TEMPE, Ariz. – No. 22 Baylor (19-3) used 11 strikeouts from Whitney Canion and four home runs to knock off No. 3 Arizona State (21-1) 6-2 on Sunday at the Wilson/DeMarini Invitational. The four homers, all hit by freshmen, were the most since hitting four at Louisiana Tech on Feb. 22, 2011.
The win was the first against a top-five opponent since beating No. 5 Texas at home on April 18, 2012 and the first against a top-three team since Feb. 27, 2010 against No. 3 UCLA.
“It was a Baylor ball game the entire day,” head coach Glenn Moore said. “Whitney [Canion] came out with something to prove…and she did that in a big way. We have to keep things in perspective because it’s a long year, but we played well [Sunday].”
Linsey Hays paced the offense, going 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. A redshirt freshman, she finished the tournament with 11 hits, batting .611 with four doubles, two home runs and eight RBIs. Sarah Smith, Heather Stearns and Robin Landrith each added homers for the Lady Bears.
Canion (9-2) earned the win, allowing just four hits, two runs, both unearned, walking four and striking out 11 in the complete-game effort.
The Lady Bears jumped out in front with a pair of runs in the first. Kaitlyn Thumann led off the game with a single through the right side, and with one out, Hays laced a shot over right center for the 2-0 lead, her team-leading fourth of the year.
Canion found herself in early trouble, walking the first two batters in the bottom half of the inning. With runners at first and second, Clare Hosack attempted a pickoff play at second and Alix Johnson broke for third. Landrith’s throw from second was low and went into the third base dugout, plating a run. A sac fly from Amber Freeman evened the game at two, without a hit from ASU.
The Lady Bears took the lead for good in the third, striking with back-to-back home runs with two outs. Smith took a 3-2 pitch over the wall in left for a 3-2 advantage, and Stearns hit a full-count homer just over the right-center wall, making it 4-2.
The Baylor power game struck again in the fourth, as Landrith knocked her first career home run over the wall in right to score Jordan Strickland, who singled.
Canion kept the Sun Devils off balance most of the game, allowing just a bunt single and shallow pop up to right that fell between a pair of BU defenders through the first 5.1 innings. ASU recorded back-to-back singles with one out in the sixth, but Canion sent the next two batters down swinging for the four-run cushion.
The Lady Bears had at least one base runner in six of the seven innings, totaling 11 hits.