marco polo quotes Lauren Lewis’ Slam Leads Baylor Past GPS In D
Lewis, the slender blonde who has deceptive offensive power, had hit three round trippers over the weekend in Nashville, but it was her first grand slam in recent memory that helped her team win for the 14th time in 15 games as they improved to 4 0 in region play with their fifth straight win.
“I didn’t really go to the plate thinking about it, but I’m glad it happened and it was a great way to finish the game,” Lewis said later.
“It feels good to get a solid win over a team like GPS and I’m hoping this will help our confidence, but it felt good when I hit it and I was just happy to see it clear the fence,” she said of her fifth homer of the season that came on a 2 1 count.
Baylor again like Tuesday’s game scored three runs in the first inning and added one in the fourth before the seven run sixth sealed the deal.
Meanwhile, GPS scored its only run in the top of the sixth.
Sydney White led off with a double and went to third on a groundout by Abbey Anderson. Another groundout to short by pinch hitter Hannah Sanders allowed White to score.
Junior Kayla Hughes was the winning pitcher and improved to 6 0 with the five hitter, a game where she had no strikeouts and no walks.
There was only one inning the second when the Bruisers were retired in order, but Hughes got tougher to hit and smarter to figure out with runners on base as GPS stranded six in the first five innings.
Baylor only managed eight hits in Tuesday’s win over Central, but the Lady Red Raiders came out with their hitting shoes on as they collected 14 hits off freshman Shelby Walters, who also had five strikeouts and a walk.
While Lewis had the big blow to finish the game in the sixth, Huckabay and Kamrie Rich both had three hits for Baylor with Huckabay’s three singles including an RBI in the first. Rich had two doubles and a single, the first two bagger in the first driving in Huckabay with the third run of the inning.
Baylor coach Kelli Smith remembered vividly the pain and agony she and her team felt the last time these two teams met, that being in the state finals when the Bruisers won twice on the last day to claim the D II state title.
She felt much better on Wednesday.
“I feel great now that it’s over, but this is a fresh start for this team and this is the one that mattered for seeding purposes in the playoffs. We play them again on May 5 at their place and it will be another region game,
but it won’t affect the post season,” Smith said as Baylor players grabbed their bags and headed toward the parking lot.
“We had a hard time putting anything together after the first inning, but everybody expects what we got from Lauren Lewis at the end. She’s had some problems with her back this spring, but she still hits it as hard as she ever has. She had three in Nashville over the weekend, so she’s hitting the ball well right now,” she praised her senior right fielder.
“I thought Kayla Hughes had a great performance on the mound as this was one of her best games all year. But the middle infielders played great behind her, so a lot of folks contributed today,” she smiled.
GPS coach Susan Crownover is fielding one of the youngest teams in recent years, so she’s hoping that they can learn from Wednesday’s experience and get better in the process.
“It was a rough day for the Bruisers,” she said after her team had fallen to 9 11 1 overall and 2 2 in region play.
“We still have a lot of room to improve, but we still have time to do that. We’re a young group, but we hung in there for a while today. We left too many runners on base and we have to hit it better, but it’s a difficult task pitching against a team like Baylor as they have several Division I prospects who can really hit it.
“Baylor clearly outplayed us today, but we won’t lay down. We had plenty of opportunities, but we just didn’t get it done,” Crownover concluded.
While Huckabay and Rich had three hits apiece for Baylor, Cheyenne Lindsey and Maya Mathis both had two hits and each scored twice at the top of the lineup.
Taylor Battle and Kaitlyn Songer both had two hits for GPS while White’s double was the only extra base hit for the Bruisers.