WACO, Texas - Baylor scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, and Whitney Canion pitched another gem as the Lady Bears advanced to championship day with a 2-1 win over Tulsa at Getterman Stadium Saturday.
Baylor (44-13) will play the winner of Tulsa (51-8) vs. the winner of game four (Houston, NSU) for the championship Sunday at 1 p.m. to determine who will advance to the NCAA Super Regional.
Tulsa's Aimee Creger came into the contest with a 28-1 record and a 1.24 ERA, but the Lady Bears' two-run, three-hit inning in the bottom of the fourth handed the Golden Hurricane ace just her second loss of the season.
Jordan Strickland drove home the tying run with two outs before the next batter, Liz Paul, singled home Sarah Smith to give Baylor the winning run.
Canion picked up her 28th win of the season, scattered five hits, walked three and struck out five in the win. Tulsa struck first with Julie Kernen singling in the second before Cierra Hughes tripled her home to give the Hurricane an early 1-0 lead.
After Baylor scored two runs, Tulsa made it interesting in the seventh when Jodi Edmiston doubled to leadoff the inning. Maggie Withee laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Edminston to third with one out. However, Canion induced a lineout from Haley Henshaw and struck out Shelby Blanton after intentionally walking Jill Barrett to end the game.
The victory was the 700th of Glenn Moore's career with 561 of those victories coming at Baylor.
- Whitney Canion picked up her 28th win of the season, which is the second-highest win total of her carer.
- Canion's win was the 120th of her career overall and the 13th of her postseason career, moving to 13-5 all-time in the postseason.
- Strickland's two hits gave her two-straight games with multi-hits, and she continues to be Baylor's all-time postseaon leader in batting average at .515 (17-for-33).
- Sarah Smith had two hits to give her 11 multi-hit games on the season. Her RBI was the fifth of her postseason career.
- Liz Paul hit the game-winning single and the RBI was the second of her postseason career.
- Kaitlyn Thumann's on-base streak extended to 22 with her walk in the fifth inning.
- Glenn Moore won his 700th game as a college head coach including his 30th career postseason win at Baylor. Moore won 22 games at William Carey and 127 games as LSU's head coach before coming to Baylor in 2001.
STAT OF THE GAME I
2 - Baylor handed Aimee Creger just her second loss of the season; her only other loss came to the defending NCAA champion Oklahoma Sooners, March 9.
THEY SAID IT
Glenn Moore on Baylor's performance ...
"It was a huge win, of course. They were a very good team with an exceptional pitcher. I really have to compliment our hitters for adjusting to her, and we had to adjust to a lot of things offensively. I thought they kept their heads and worked hard to figure out the strike zone and put balls in play. I'm very happy with the bottom of our lineup especially. I thought we pitched it pretty well too, because that's a good offense and pretty intense situation there at the end, but we came through. I thought it was a well played game on both sides of the field and hats off to Tulsa - they've got a great program."
Baylor will face the winner of Tulsa and the winner of Saturday's first elimination game between Houston and Northwestern State (La.) at 1 p.m. Sunday. Baylor would have to be beaten twice Sunday not to advance to the NCAA Super Regional round. If Baylor loses the 1 p.m. matchup the if-necessary game would be played immediately following.