COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Whitney Canion delivered another masterful performance, carrying a no-hitter through 6.2 innings and helping guide No. 11 Baylor (43-12) to its fourth regional title and a 1-0 win over East Carolina (41-22) on Sunday afternoon in College Park, Md.
With her third-consecutive shutout, Canion has thrown 27 consecutive innings of shutout ball and marks the first time in her career she has thrown three shutouts in-a-row.
"We had the hearts of champions today and that is what it took," head coach Glenn Moore said. "This team plays with one heartbeat and it was a complete team effort to win the title."
Canion (27-9) never allowed a run during the regional and struck out seven, allowing just one hit and five walks in her seventh complete-game shutout of the season.
Holly Holl's go-ahead double to score Megan Turk in the top of the sixth proved to be the difference. Kathy Shelton again led the offense with a 2-for-3 performance and one stolen base for her 20th multiple-hit game of the year.
The Lady Bears finally broke through the scoreless tie with an RBI-double from Holl that one-hopped the left-field fence that scored Turk from second. Turk led off the inning with a single up the middle and was sacrificed over to second by Dani Leal.
Baylor stranded an opportunity in the third, as a two-out rally began with a single down the right field line from Shelton. Following a steal, Kayce Walker was hit by a pitch, but Megan Turk grounded out to short to end the threat.
The Lady Bears again found themselves with an opportunity in the fifth, as a one-out walk from Clare Hosack put pinch runner Makenzie Robertson at first. Following a stolen base from Robertson, a two-out hit sharply hit ball from Shelton that was bobbled by the third baseman put runners at first and second, but a pop up to third from Walker stopped the threat.
East Carolina threatened in the bottom of the fifth after a leadoff walk from Canion and a sac bunt put Alex Fieldhouse at first. Another walk had runners at first and second, but Canion was able to get a strikeout of Sissy Jimenez and a groundout from Jill Jelnick kept the game scoreless.
With Canion's no-hitter still intact, the Pirates put together a final threat in the seventh. After recording two outs, Canion was one out away from her first seven inning, no-hitter when she walked Rebecca Lee. One strike away, Mahrisch Medina broke up the no-hitter with a bloop single to left field and put runners on first and second, but a grounder back to Canion from Cicely Lopez was the final out Baylor needed for the win.
Paisley (33-12) picked up the loss after going 7.0 innings, allowing just five hits, one run, two walks and seven strikeouts.
Baylor will now travel to Athens, Ga., to face No. 6 seed Georgia (50-12) in the Super Regional Round. Dates and times for the games will be announced later Sunday evening.