HATTIESBURG, Miss. - No. 11/12 Baylor softball (6-0) cruised to a 14-1 win over Mississippi Valley State (0-6) Saturday morning and rallied late to knock off Southern Miss (2-6) in the nightcap, 3-2, on Saturday evening at the Southern Miss Softball Complex.
In the early game, Goose McGlaun (2-0) took the win in the circle, going 3.0 innings, allowing three hits and a run, while walking one and striking out three.
Freshman Lexi Koltz made her BU debut in the circle, closing out the final 2.0 frames, striking out one and allowing just one base runner on a Baylor error.
The Lady Bears had another strong offensive outing, exploding for season-highs in both runs and hits.
After falling back 1-0 with the lone MVSU run coming in the home half of the first, the Lady Bears took it back in the top of the second.
A passed ball plated Kettler, tying the game back at 1-1 after two.
Back in the third, a leadoff double for McGlaun helped her own cause, scoring on an RBI single for Kettler to give BU the lead at 2-1.
Keeping the pedal down in the fourth, Taylor Ellis led off with a single, coming around to score on an RBI triple by Hannah Smith, making her first career start at third base and the hit coming as her first at the collegiate level.
Jessie Scroggins drilled a single back at the Devilette pitcher, knocking her glove off her hand and scoring Smith.
After stealing second, Scroggins would come around on a wild sequence that started when Kyla Walker took a four-pitch walk. Scroggins successfully stole third, with Walker drawing the MVSU defense into a rundown. An errant throw allowed Scroggins to score and put Walker on third base, still with no outs.
McGlaun plated the RBI on a single to left, with Alyssa Avalos subbing in to pinch run. A single to right-center for Carlee Wallace moved Avalos to third, setting up for another RBI single for Kettler.
With the bases loaded, back-to-back walks plated two more and gave Smith and Scroggins another RBI each, capping off a seven-hit, seven-run fourth inning., giving BU a 9-1 lead after four.
In the fifth, three freshmen hitters got the show started, with Avalos, Hannah Thompson, and Ashley Marchand all picking up their first career hits. Marchand's RBI single scored Avalos, with Dawson loading the bases on a hit by pitch.
With a 2-2 count, Ellis launched a towering shot well beyond the left field wall, notching a grand slam as her first collegiate home run to cap off an explosive, 14-1 win for the Lady Bears.
Green worked the first 4.0 innings, allowing three hits and two runs, striking out one and walking two.
Rodoni pitched a perfect 3.0 innings to close the contest, striking out five and keeping the Golden Eagles completely shut down.
Her only test came when she entered the contest with a runner on first and no outs in the fifth. The runner was erased, with Wallace notching her first assist of the season, catching the runner attempting to steal second. Rodoni would retire the next eight batters in order.
For the offense, the Lady Bears took an early lead, with a leadoff single from Scroggins. Walker followed up with a bunt in front of the plate that ended up in right field, allowing Scroggins to score and giving BU the 1-0 lead after one.
USM came back with two runs in the bottom of the second, but the Lady Bears tied it back in the top of the third.
McGlaun led off the frame with a single, with Madi O'Neal coming in to pinch run. A sac bunt by Wallace put O'Neal on third, with Dawson legging out an infield single and driving in O'Neal for the tying run.
From there, the teams stayed in lock step through the next three innings, entering the seventh in a 2-2 tie.
Walker got the late rally going with a single, advancing to second on an error by USM.
McGlaun roped a single into centerfield, giving Walker enough space to race around for the go-ahead run.
Rodoni finished off the Golden Eagles with a fly out and back-to-back strikeouts, closing out the 3-2 win for the Lady Bears.
All 17 Lady Bears have now made an appearance for the Lady Bears, with Ashley Marchand and Lexi Koltz both making their collegiate debuts vs. MVSU.
All four freshmen position players recorded their first collegiate hits vs. MVSU.
Taylor Ellis launched the first home run in her collegiate career vs. MVSU, also the first of the season for the Lady Bears.
Four Lady Bears had multi-hit games vs. MVSU, including Jessie Scroggins (2-for-2, 2 RBI), Goose McGlaun (3-for-3, RBI), Maddison Kettler (2-for-3, 3 R, 2 RBI), and Taylor Ellis (3-for-4, 2 R, 4 RBI).
Baylor improved to 3-0 all-time versus Mississippi Valley State, finishing off the Devilettes in five innings for the second-straight meeting between the programs.
Facing MVSU, Baylor eclipsed 10 runs for the first time in 2018, surpassing 10 hits (season-high 17) for the fourth time through five games.
BU started the season 6-0 and is off to the program's best start since going 9-0 to start the 2015 season.
After an 11-hit effort against Southern Miss, the Lady Bears have now collected 10 or more hits in five of its first six games.
Four Lady Bears had multi-hit games vs. USM, including Goose McGlaun (2-for-4, RBI), Carlee Wallace (2-for-2, SAC, BB), Maddison Kettler (2-for-4), and Nicky Dawson (2-for-3, RBI).
Baylor improved to 6-2 in the all-time series with Southern Miss, including 6-1 during Moore's tenure.
Baylor closes out play in the Black & Gold Invitational, facing No. 9/9 Alabama on Sunday, Feb. 18, at 1 p.m. at the Southern Miss Softball Complex.