Facing their second high-seeded team from the Southeastern Conference in a week’s time, Baylor was never in the game in absorbing an 11-0 pounding from No. 5 seed Florida in the opening game of the 2014 Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City on Thursday.
Florida senior starter Hannah Rogers allowed only three Baylor hits, all singles and two of them of the infield variety, and didn’t walk a batter in going the distance for her 28th win of the season. Baylor shortstop Jordan Strickland had a single in the third and the Lady Bears got a bunt single by Ari Hawkins and an infield hit by Linsey Hays in the fourth inning, but all three runners were stranded.
Rogers has not allowed a run in 21 innings in the 2014 NCAA Softball Championship.
Leasing 5-0, the Gators erupted for six runs in the home half of the fifth inning. The big blow in the inning was a walk-off grand-slam home run off the bat of pinch-hitter Chelsea Herndon, her third wall-clearing blast of the season and the first grand slam of her collegiate career.
The game was called after five innings because of the 10-run rule.
The 13th-seeded Lady Bears, now 47-15, will be in action next on Saturday, when they meet Florida State, the eight seed and a loser to No, 1 Oregon, in an elimination game.
Other game highlights from WCWS Game 1, Baylor Vs. Florida:
- The 11-run loss was the largest defeat suffered by Baylor since a 14-2 loss to Georgia in the 2011 Super Regionals.
- The last time Baylor lost a game due to the run rule was around this time a year ago, when the Lady Bears were eliminated by Texas A&M, 8-0, in the NCAA Regionals. The Bears were limited to just two hits in that game.
- Baylor starting pitcher Whitney Canion, had won 31 games coming into the WCWS and led the Big 12 this season with an ERA of 1.40. Thursday WCWS game with Florida was her second shortest stint of the season. She lasted just 3.1 innings on Thursday. Her shortest game in 2014 before that was back at the end of February, when she lasted just three innings against Louisiana-Lafayette, the No. 6 seed in the 2014 WCWS field.
- Baylor head coach Glenn Moore on the Game 1 WCWS loss: “I feel like we were sucker-punched quick and we didn’t respond. It was more of what we did to ourselves than what Florida did to us. I thought Florida played a great game, and I thought it was the worst game we’ve played in the last four or five games. I know this team can play better.”
- Florida’s 11-0 shutout is the Lady Gators’ sixth consecutive shutout win.
- The 11 Florida runs is the most runs the Gators have scored in a Women’s college World Series game since a 16-2 win over Alabama in 2011.