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Softball tunes up for Big 12 with win

March 20, 2003

By Erica DeLeon

The Baylor softball team defeated the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics' No. 1 Oklahoma City University Wednesday night at Getterman Stadium, 6-2. This was their last game to prepare for Big 12 Conference play.

Sarah Caudle, a senior pitcher, took the mound for the first time in three weeks. Despite the absence from the mound, Caudle only gave up two runs and six hits with two errors.

In the first inning the bases were loaded with one out, but the Bears' defense got out of the inning unscathed.

'It's nice to go out there when you have a great defense behind you,' Caudle said. '[With] awesome hitters you can't help but be relaxed.'

Caudle gave up a solo home run to Paula Garman in the third inning, which gave the Stars an early lead, but she kept her composure.

'I knew my hitters were going to come back and hit the ball and win us the game, so I wasn't worried about it,' Caudle said.

Baylor stole the lead in the fourth inning. Nan Wilkins, a senior outfielder, led off with a single. Carrie Leerberg, a sophomore outfielder, pinch ran for Wilkins and then stole second.

Stephanie Pomes, a sophomore infielder, laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Leerberg to third. Harmony Schwethelm, a freshman infielder, had an RBI single to tie the game. Baylor took the lead off an Oklahoma City throwing error.

Danelle Arnold, a junior catcher, went 2-3 and had two stolen bases. Smart base running helped Baylor win the game.

'It's been really nice to get steals,' Arnold said. 'I think we've gotten smarter in our base running.'

Oklahoma City battled in the fifth and came through with one run off two hits. Schwethelm threw out the possible leading run for Oklahoma City at the plate.

The Bears' bats got hot in the fifth. Kelly Levesque, a junior outfielder, started the four hit inning with a single off a bunt to the pitcher.

Kim Wilmoth, a sophomore shortstop, followed with an infield single. Levesque scored off a sacrifice fly hit by Wilkins. Pomes laid down a suicide squeeze to score Wilmoth. Schwethelm walked.

Arnold hit a two-run double into deep left field.

'I'm very confident in our hitters,' head Coach Glenn Moore said. 'We're just a little slow getting started.'

In the sixth Stacey Hundley, a senior second baseman, hit a single up the middle. Oklahoma City pulled pitcher Jami Akin and replaced her with Jennyfer Boily. The change did not stop Baylor from getting two more hits. Wilmoth and Wilkins each got hits off Boily.

The Bears had 13 hits in the matchup. Wilmoth went 4-4 and Wilkins went 2-3.

'We're just on fire right now,' Arnold said. 'And that's definitely what we needed.'

Caudle kept the Stars hitless in the sixth and seventh innings. She struck out four for the night. The Bears went on to win and improved their record to 24-11.

Moore said he was pleased with Caudle's pitching and hopes she will strengthen their pitching staff.

Baylor will begin conference play against Oklahoma State University at 2 p.m. Saturday at Getterman Stadium.

'I'm really excited,' Arnold said. 'We're going in with a lot of confidence, we're ready to go.'