OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Facing an 0-2 count with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Baylor’s (46-13) Kelsi Kettler delivered a walk-off solo home run that bent just around the left field foul pole for a 1-0 win against Oklahoma State (42-19) in the first round of the Women’s College World Series on Thursday at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
“We have had some great battles with Oklahoma State this season, and this was another one of them,” head coach Glenn Moore said. “We didn’t come out with the same fire as I would have liked, but Whitney (Canion) kept us in it and allowed us to come through with the win.”
The walk-off win was the fifth of the season for the Lady Bears and first delivered by Kettler, who hit just her second homer of the year.
Whitney Canion (30-10) pitched a masterful game, going 8.0 innings, allowing three hits, two walks and striking out 10. The sophomore now has 10, 10-plus strikeout games this season. The shutout was her eighth of the season and fourth of the postseason.
Kathy Shelton led the way with two of Baylor’s four hits on the night.
Baylor nearly took the lead in the second when Megan Turk followed a Kathy Shelton single with a well-hit ball to left, only to see Tamara Brown rob her of a home run to keep the game scoreless.
Oklahoma State got its own two-out single in the top of the third from Ari Morrison before Alysia Hamilton singled to right on a ball nearly caught by Kayce Walker. Morrison rounded third and headed for home only to be thrown out on a relay from Walker to Holl to Kelsi Kettler at the plate.
The Lady Bears threatened in the fifth, with Holl leading off the inning by singling to right. After being pinch run for by Makenzie Robertson, she advanced to second on a single down the left field line. A sac bunt from Megan Turk put runners at second and third, but a grounder from Kettler allowed the third baseman to throw home to get Robertson, and Wilson grounded out to third to end the inning.
Canion got out of a jam in the seventh when Brown led off the inning with a single to center, but Boyd put a bunt down that forced out Brown at first. Schultz came in to pinch run, but was called for leaving early after stealing on the first pitch. Canion got Diffendaffer to fly out to end the inning, keeping the game scoreless.
Baylor went down in order in the seventh, and Oklahoma State did the same in the eighth.
That set the stage for Kettler’s heroics with two outs and two strikes.