BAYLOR 5, KANSAS 4
FORT COLLINS, CO – Josie Bower’s RBI single up the middle in the bottom of the seventh inning capped a rally by Baylor over Kansas, earning the Bears a hard-fought berth in Thursday’s championship game of the 2022 NISC.
Baylor (31-24) will face either Central Arkansas or UNLV for the title, with first pitch scheduled for 11 a.m. MT at the TC Colorado Field.
In the seventh, McKenzie Wilson led off and was hit by a pitch. Taylor Strain had a bunt single; Emily Hott singled and Wilson scored on outfielder error to tie the game at 4-all. After an intentional walk to load bases, Bower worked her way to a full count and then drilled her RBI single for the game-winner.
Kansas (20-36) created some early impact in the top of the first inning – Ashlyn Anderson walked and then scored on a double from Olivia Bruno. Lyric Moore drove in Bruno with a triple and came across on a throwing error to make it 3-0. In the third, S Espy doubled and after two outs, Bruno came through again with a run-scoring single to push KU ahead, 4-0.
Aliyah Binford gave Baylor something to cheer with a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth – the shot to center field also brought in Josie Bower to cut the KU lead to 4-2.
Kansas’ Haleigh Harper threw out a runner at home from shortstop for a key out in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Bears kept fighting, however, with Kaci West driving in Wilson with a single to pull Baylor closer, 4-3.
Binford threw four innings of scoreless relief, with two hits allowed and four strikeouts to get the win. The teams faced off in Big 12 Conference action in early April with the Bears winning two of three games.