WACO, Texas - There isn't much more a player can do to add to her career, but Baylor's Whitney Canion helped her team finish at its highest point in the Big 12 standings since her arrival in 2009 by three-hitting the Texas Longhorns in a 2-1 victory Tuesday night at Getterman Stadium. 1,744 fans, the second-highest attendance number in stadium history, took in Baylor's victory in the final regular-season game at home.
Canion, a sixth-year senior, and the No. 17-ranked Lady Bears (42-12, 13-4) clinched second place in the Big 12 with the win over Texas and snapped a six-game losing skid to the Longhorns. Baylor won the Big 12 title in 2007, but the Lady Bears' second place finish in 2014 ensures the second-best finish in school history.
Canion pitched masterfully throughout the game with the only run for Texas aided by an error in the fourth inning. Taylor Thom got the first hit of the game for Texas to leadoff the fourth, and then, reached second base when Devon Tunning's sacrifice bunt caused an error in the Baylor infield. Two batters later, Tiarra Davis, UT's pitcher doubled home Thom for Texas' only run.
Baylor battled back to tie the score in the fifth when Jordan Strickland drew a four-pitch walk in the bottom half of the inning before Liz Paul doubled down the line to put runners at second and third with no outs. On a night with the wind blowing in from the south at 25 MPH, Ari Hawkins' fly ball to right field two batters later with bases loaded might have had a chance to leave the yard, however, it was deep enough to drive home Strickland, knotting the score at one apiece.
Another Baylor senior, Clare Hosack, delivered sixth-inning heroics when her ball hit to centerfield bounced off the wall just off the outstretched glove of Texas centerfielder Brejae Washington. Hosack then motored around second base at the direction of head coach Glenn Moore and dove head first to grab the third-base bag just before the relay tag was applied. It was Hosack's second-career triple, and set up Sarah Smith two batters later, who went opposite field with a first pitch off Davis doubling to the right-centerfield gap scoring pinch-runner Riley Browder for the game-winning run.
The senior lefthander, Canion, induced nine groundouts, two popups in the infield, walked just one and struck out three in what might have been her final game at Getterman Stadium. With Baylor ranked No. 12 in Monday's NCAA RPI rankings, it is likely the Lady Bears could host a first-round regional, but Baylor left it all on the field at the final regular-season game in Waco Tuesday night.
Hosack finished the game 3-for-3 and accounted for three of Baylor's five hits off Davis. Davis pitched well in the loss, dropping to 17-12 on the season. She walked three and struck out four to go along with her run-scoring double at the plate.
- Whitney Canion picked up her 26th win of the season and improved to 4-4 all-time vs. Texas.
- Canion's win was the 118th of her career and it was the 109th complete game of her career.
- Canion has won her last eight appearances in the circle (six starts, two relief apperances) and Tuesday she matched a career-high eight-game winning streak in the circle with her last eight-game streak coming in 2011.
- Hosack's three hits matched a career high, and her triple was just the second of the senior's career; both have come in the 2014 season.
- Hosack's three hits gave her nine games with multiple hits on the season.
- Sarah Smith's double extended her hitting streak to five games, the longest active streak on the team.
- Kaitlyn Thumann extended her on-base streak to 19 games.
STAT OF THE GAME I
8 - Whitney Canion has won her last eight appearances in the circle, including two relief appearances. The senior's eight-game win streak matches a career-high also achieved in 2011.
"It was a war of a softball game, like it usually is against Texas. I thought our corner infielders played extremely aggressive and countered an extremely dangerous small-ball team and that helped make the difference. It was one of the better crowds that I can remember, and it was a fun atmosphere to be a part of."
Baylor concludes the regular season Sunday in Austin with a chance to take the series from the Longhorns for the first time since 2011 at 1 p.m. Baylor lost to Texas 4-1 March 22 in Waco before the 2-1 win Tuesday night.