ATHENS, Ga. -- Baylor is within one win of returning to the Women's College World Series for a third time after a 9-1 run-rule victory against Georgia in the first game of the NCAA super regional at Jack Turner Stadium on Friday.
Baylor's (46-14) Sarah Smith hit a three-run home run to key a four-run top of the first for the Lady Bears, and Whitney Canion two-hit the Bulldogs (49-14) in her 30th win of the season.
The floodgates opened in the first after Holly Holl reached on an error by Geri Ann Glasco at first base with two outs, scoring Kaitlyn Thumann from second base for the first run of the game. Clare Hosack was hit by a pitch on the next at-bat to put runners on first and second for Smith, who hit a towering home run inside the left-field foul pole for her seventh home run of the season to give Baylor a 4-0 lead.
Georgia tried to rally in the bottom half of the first, but with a pair of runners on Lindsey Cargill caught a deep fly ball from UGa's Anna Swafford on the warning track just inches in front of the center-field fence to end the threat.
The batter before, Canion struck out Tina Iosefa before inducing the deep flyout on the way to retiring 16 consecutive Bulldog hitters. Baylor led 9-0 headed into the bottom of the sixth, and Alex Hugo ended Canion's streak of 16 batters retired with a solo home run with two outs, which ruined Canion's shutout. Canion retired the next batter to end the game.
She finished with six innings pitched two hits, one run, a walk and six strikeouts. She's surrendered just four runs in 38.1 innings of work in the postseason thus far.
Smith finished 3-for-3 at the plate, Jordan Strickland hit her 12th home run of the year in the sixth inning, a two-run shot, and Holl and Ari Hawkins each drove in runs for the Baylor offense.