No. 21 Baylor Walks Off with Series Sweep
WACO, Texas – Kansas hurler Monique Wesley tossed six scoreless frames before No. 21 Baylor could push a run across in the seventh inning, as the Lady Bears swept the three-game series with a 2-0 victory on Sunday at Getterman Stadium.
The series finale remained tied up with neither team being able to put a run on the scoreboard until Baylor senior Robin Landrith hit a walk-off two-run home run in the seventh to clinch the series sweep. Although the Lady Bears drove in two runs in the final frame, BU’s offense threatened throughout the game scattering eight hits.
“Obviously, offensively we need to get back to work and do a better job, but our pitching staff had a huge weekend for us and gave us a chance to win all three games here, which is the first time that has happened since I’ve been at Kansas,” said head coach Megan Smith. “So, that’s a huge positive and our defense played lights out all weekend.’
In her sixth start of the season, Wesley completed a 1-2-3 opening frame with her first strikeout. Wesley stranded three Lady Bear runners on scoring position over the next two innings as the pitcher’s duel continued into the fourth.
“Monique (Wesley) had a great weekend,” said Smith. “Her name hasn’t been called in awhile, but she’s been working and pitching live at practice to stay sharp. This weekend she took advantage of her opportunities and gave us a shot to win twice. So we are really pleased with her performance and our pitching staff as a whole.”
Baylor threatened again in the fourth with two more base runners, but Wesley and the Jayhawks’ defense worked their way out of the inning and halted the Lady Bears’ momentum for the third inning in a row. Baylor stranded five runners, four in scoring position through the first four innings compared to KU’s one.
In the bottom of the fifth, Baylor’s offense went to work only this time sophomore third baseman Jessie Roane had other plans. With a runner at second, Roane dove to make the first out, a pop up, and from her knees threw to second base for the double play. Roane’s bang-bang play at third ended the inning and the Lady Bears attack.
“Jessie (Roane) looked great all weekend,” Smith said. “One of the things that has been a struggle for us over the last few years has been Baylor’s short game and their slappers eat us alive. It was our goal to limit that this weekend and Jessie was up for that challenge. I thought that she had a great weekend defensively. She was aggressive and not afraid to be close to the batters and limit the short game. Briana (Evans) also had a great weekend in centerfield for us, tracking down a lot of balls.”
Wesley worked around a leadoff walk in the bottom of the sixth. She retired the next two batters on the first pitch with a fly out and pop out while redshirt sophomore catcher Harli Ridling threw the runner out at second attempting to steal to end the sixth.
Kansas’ offense couldn’t get anything going in the final game of the weekend as BU ace Heather Steans recorded the no-hitter in the complete-game victory. Sunday’s hitless effort marked the first time this season that the Jayhawk offense has been silenced to no hits. Despite not being able to record a hit, KU had two base runners reach via hit by pitch and walk, both runners were stranded at first.
“Heather Stearns is a great pitcher and I am glad that we won’t see her next year,” said Smith. “Obviously, she threw a really great game. Our at-bats were much better than the first time we faced her. We hit some balls on a line right people and we were making good contact, it just didn’t fall our way today.”
In the bottom of the seventh with one out, Landrith completed her career at Getterman Stadium with a walk-off home run to give Baylor the 3-2 win on senior day.
Kansas continues its string of road games with its final Big 12 Conference road series at Texas April 29 – May 1. First pitch of the series is slated for Friday, April 29 at 4:30 on the Longhorn Television Network and the Jayhawk Radio Network.
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