ATHENS, Ga. — Whitney Canion threw a complete-game and hit a solo home run to help guide No. 11 Baylor to within one win of the Women’s College World Series on Saturday night with a 5-1 win against No. 6 Georgia at Jack Turner Stadium. The crowd of 1,579 was the eighth largest crowd of all-time at Turner Stadium.
The Super Regional victory was the first for Baylor (44-12) since a 9-0 win against Michigan on May 25, 2007.
“I could not be more proud of a group of girls,” coach Glenn Moore said. “We faced so much adversity tonight, but overcame it all together. Tomorrow is going to be very hard, but we will just take it one pitch at a time.”
The Lady Bears outhit the Bulldogs 9-3 on the night, as Kelsi Kettler and Kayce Walker had two hits apiece.
Canion (28-9) struck out six, allowing just one run on three hits and walking four in the complete-game effort.
The Bulldogs (50-13) jumped out to a lead in the bottom of the first, on a first-pitch solo home run to left center from Megan Wiggins for a 1-0 advantage. Canion battled back to record three consecutive outs to limit the damage.
Canion settled in to retire nine of the next 10 batters, keeping the game 1-0.
Following a two-out walk from KJ Freeland, the game was stopped for nearly 10 minutes in the second when Clare Hosack fouled a ball off her face, and was eventually helped off the field. Kelsi Kettler, who took Hosack’s place, stepped to the plate with an 0-2 count and took the next pitch up the middle for the base hit, but a ground out from Canion to third ended the threat.
Canion helped herself in a big way, tying the game in the fifth with a solo bomb to right center, her fifth of the year, on the first pitch to even the score.
The Lady Bears busted the game open and batted around in the sixth inning, scoring four runs on five hits to take a commanding 5-1 lead. Megan Turk and Dani Leal led off the inning with back-to-back singles to left to put runners at first and second. Holly Holl laid down a perfect sac bunt to put runners in scoring position with one out. That led to the pinch hit single from Paul chopped down the left field line for the 2-1 lead.
Kettler followed suit with a two-strike single of her own, down the left field line, and Canion hit a deep fly to left center that was caught against the wall, allowing Kettler to reach second and Freeland, who reentered the game for Paul, made it to third with two outs. The inning seemed complete when Shelbi Redfearn went down swinging on a third strike, but a wild pitch got away from the catcher and allowed Freeland to score for a 4-1 advantage.
Walker delivered Baylor’s final run with an RBI-single through the left side to score Kettler for the four-run cushion.
Canion got the first two batters in the seventh before a single and walk put two on for Ashley Pauly, who lined out to Shelton in center to end the game.
Morgan Montemayor (26-4) took the loss, throwing 5.1 innings, allowing five runs on eight hits, one walk and six strikeouts.