WACO - No. 14 Baylor (35-12) scored all seven of its runs in the two innings of play, defeating Houston (32-16) 4-1 in game one before falling 5-3 in the nightcap on Tuesday evening at Getterman Stadium.
"Our pitching wasn't sharp tonight, but give Houston credit for taking advantage of it," head coach Glenn Moore said. "We played good defense behind them, had good energy and good at-bats, we just couldn't ever bust the games open. We needed these games after a weekend off and we have to get better from this."
The Lady Bears got all the runs they would need in the first inning, plating four en route to a 4-1 win in game one.
Linsey Hays led the offense with two hits, including an RBI.
Whitney Canion (19-6) earned the win, striking out eight, allowing four hits, one run and walking three in 6.0 innings. Courtney Repka picked up her third save of the year, coming on in the seventh, giving up one hit and striking out one.
Baylor was on the board quick in the bottom of the first, as Kathy Shelton led off with a walk and came around to score on Kaitlyn Thumann's 10th double of the year. A Holly Holl single put runners at the corners before a Sarah Smith fielder's choice drove in BU's second run. Hays added a single of her own to score Holl and Hosack grounded to a fielder's choice for an RBI and a 4-0 lead.
The Lady Bears loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth, but Canion grounded out to third to end the threat.
Canion avoided trouble until the sixth, allowing back-to-back one-out doubles to cut the lead to three. But the redshirt junior got two of the next three batters, ending the inning on a strikeout.
Repka came on in the seventh, allowing a leadoff single before getting the lead runner on a fielder's choice. A hit by pitch put runners at first and second and a passed ball put each runner in scoring position, but Repka got Holly Anderson swinging to end the game.
For the second-straight game Baylor scored all its runs in the first inning, but it wasn't enough in game two, falling 5-3.
All four BU pitchers saw work, with Repka (5-1) picking up the loss, allowing two earned runs on two hits in 0.1 innings. Heather Stearns got the start, going 4.0 innings, giving up six hits and two runs. Liz Paul threw 1.0 innings, giving up three hits and a run before Canion came on to stop the momentum over the last 1.2 innings, striking out two.
Stearns worked out of a jam to start the game as the Cougars loaded the bases with three singles and one out. The righty induced a pop up to Strickland in shallow left and a grounder to second to end the threat and keep the game scoreless.
Strickland put the first run on the board with a two out double the was roped to right center, scoring Thumann for a 1-0 lead. It looked as if one run is all Baylor would get when Hays hit a grounder to third, but it was bobbled, allowing her to reach safely and Smith to score for a 2-0 advantage. Bailey Chalmers followed with an RBI of her own, singling to right center to score Strickland and give the Lady Bears a three-run cushion.
Baylor appeared to be in position to add to its lead in the second, as Landrith led off the inning with a single up the middle and safely advanced to second on a bad throw from third on a fielder's choice by Shelton. Thumann struck out for the first out and Holl grounded into a 5-3 double play to end the inning.
The momentum swung Houston's way in the fifth with four runs, taking its first lead of the night. Back-to-back singles and a fielding error in right led off the stanza and put runners at second and third with no outs. Repka came on in relief of Stearns and promptly hit Kendra Cullum to load the bases. Holly Anderson followed with an RBI-single and an error at second made the game 3-2. A double from Kayla Holland plated two more, but the relay home from Shelton-Strickland to Chalmers kept the deficit at just one. That prompted the second pitching change of the inning, bringing in Paul who got Baylor out trailing 4-3.
Houston added one more run in the sixth one an RBI-single from Anderson.
Canion worked a perfect 1.2 innings of relief, but Baylor would get just one runner on the rest of the way.
Baylor has finished its non-conference schedule and will jump back in for the final seven games of conference play this weekend at Kansas. The Bears and Jayhawks will open the three-game on Fri., April 26 at 6:00 p.m. in Lawrence. All games can be heard on baylorbears.com.