Ninth-ranked Texas comes from behind to top 18th-ranked Baylor 5-1
AUSTIN, Texas -- A single from senior Kim Bruins through the left side that drove in classmate Taylor Hoagland provided the game-winning run as No. 9 Texas came from behind to top No. 18 Baylor 5-1 on Sunday afternoon inside Red & Charline McCombs Field. Senior Blaire Luna struck out 11 in the contest and allowed just two hits in her second win of the weekend.
The Longhorns (29-4, 2-0 Big 12) have started Big 12 conference play 2-0 five times in the last six years. Texas has also won eight of its last nine meetings against top-25 foes and improved to 8-2 versus ranked opponents this season.
The bottom two batters in the UT lineup provided a spark in the contest as sophomore Gabby Smith and freshman Stephanie Ceo combined to go 4-for-5 with three runs scored and two driven in. Ceo has recorded a hit in her last five at-bats.
Luna (15-1) allowed just two singles in the contest and finished her weekend with only four hits given up, all singles. She fanned 11, walked five and surrendered an unearned run. Baylor's Heather Stearns (8-3) got the start and pitched four innings, giving up three hits and two runs, one earned, while striking out eight and walking one. Whitney Canion relieved and tossed an inning, allowing three hits and three runs, one earned. Courtney Repka finished the pitching effort for the Bears, allowing one hit and one walk in one inning.
Baylor (26-7, 0-2 Big 12) took an early lead, scoring in the top of the second. Sarah Smith was hit by a pitch to open the frame and was replaced by pinch-runner Justine Young. Clare Hosack followed with a bunt, but the throw went into right field, allowing Young to move to third. A walk to Holly Holl loaded the bases for Robin Landrith, who struck out looking. Luna fanned Kelsi Kettler swinging before a Jordan Strickland ground ball was misplayed, allowing Young to score for a 1-0 Bears lead. Luna struck out Katilyn Thumann swinging to end the threat and leave the bases full.
UT tried to answer in the bottom of the third, but was held off the board. Smith led off the inning with the Longhorns' first hit of the contest, a single through the right side. Smith moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ceo before a pair of strikeouts left her stranded.
The Bears mounted a threat in the top of the fourth, but Luna shut the door again. Hosack and Holl started the inning with consecutive walks. Luna retired the next three batters with two pop outs and a fly out to end the threat.
Texas had another chance in the bottom of the fourth, loading the bases with two outs, but was kept scoreless. With one out, Bruins singled just over the head of Landrith at second and into center field. After a strikeout, junior Karina Scott was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game and senior Torie Schmidt reached on a Landrith fielding error to fill the bases. Smith struck out to close the frame.
After the defensive hold, Baylor moved a runner to third in the top of the fifth and left her stranded. Thumann led off with a double for the Bears' first hit of the contest. Luna bounced back to fan Kathy Shelton before Thumann stole third base. A strikeout and pop out left Thumann on third.
In the bottom of the fifth, Texas broke through with two runs to take a 2-1 lead. Ceo started the inning with an infield single and Hoagland walked to put runners on first and second with no outs. Canion entered and hit junior Brejae Washington with a pitch to load the bases. A sacrifice fly from junior Taylor Thom plated Ceo to tie the contest at one. Bruins followed with a single through the left side that delivered Hoagland and gave UT the lead. A pop out and strikeout allowed Canion to escape without further damage.
UT tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the sixth to go ahead 5-1. Schmidt led off reaching on a throwing error by Canion and scored on a double to right center by Smith. Ceo's second single of the contest drove in Smith for a two-run edge. Repka relieved Canion and recorded two outs before Bruins came through again with a single up the middle that plated Ceo. A lineout ended the inning.
Luna struck out the first two batters in the seventh before Shelton singled and Hays walked. A pop out by Smith to Ceo at second ended the contest and sealed the weekend sweep.