Baylor 12, GPS 1. Baylor scored six runs before making an out and went on to beat GPS 12-1 in the winner's bracket final of the state softball tournament Wednesday, catapulting the Raiders to the state championship game on Thursday.
In Baylor's decisive first inning, Morgan Sharpe led off with a walk followed by a bunt single by Addi Yates. Acelynn Sellers singled and advanced to second on a GPS error that allowed Sharpe and Yates to score. Baylor starting pitcher Syd Berzon followed with a single to plate Sellers and make it 3-0. Cadashia Collins singled to left and Raven Jones followed with a three-run homer to make it 6-0.
The Raiders added a run in the second on a single by Jones for her fourth RBI, three in the third inning on a two-run homer by Riley Oleksik and an RBI single by Cadashia Collins, and two more in the fourth on an RBI single by Sellers and a bases-loaded walk to Berzon.
Baylor finished with 15 hits, three each by Yates and Holly Merritt.
Berzon was the winning pitcher, striking out seven and walking one of the 10 batters she faced in her three innings. She was replaced, allowing the ace to rest for Thursday's championship game, by Jones, who allowed the only Bruiser hit, a leadoff homer to the first batter she faced in the fourth.
Baylor, 26-1, will await the winner of the loser's bracket final (GPS or St. Benedict) for Thursday's championship game. In the double-elimination format, a Baylor loss would force a second game scheduled for Friday. A championship would be Baylor's 14th overall and sixth straight.
(photo by Robin Rudd, timesfreepress.com)