No. 20/21 Baylor demolishes No. 5/5 Texas softball on senior night

Tori Garcia, General Sports Reporter

The final out to close No. 20/21 Baylor’s 9-1 defeat over the No. 5/5 Longhorns resulted in bittersweet emotions. Both the Texas athletes and fans were emotional at the Longhorns’ senior night that featured acknowledgments for all seniors at Red & Charline McCombs Field on Friday.

Four Texas student-athletes were honored as a part of the senior night announcements, including junior outfielder Alyssa Popelka, junior utility player Camille Corona, junior first baseman and designated player Courtney Day and senior outfielder Lou Gilbert.

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Mac Morgan struggled at the mound atypically to start the game. Morgan received her shortest start in a burnt orange uniform against Baylor on Friday, being pulled in the first inning after going through only 5 batters with three runs and zero outs. 

Getting behind was Morgan’s biggest enemy. The Bears could split the plate both inside and outside, so when Morgan favored the outside corner, it allowed Baylor’s right-handed batters to predictably read and hit off of her pitches.

Junior left-handed pitcher Estelle Czech was put in as Morgan’s replacement to limit the Bears’ damage on the scoreboard, but Baylor still led 5-0 after one.

Texas’ pitchers, unable to command the strike zone, proved costly once more in the second inning when four more runs were scored by the Bears to bring them to a 9-0 lead mid-inning over the Longhorns, the largest score deficit Texas has suffered all season.  Sophomore right-handed pitcher Sophia Simpson replaced Czech in the middle of the inning, taking on more of a relief role since the beginning of the season. While Texas tried to expand the plate, Baylor continued to prove to have discipline.

Texas scored their first and only run of the night with an RBI single by Popelka in the bottom of the second inning to bring the score to 9-1.

The game ended on a run rule after the bottom of the fifth inning. With no errors accounted for by Baylor, the Bears defeated the Longhorns 9-1, accumulating all of their scoreboard appearances in the first two innings.

The Texas vs. Baylor three-game series continued on Saturday at 6 p.m. in Waco, Texas.

In order for the Longhorns to clinch the No. 2 seed for the Big 12 Conference tournament next week, one of three scenarios must be completed: if Texas drops all three games to Baylor over the weekend and Oklahoma State defeats Oklahoma once over the weekend, if Texas wins the remaining two games against Baylor in the series, or if Texas beats Baylor and Oklahoma defeats Oklahoma State on the same night.