May 14, 2011
No. 17 Baylor (39-12, 10-7) vs No. 5 Texas (45-7, 14-3)
The Longhorns enter Sunday’s contest with an opportunity to win the Big 12 title outright or, at least, grab a share. After going 12-0 to start Big 12 play, the Longhorns have gone 2-3, including dropping two-of-three heading into the final conference game. With the injury of Lexy Bennett, Taylor Thom leads with a .451 average in Big 12 games, while Amy Hooks and taylor Hoagland each have six home runs. Overall, UT has eight players batting over .300. Blaire Luna is 27-5 overall with a 1.31 ERA, striking out 294 in 208 innings.
After winning 3-0 in the first game on April 27, the Longhorns lead the series, 19-10 and have won four straight. Baylor’s last win against Texas was a 4-3 victory in Waco on April 22, 2009, while the last triumph in Austin came with a 5-4 win on April 2, 2008.
Baylor comes into the week with an RPI of 12, while Texas is No. 1.
Baylor has had a knack for walk-off wins in Big 12 play, all at home. The Lady Bears won four games at home during conference play, all by walk-off. BU never had a lead heading into the seventh inning at home during Big 12 play.
STEALING THE CENTURY MARK
Baylor eclipsed the century mark for stolen bases (105) during its weekend series with Iowa State, making it the ninth time in the last 10 years that the Lady Bears have had at least 100 steals. The program record is 155 set by the 2005 squad.
5 AND UNDER
Baylor is 37-6 when holding its opponents to five runs or less, including a 34-1 mark when allowing two runs or less. That percentage is the second-lowest in the country, behind Louisiana-Lafayette’s 39-1 mark. On the flip side, BU is 0-6 when allowing six or more runs.
SCORE FIRST, SCORE A WIN
The Lady Bears are 12-1 this season when scoring in the first inning and 31-3 when scoring first. When leading after four innings, Baylor is 31-2, and when having a lead after six, it is 27-1. The lone loss came on a walk-off, two-run homer at Texas A&M on March 27.
TOP 25 TERRORIZERS
The Lady Bears enter this weekend with a 14-7 record (8-3 on the road) against ranked opponents and a 9-9 mark against the top-25 RPI teams, including 5-4 away from home.
BEST START SINCE 2007
The 39-12 start is the best record since the 2007 WCWS squad was 40-11 through 51 games.
RARE LOSING STREAKS
Until a pair of losses to No. 17 Oklahoma State on April 22-23, Baylor had not lost back-to-back games all season. The win over Iowa State on May 1 snapped only its second string of two-straight losses.
TURK DOESN’T WALK
Junior Megan Turk has yet to draw a walk this season. In fact, her last walk was on April 17, 2010 at Nebraska, 210 at-bats ago.
HOSACK HOMERS TWICE
Freshman Clare Hosack became just the second Baylor player this season to homer twice in a game when she belted a pair in a 10-1 win at Iowa State on May 1. Dani Leal was the other, doing so at Texas A&M on March 27.
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 have 39 wins entering this weekend. The difference? At this time last season, BU had a 2.96 ERA, while it enters the week with a 1.53 ERA. But in Big 12 play, through 17 games in 2010 the Lady Bears had a 4.05 ERA. Through 17 games in 2011, they sit with a 1.86 ERA. Offensively through 17 conference games in 2010 BU was hitting .240, while it has amassed a .300 clip in 17 games so far in 2011.
ARMED AND READY
The Baylor pitching staff has been nothing short of stellar, entering the weekend with a 1.53 ERA, third in the Big 12 Conference and eighth nationally. Canion’s 1.29 ERA is good for 19th in the country and third in the league, while Liz Paul (1.51) is sixth and Courtney Repka is 12th with a 2.27 mark.
LOOK OUT FOR LEAL
Senior Dani Leal, has been stellar in her second year in green and gold, leading the team and 14th in conference in batting average (.369), home runs (14), RBI (38) and slugging percentage (.754). Her 14 home runs put her in sixth on the single-season home run mark and sixth on the career home run list with 23. 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 23-9 record and 1.29 ERA, while her 8.85 strikeouts per seven innings is good for fourth in the league.
CANION CLIMBING THE CHARTS
Canion now sits second all-time in career strikeouts at Baylor with 749. Just a redshirt sophomore, she needs 11 to break Cristin Vitek's career record 759.
Kathy Shelton was a perfect 37-for-37 on the base paths in her career until she was thrown out for the first time in her career at Texas Tech on April 6. She is now 47-50 in her career and 30-33 this season. As a team, Baylor is second in the Big 12 with 105 stolen bases on the year.
HOLL AND SQUAD HEATING UP
Holly Holl is 8-of-14 (.571) in her last four games, leading a group of six players who are hitting over .330 during the four-game stretch. The list includes: Kathy Shelton (.467), Whitney Canion (.444), Megan Turk (.429), Kayce Walker (.357) and Dani Leal (.333).
FREELAND’S FINAL STAND
KJ Freeland is having an outstanding senior season. She entered 2011 with a career average of .252 and career totals of one double, 11 RBI and 16 stolen bases. This year she is fifth on the team with a .309 mark to go with career high marks of two doubles, eight RBI and 11 stolen bases.
Teams are thinking twice before stealing on freshman catcher, Clare Hosack. The North Palm Beach, Fla., native has thrown out 12-of-28 runners this season while adding four pickoffs.
HOME RUNS = GOOD OMEN
BU (39 home runs) has homered in 25 games this season and are 21-4 when blasting at least one over the fence.