Sam Houston Stuns No.12 Baylor In First Game of Double-Header
By Cheval John
Sam Houston State is really happy to have split the double-header with a top 25 team in the Baylor Bears.
The Bearkats won the first game in dramatic fashion by the score of 4-3 in 10 innings, but was mercy-ruled in the second game 12-0.
It seemed as if Sam Houston (15-17 overall) was destined for another loss after surrendering three runs in the top of the tenth inning.
However, the Bearkats dug deep and scored four runs in the bottom of the tenth to stunned the No. 12 Bears.*
Sam Houston coach Bob Brock said that in all his years of coaching, it is a rarity for a team to come back in extra innings and was really glad that it was done in front of the home crowd at the Bearkat Softball Complex in Huntsville, Texas.
“I think it’s a great situation,” Brock said. “It’s everything you dream of as a coach.
It all started in the top of the tenth inning when the Bears (24-6) scored three runs for a 3-0 lead.
First baseman Holly Holl launched a solo shot to right field to make it 1-0.
After pinch hitter Sarah Crockett hit a single down the line, catcher Robin Landrith, who came back in the game and ran for Crockett, scored the second run on a error by short stop Taylor Gray, which also allowed left fielder Christy Lisenby, who singled behind Crockett to second base.
Designated hitter Linsey Hays’ sacrifice fly tacked on the third run for the Bears.
That would have been enough for the Bears.
However, the Bearkats had other ideas in the bottom of the tenth inning.
After Gray reached first on a fielder’s choice play that got center fielder Jessica Slater, who led off with a single, out at second, second baseman Alyssa Coggins and first baseman Tori Koerselman had back-to-back singles to load the bases.
Designated player Hilary Adams followed with a walk that scored Gray from third to make it 3-1.
The next batter, right fielder Cecelia Castillo hit an RBI single to right field that brought the Bearkats within 3-2.
Third baseman Hannah Marino struck out to make it two outs, leaving catcher Tiffany Castillo with the chance to either tie the game or win it with the bases still loaded.
Castillo issued the walk that brought in Koerselman to tie the game at 3.
“I was thinking either get a base hit or walk,” Tiffany Castillo said. “I was relieved when I walked.”
Then with left fielder Amy Pelton at the plate, reliever Whitney Canion, threw a wild pitch that allowed Jenny Kieval, who pinch ran for Adams to score the walk-off run from third base that sent the crowd in a frenzy.
“I knew she had trouble hitting her spot,” Kieval said of Canion, who suffered the loss for the Bears. “When I saw that it was a pass ball, I just went hoping I was safe.”
It was a pitching duel between Bearkat starter Shelby Lancaster, who went 7 2/3 innings with the no-decision and Bears starter Heather Stearns, who also got the no-decision and pitched 5 2/3 innings.
Reliever Haley Baros pitched 2 1/3 inning and got her sixth win of the season.
Lancaster, who came into the game with a 4.23 era, held the Bears to only four hits.
Of course, great defense was what allowed Lancaster to do well.
Baylor was looking to break the scoreless tie in the top of the fourth.
Lindsey Hays led off the fourth with a double and advance to third on a wild pitch by starting pitcher Shelby Lancaster.
After Smith grounded out for the first out, Strickland hit a fly ball to center field that was caught by Jessica Slater.
Hays, tagging up, head for the plate, but Slater’s threw her out at the plate to end the threat.
In the top of the sixth, left fielder Jill Reid led off with an infield single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Thumann.
Lancaster got out of the jam as pinch hitter, Clare Hosack lined out to Gray and the short stop stepped on second base for the double play after Reid was caught napping to end the threat.
“I think our defense played very well,” Brock said. “We were good in all phases.”
The Bears responded in the second game with a vengeance as they mercy-rule the Bearkats by the score of 12-0.
Baylor exploded with three home runs in the game and a 10 run fourth inning.
Though the Bears rebounded big time in the second game, they will not forget the way how they lost the first game of the double-header.
As for the Bearkats, they feel that it was a confidence boost that they needed for the rest of the season.
“It will give us a lot more confidence,” Tiffany Castillo said. “I have confidence in our team.”
Sam Houston travels to Beaumont for a three-game series with Lamar beginning on Saturday.
*First video courtesy of Cameron Bunch