OKLAHOMA City, Okla. – Jordan Strickland became just the 12th player in Women’s College World Series history to homer twice in a game, and Heather Stearns picked up her first win from the circle since May 3 in Baylor’s 7-2 win over Florida State at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium Saturday.
— Baylor Softball (@BaylorSoftball) May 31, 2014
The win pushes Baylor 48-15 on the season, avoiding elimination in the eight-team double elimination WCWS, and Florida State’s season ends with its second loss of the WCWS with a 55-9 record.
Strickland hit two, two-run home runs in the second and sixth innings to give her 14 on the season, and it was her third multi-home run game of the year. She became just the third player in Baylor postseason history to home twice (Ashley Monceaux, 2007; Chelsi Lake, 2007), and Strickland is the first Baylor player in WCWS history to hit two four-baggers in a game. Her four RBI also was the most by a Baylor player in the WCWS.
“We had a different approach today,” Strickland said. “It was one and done and we didn’t want to go home yet. This team was capable of more.”
Stearns, who made her first start since May 3 at Iowa State, improved to 14-4 on the year with her 4.2-inning outing where she allowed just four hits, two runs, walked four and struck out seven. She set the tone for the Lady Bears after Baylor fell 11-0 Thursday to Florida, by striking out the side against the Seminoles in the bottom half of the first inning.
“Extremely proud for Heather Stearns,” Baylor head coach Glenn Moore said. “She hasn’t pitched in a while for her to sit and watch and then come out and throw a game like that, I can’t say enough good things about Heather.”
Strickland’s first home run highlighted a three-run second, and Baylor added two runs in the fourth when Linsey Hays scored after Jordan Strickland reached on an error. Robin Landrith drove home Strickland with an RBI single to build Baylor’s lead to 5-0.
Florida State loaded the bases for the second time against Stearns in the fifth, and the Seminoles were able to scratch two runs on a Briana Hamilton single to cut the lead to three.
Whitney Canion came in relief of Stearns after Hamilton’s single and recorded the final seven outs to pick up her 10th career save and second of the season.
Baylor takes on Kentucky in another elimination game Saturday at 6 p.m. on ESPN. Beth Mowins and Jessica Mendoza will have the call. Waco fans can listen to Derek Smith and John Morris on 1660 AM ESPN Central Texas or on BaylorBears.com