The No. 25 Baylor softball team (10-2) will hit the road for the first time, heading to the 2013 Texas Shootout in San Marcos on Feb. 21-24.
Thursday’s game can be heard on 1660 ESPN Central Texas, and all games will be broadcast on baylorbears.com. Video will be provided for all games at txstatebobcats.com.
SCOUTING THE TEXAS SHOOTOUT
Texas State (2-7), the defending champion, hosts the second-annual tournament. The Bobcats enter the weekend after a 2-2 mark in the Louisiana Classic, taking wins over Mississippi Valley State and falling to Louisiana-Lafayette. Texas State is hitting .224 as a team, while the pitching staff holds a 4.89 ERA.
Sam Houston State (5-6) is coming off a 3-2 performance at the Southern Mississippi Classic. The Bearkats knocked off the Lady Bears earlier this season, 2-0, in an eight-inning battle that saw BU outhit SHSU 8-4. Tori Benavidez leads the offense with a .366 average, while Hillary Adams has three home runs and 10 RBI. Shelby Lancaster holds a 3-2 mark in the circle to go with a 2.62 ERA.
UT Arlington (4-1) opened the season last weekend with an impressive performance at the UCF Holiday Inn Select Tournament, including a 9-6 win over South Carolina. Despite just hitting .250 as a team, the Mavericks held a 1.29 ERA, striking out 31 batters in 35.0 innings of work.
North Texas (4-5) went 1-3 in its home tournament this past weekend. The Mean Green enter the weekend hitting .233 as a team, while the pitchers hold a 3.40 ERA. Brittany Simmons is 2-1 with a 1.19 ERA in four appearances for UNT.
Texas Tech (7-3) and Baylor would only face each other in the championship round, Sunday. Winners of four-straight, the Red Raiders went 4-1 in the Troy Cox Classic in Las Cruces, N.M. TTU is hitting .347 as a team with 14 home runs, as Adriana Perez has seven bombs already in 2013. As a staff, the pitchers hold a 4.18 ERA.
MIKEN CLASSIC SUCCESS
The Lady Bears won their second-consecutive home tournament, the Miken Classic, to begin 2013 this past weekend. BU hit .368 on the weekend, including a .993 fielding percentage. Kathy Shelton led the team with 10 hits during the five-game run, hitting .556, while Sarah Smith totaled a .538 average. The pitching staff recorded a 0.64 ERA, allowing just 12 hits, walking seven and striking out 30 in 33.0 innings. Opponents hit just .111 off the four Baylor pitchers during the tournament.
Baylor enters the Texas Shootout on a nine-game winning streak, outscoring its opponents 42-5 since the 2-0 loss to Sam Houston State on Feb. 9.
The Lady Bears’ underclassmen have been a vital part of the team’s offensive success in 2013. Of the squad’s 40 RBI on the year, 30 have come from underclassmen, with 19 coming from freshmen. Freshmen have also accounted for all four home runs on the year.
EXPERIENCE IN THE CIRCLE
The Lady Bears pitching staff returns three players with considerable pitching experience. Combined, Whitney Canion (73), Courtney Repka (47) and Liz Paul (19) have combined for 139 wins during their careers. Combined with Heather Stearns (3-1, 1.17 ERA), the staff has a 0.94 ERA with a .137 opponent batting average to go along with 91 strikeouts in 81.2 innings of work.
Canion returned to the circle for the Lady Bears after pitching just eight games in 2012 before tearing the ACL in her left knee. The redshirt junior is 5-1 with a 0.39 ERA and 49 strikeouts in 35.2 innings of work.
OPEN ROAD AHEAD
After opening 2013 with 12-straight home games, the Lady Bears will 17 of its next 20 games away from Getterman Stadium, including the next 10.
SHELTON HEATING UP
Senior Kathy Shelton has reached base safely in all 12 games this season, and enters the weekend on a seven-game hitting streak. During that streak, she is batting .542 (13-for-24) with six runs scored and six stolen bases.
STEARNS SHOWING OFF
Freshman Heather Stearns has made a great impression early for BU. Making just her second start, Stearns threw a complete-game no-hitter in a 1-0 win over Northern Illinois on Feb. 9. The performance was just the 16th no-hitter all-time at Baylor and the ninth in 7.0 or more innings. Stearns became the sixth BU freshman to throw a no-hitter. Additionally, she hit a walk-off home run, the first hit of her career, on the first pitch of the seventh to defeat Southern Miss on Feb. 12.