April 8, 2011
Oklahoma enters on the heels of a sweep at Kansas on Wednesday and have won three straight and five of their last six. The Sooners are led by sophomore catcher Jessica Shults' 18 home runs and 54 RBI, along with a .347 average. In the circle, Keilani Ricketts is 18-6 with a 1.40 ERA and 260 strikeouts, which leads the Big 12, in 154.2 innings.
Oklahoma leads the all-time series 40-8, including a 15-4 mark in Norman. The Sooners have won six of the last seven against the Lady Bears, however, Baylor split with OU the last time the two teams played in Norman on April 1, 2009.
Baylor comes into the series with an RPI of 10, while Oklahoma is sixth.
All Acquaintance Be Forgot
It's a new year, and nothing makes that more clear than looking at the Lady Bears' record. After going 28-25 in 2010, they already have 30 wins entering this weekend. The difference? Pitching. At this time last season, BU had a 2.19 ERA, while it enters the weekend with a 1.24 ERA. After losing six, one-run games in 2010, one run can make the difference.
Baylor's sweep at Texas Tech on Wednesday didn't just give the Lady Bears a 4-2 record, it also marked the program's first road sweep since getting a pair of road wins at Iowa State on April 10-11, 2009.
The Lady Bears will play eight-straight games away from home, travling over 2,800 miles in a 12-day span. Six games remain after beginning with a doubleheader sweep at Texas Tech on April 6.
When shortstop Dani Leal went down with an ankle injury the day before the Missouri series, BU had to switch up its lineup. Leal will return to the lineup at short this weekend, but one change will remain permanent. Kayce Walker will move from right to center, and Kathy Shelton (the regular center fielder) will move to right after having moved to second base during Leal's injury.
Crazy Conference Opening
Baylor is 2-2 in conference play, and three games have been decided by walk-off's. Baylor and Texas A&M split the opening series with each team winning on walk-off home runs at their respective parks, and the Lady Bears defeated No. 11 Missouri on a walk-off sac fly on April 2.
Megan Turk has a flare for the dramatic. The junior delivered her third second career walk-off at-bat, this time on a sac fly with one out in the seventh for a 3-2 win over No. 11 Missouri on April 2. It marked the second time in a week she had done so, after a walk-off homer in the bottom of the 11th for a 2-1 win over No. 21 Texas A&M on March 26. She had previously delivered a game-winning double over No. 23 Texas on April 23, 2009 as a freshman.
Vs. Ranked Opponents
After going 2-14 against ranked opponents in 2010, Baylor is 10-4 against ranked foes in 2011.
Best Start Since 2005
The 30-6 start is the second-best mark through 36 games in Baylor history. Only the 2005 squad was better, with a 32-4 record.
Armed And Ready
The Baylor pitching staff has been nothing short of stellar, entering the weekend with a 1.24 ERA, second in the Big 12 Conference and sixth nationally. Canion's 0.85 ERA is good for sixth in the country and second in the league, while Liz Paul (1.28) is fifth and Courtney Repka is 11th with a 2.02 mark.
Look Out For Leal
Senior Dani Leal, has been stellar in her second year in green and gold, leading the team in batting average (.398), home runs (11), RBI (27) and slugging percentage (.852). Her 11 home runs are tied for sixth in the conference, put her in a tie for ninth on the single-season home run mark and tie her for seventh on the career home run list with 21. The shortstop from Mexico City, Mexico, set a new Getterman Classic for home runs in the tournament, smashing quatro.
Canion Grand In Circle
Canion has been outstanding in the circle for BU, with a 16-4 record and 0.85 ERA, while her 9.35 strikeouts per seven innings is good for fourth in the league.
Kathy Shelton was a perfect 37-for-37 on the base paths in her career, including a team-leading 20-for-20 this seasoon until she was thrown out for the first time in her career at Texas Tech on April 6. She is now 37-38 in her career and 20-21 this season. As a team, Baylor leads the Big 12 with 78 stolen bases on the year.
Redshirt Good For Green Jersey
Redshirt freshman Holly Holl has been outstanding this season after sitting last year for a redshirt season. She is second on the team in batting average (.342) and is tied for fourth in the Big 12 with 25 walks.
Teams are thinking twice before stealing on freshman catcher, Clare Hosack. The North Palm Beach, Fla., native has thrown out 7-of-16 runners this season while adding two pickoffs.
The dramatic 11-inning, 2-1 win over Texas A&M on March 26 drew a new Getterman Stadium record of 1,460, surpassing the old mark of 1,455 that last occurred on May 26, 2007 in a Super Regional win over Michigan.
Series Win At Arizona
BU took 2-of-3 at No. 4 Arizona, becoming the first non-conference foe to do so since before 1999.
Home Runs = Good Omen
The Lady Bears (29 home runs) have homered in 18 games this season and are 16-2 when blasting one over the fence.
Canion Climbing The Charts
Canion now sits second all-time in career strikeouts at Baylor with 670. Just a redshirt sophomore, she needs 89 to tie Cristin Vitek's career record 759.