WACO, Texas - In a game with three ties and four lead changes, No. 12 Baylor (30-9, 4-3) took the final game of a three-game Big 12 series with No. 13 Oklahoma (32-9, 9-1) 8-6 to avoid a sweep Sunday at Getterman Stadium. The Lady Bears snapped the Sooners' 14-game winning streak and ended OU's streak of nine-straight Big 12 wins to start the season.
Ari Hawkins sparked Baylor's offense with a two-run home run in the bottom of the first and later scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth on LInsey Hays' sacrifice fly.
The game was delayed one hour and 23 minutes before the start of the top of the fifth inning with Baylor trailing 6-5. However, the Lady Bears put together a three-run bottom of the sixth inning. Holly Holl drove home a run with a bases-loaded single to tie the score, Hays drove home Hawkins on a shallow fly to center with Hawkins' timely slide beating the throw, and Sarah Smith scored on a wild pitch to give BU a two-run lead.
Liz Paul became Baylor's career leader in relief appearances (56), and maybe a little eariler in the game than she had planned. Paul came in relief of Heather Stearns with one out and one runner on in the top of the first inning. From there, she dutifully kept Baylor within striking distance allowing just three earned runs over 5.1 innings of work.
Baylor ace Whitney Canion finally got her win in the series after pitching well in Friday and Saturday's losses to OU. She recorded the final four outs Sunday consecutively and struck out four to move to 17-7 on the season. OU's Kelsey Stevens (23-6) was charged with the loss after she pitched the final two innings and was credited with surrendering Baylor's final two runs.
- Liz Paul passed Lisa Ferguson (55, 2004-07) for most career relief appearnces in Baylor's history with her 56th appearance Sunday.
- Ari Hawkins hit her third home run of the season, added her 11th multi-hit game of the year, and scored the winning run in the sixth inning for Baylor. She led BU with four hits in the series.
- Kaitlyn Thumann had her 14th mult-hit game of the season and led Baylor with three runs scored.
Sarah Smith was 1-for-1 with an RBI and drew three walks to reach base safely in all four plate appearances.
- Holly Holl, Hawkins, and Linsey Hays all had two RBI in the game. For Holl and Hays, it was their fourth game of the season to have at least two RBI and it was Hays' eighth.
- Whitney Canion's victory was her 109th career win, the next victory for the senior left-hander will place her for a tie for fifth on the Big 12 Conference's all-time wins list.
- Baylor's 3-game total for attendance was 4,084 fans averaging 1,361 fans per game at Getterman Stadium.
- Baylor snapped a five-game losing skid to OU with the win.
STAT OF THE GAME I
2 - In the first two games of the series, Holly Holl was 0-for-2 with the bases loaded; but Sunday in the finale, she drew a bases-loaded walk and singled home a run in two plate appearances with the bases juiced.
THEY SAID IT
Glenn Moore on Baylor's performance
"I thought we were a much more focused team after the rain delay today. We took them to the locker room and I felt like we left the field as 25 individuals and came back as a team. I couldn't be prouder of Liz Paul coming in on short notice and answering the call when she was put in a tough position. It's the hardest job in our sport to be either a relief pitcher or a pinch hitter that always has to be on notice, and we gave her the game ball today."
THEY TWEETED IT
Baylor's Big 12 series on the road with Oklahoma State will be played Thursday thru Saturday in observance of Easter Sunday; the Lady Bears will take on the Cowgirls at 7 p.m., 7 p.m. and 1 p.m. respectively.