sixth by Ladyjack second baseman Shannon Mori. With runners at second and third and two outs, Vanessa VandeBurgt blooped a ball to Mori, who could not make the catch. Stacey Hundley raced home from third to give Baylor the eventual victory.
Stephen F. Austin scored a run in the top of the first, but Baylor tied the game with a run on two hits in the second. Kristen Lancaster and Hundley led off the inning with back-to-back singles, and two batters later a Meredith Miller sacrifice fly scored Lancaster from third.
Joni Miller went the distance for Baylor to get the victory, she scattered 11 hits with two walks and five strike outs.