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No. 15 Softball Hosts No. 7 Oklahoma

March 22, 2012

No. 15/18 Baylor (21-6) vs. No. 7/7 Oklahoma (24-3)
March 23-25 | Waco, Texas | Getterman Stadium (1,250)
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The Series
vs. Oklahoma: OU leads 41-9
In Waco: OU leads 11-3

Oklahoma enters the weekend on a 15-game winning streak, longest since 2003. OU enters the weekend ranked in the top 10 nationally in both hitting and pitching as the Sooners are No. 2 nationally with a team earned run average of 0.83 and No. 10 nationally with a batting average of .345. The Sooners are No. 4 in home runs per game (1.52), No. 5 in slugging percentage (.585) and No. 7 in scoring (7.15).
Jessica Shults leads the team with a .470 average to go with nine home runs and 29 RBI, while Keilani Ricketts holds a 13-3 mark in the circle with a 0.83 ERA and 168 strikeouts in 101.1 innings.

Oklahoma leads the all-time series 41-9, including 11-3 in Waco. Baylor’s last win over OU in Waco was April 10, 2006, winning 5-1. The two teams split the two-game series last season in Norman.

The Lady Bears have had six games washed out due to rain this season, however a makeup date with SFA has been rescheduled for April 3. The three-game series at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi became a doubleheader, while the three-game home series with Arizona was washed out completely.

Baylor is 2-1 against ranked foes this season, knocking off then No. 18 Oregon (2-1) and No. 24 North Carolina (2-0) in the same day before falling to No. 14 UCLA (10-6).

The Lady Bears was ariginally scheduled to play 36 home games this season, the most in program history. Baylor is 17-3 at Getterman Stadium so far in 2012.

Kathy Shelton has been the leader off the Baylor offense so far this season. The junior leads the team in batting average (.410), runs (24), hits (32), RBI (11), slugging percentage (.513), on-base percentage (.500) and stolen bases (16). On Feb. 25, Shelton had her 16-game hitting and 27-game on-base streaks ended in a 1-0 loss to Texas State. Shelton has been on offensive tear over last seven games, hitting .500 (10-for-20).

Between Shelton (Batting 2nd) and Kayce Walker (Batting leadoff) Baylor’s 1-2 hitters are hitting a combined .455 (20-for-44) over the last seven games.

Baylor is 19-1 in games it scores first, and 2-5 when the opponent does. The lone loss when scoring first came against UCLA. When the Lady Bears hold a lead after four innings, they are undefeated, 14-0.

The Lady Bears have two of the top eight base stealers in program history on the 2012 squad. Senior Kayce Walker enters the weekend No. 5 all-time with 73, while Shelton is No. 8 with 66.
As a team, BU is second in the Big 12 with 46 stolen bases behind Texas’ 58.

Baylor suffered a big blow with the announcement that junior pitcher Whitney Canion and freshman outfielder Linsey Hays will not return for the remainder of the 2012 season and will seek medical hardship waivers. Canion, a 2011 All-American, tore her ACL when was running out a grounder in the third inning when her left knee buckled as she planted on first base. The junior is Baylor's all-time leader in strikeouts (899) and holds a 68-33 record for her career. Canion is 5-1 with a 0.35 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 40.0 innings this season. Hays, an outfielder/pitcher, was diagnosed with a thyroid condition and has not played since game one against Northwestern State on Feb. 21.

Since Canion’s injury, the BU pitching staff has done a solid job picking up the slack. Junior Courtney Repka (9-2, 0.86 ERA) and sophomore Liz Paul (6-3, 1.56 ERA) have been stellar in the circle, allowing just three runs in their last 48.2 innings. Repka is fourth in the Big 12 in ERA and tied for fourth in wins.



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