Feb. 23, 2007
COLUMBUS, Ga. - The No. 16 Baylor softball team split a pair of games at the NFCA Leadoff Classic, dropping a wild, 10-7 decision in game one against Georgia Tech before claiming a 2-1 win over No. 24 UMass in the final game of the day. With the split, Baylor moves to 13-3 on the season and 1-1 in NFCA bracket play.
In game one against the Yellow Jackets, Baylor jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Chelsi Lake delivered a two-out, run scoring single to score Nicole Wesley from second.
The score remained the same until the third when things began to get wild. After tying the game at 1-1, the Yellow Jackets took a two-run lead when Savannah Brown delivered a two-run double to make the score 3-1.
The Lady Bears quickly tied the game; however, as Baylor put up a pair of runs in the fifth. Miriam Romero scored on a misplayed run-down by the Georgia Tech defense as Ashley Monceaux delivered a sacrifice fly, scoring Tiffany Wesley to tie the game as the first baseman recorded her 25th RBI of the season.
Georgia Tech more than answered the Baylor rally though as the Yellow Jackets posted seven runs, three of them unearned, in the top of the sixth inning.
Caitlin Lever delivered the key blow in the inning, crushing a three-run home run over the center field wall as Brittany McCraw also delivered a pinch-hit, run scoring single in the frame.
Trailing 10-3 heading into the final inning, Baylor managed to mount a rally as Georgia Tech starting pitcher Whitney Humphreys began to lose her control. A hit by pitch, a bases loaded walk and a two-out, RBI single cut the lead to 10-6 with the bases loaded as T. Wesley drew a bases loaded walk to cut the lead to three and put the tying run on base.
Relief pitcher Lacey Richardson managed to force the next batter to pop out; however, as the Yellow Jackets pulled out a 10-7 win.
A number of players had solid outings on the day as N. Wesley tied a Baylor school record with four hits while Miriam Romero added three hits in the Baylor loss.
Lever went a perfect five-for-five on the day as she led the Georgia Tech attack with two runs scored and four RBI.
Monceaux took the loss for Baylor and fell to 3-1 on the season after allowing four earned runs on seven hits in three innings of work.
Humphreys picked up the win and improved to 5-0 on the season after allowing seven runs on nine hits in 6.2 innings of work.
Baylor rebounded in game two; however, as a solid pitching effort by starter Kirsten Shortridge allowed the Lady Bears to pull out a close, 2-1 win.
After a scoreless first two innings, N. Wesley put the Lady Bears on the board as her line drive up the middle deflected off the pitcher and into left field, allowing T. Wesley to score from second to give Baylor a 1-0 lead.
The score would remain the same heading into the seventh as Baylor added an insurance run when the UMass shortstop fell down on a pop up and could not recover as Courtney Oberg reached on a single as the misplay allowed Kelsey Sage to score from second to give the Lady Bears a 2-0 lead.
The insurance run was needed as UMass scored a run in the inning; however, with the tying run on second Shortridge forced Emily Wehr into a ground out to short, ending the game and give the Lady Bears a win over the No. 24 ranked Minutewomen.
Shortridge was in control throughout as the freshman had a no-hitter into the sixth inning and picked up her fifth win against no losses on the season after allowing only one run on three hits while striking out eight.
Brandice Balschmiter pitched well in the loss, allowing two runs on seven hits as she fell to 1-2 on the season.
Baylor will return to action at the NFCA Leadoff Classic on Saturday, Feb. 24, when they face DePaul at 2:30 p.m. before a meeting against No. 19 Florida at 5:00 p.m.