Game 2: Baylor 1, Oklahoma State 0 (8 Innings)
- Sophomore Kelsi Kettler’s eighth-inning homer was responsible for game’s only run as Baylor improved to 46-13 on the year in front of a WCWS Session 1 record crowd of 7,280.
- Kettler’s home run was her first career walk-off hit and her third career homer.
- Today’s game marked the first time that both WCWS teams were scoreless after seven innings since the 2008 event when Texas A&M defeated Florida 1-0 in game 13.
- The last opening-round contest of the WCWS decided in extra innings was in 2008, when Louisiana-Lafayette defeated Florida in eight frames, 3-2.
- Winning in walk-off fashion is not new for Baylor this year. Each of its four home conference wins came in its final at-bat.
- Baylor improved to 3-2 in extra innings this season and to 2-2 all-time in the WCWS. Baylor has won 10 of its last 11 games and is 6-1 in this year’s NCAA tournament.
- Baylor pitcher Whitney Canion recorded her 800th career strikeout in the first inning. Canion holds the school record for career strikeouts (809), 50 more than the previous BU standard (759 by Cristen Vitek).
- Canion struck out 10 batters in eight innings against the Cowgirls, marking her 10th game of 10 or more strikeouts this year.
- Prior to today, Oklahoma State was 6-0 in extra-innings games this season. That included a nine-inning, 5-1 win over Baylor on April 23.
- OSU moved to 11-13 all-time in WCWS games (seventh appearance) and is 44-35 overall in the NCAA tournament.
BAYLOR HEAD COACH GLENN MOORE
“I’m very proud of the girls, the way they persevered. It was evident to me that we just didn’t come out flat, that we were a very tired team, getting in at 3 a.m. Monday and everything has been a whirlwind from then. It makes you want to get that Super Regional on a Thursday or Friday so you have more time to prepare. But the girls were fighting hard. Whitney (Canion) kept giving us chances to score. That’s the way the World Series is supposed to be; you come up with a big hit and find a way to win it. (Kelsi) Kettler has been phenomenal in the postseason since (Claire) Hosack went down behind the plate. I thought (Kat) Espinosa did a great job. Oklahoma State has had our number this entire year. It was tough to get that monkey off our back, but we finally did and it’s a good feeling.”
On Kelsi Kettler’s game-winning home run:
“I know that is a very prepared athlete that was waiting to have her number called. She is very good catcher and we knew that going into the season. We have been fortunate in having two catchers that are very strong. If there is an advantage with Claire (Hosack) it’s her arm, so they’re right there together. A kid with a great attitude that decided I’m going to help the team anyway I can and her opportunity came and has been huge. She has been our most valuable player in the last three games.”
On winning the first game:
“With double-elimination tournaments, when you get in the losers’ bracket it almost is a death sentence. You know somebody is going to play two games, go home, and we know that won’t be us. That’s a positive in your second trip to the World Series. We won the second game last time. We’re here, we’re looking at the big picture. We’re going to play it one game at a time. That was the first one under our belt. It wasn’t the prettiest, but we fought hard. We know we have a very tough opponent tomorrow, we’ve got to get some rest and get back here ready to play.”
BAYLOR FRESHMAN FIRST BASEMAN HOLLY HOLL
On Kelsi Kettler’s game-winning home run:
“We know that anyone on the team could step up and do that. For Kelsi to step up and do that – she didn’t get to play all year, she gets her chance. We all know how hard she works, so seeing her hard work paying off is really cool.”
BAYLOR SOPHOMORE PITCHER WHITNEY CANION
On her overall thoughts of the game:
“Today was pretty nerve-wracking, driving up on the bus, seeing everybody. But we tried to stay calm and when we warmed up, it was still a little nerve-wracking. When I went out there for the first couple innings, I was working really fast and not breathing like I should. Once we slowed down and started playing our game, we’ve had great games with Oklahoma State all season. (Kat) Espinosa paints the corners the whole time. We were getting some better at-bats but I knew the whole time that if I kept pitching well, we’d score.”
On overall pitching throughout the tournament:
“I like to hit, but I’d rather pitch more. I like the low-scoring ball games. As a pitcher, that’s fun for me. But hitting, I like to see the long balls, so both ways it’s fun for me. Pitching is more my aspect so I like seeing those types of ball games.”
BAYLOR SOPHOMORE CATCHER KELSI KETTLER
On her game-winning home run:
“My first at-bats weren’t necessarily what I wanted. I went up there thinking, ‘Just make contact, just make contact. We need a base runner.’ I was down 0-2 and I was still thinking ‘Just make contact. She is going to throw you some waste pitches.’ She had been throwing me really low, and then when she threw me a high ball I attacked it and that was it. Then I was just thinking, ‘Stay fair.’”
OKLAHOMA STATE HEAD COACH RICH WIELIGMAN
“This is a good game. You sit there and you replay the whole game, and I think both defenses made some great plays to keep us from scoring, and we made plays to keep them from scoring. It finally came down to one swing of the bat and they got it. Kat (Espinosa) did a great job of pitching today, and holding them down all day. We got runners on, but could never get that clutch hit today. We’ve played them three times now, and two of the three times we have gone into extra innings. I kind of expected a game like this today, it’s just unfortunate that it didn’t go our way today.”
On Ari Morrison’s out at home plate:
“When she was running around on the pitch, and the ball was hit she never stopped running. She did a great job. I sort of tried to catch them sleeping a little bit, because I thought they were arguing whether or not she caught the ball, and we were just trying to be aggressive when we had two outs. I would much rather have her out at home than sitting on third. I thought she made a good slide. They just made the play and that happens sometimes. I liked how aggressive she was all around.”
On the return of great pitching in the World Series with two 1-0 games so far:
“It’s nuts. We were talking about this in the locker room. It’s the first session of the World Series and they were two one-to-nothing games. They were great games, both of them. I just like the fact that we are playing great defense. Pitchers are doing a good job. The way hitting has been going, pitchers have to catch up a little. They (pitchers) have been learning how to change speeds and hit their spots a little bit better. It’s not near of a strikeout game as it once was. To me it’s one to nothing; that’s softball. I think it’s fun to watch pitchers pitch and the defense battle it out, and someone finally doing something to make that win.”
On Oklahoma State being in the losers’ bracket and the team’s ability to overcome adversity:
“It’s like I told them: this just means that we get to play more games than everybody else. We are just going to go play. That’s what our team does. I feel like all year long they have come to play, and that’s important that we keep that consistency. That’s (all) that I can ask. Let’s go see if we can play as long as we can.”
OKLAHOMA STATE SOPHOMORE PITCHER KAT ESPINOSA
On the home run pitch to Kelsi Kettler and on pitching against Baylor overall:
“It was a screw ball and it kind of rose, so she kind of got a really good hit. That’s really all I can say about that. Baylor is always a tough team to pitch against like any other team in the Big 12 here. I don’t know, I guess they just finally got a piece of it.”
On her feelings of the crowd and seeing all the Oklahoma State fans in the stands:
“I thought it was really cool that there was so much orange out there. Honestly I didn’t want to look out there, because I didn’t want that to get in my head. Honestly it didn’t. I was just out there and pitching my game, and that’s how it went.”
OKLAHOMA STATE SOPHOMORE LEFT FIELDER TAMARA BROWN
On how the defense looked today and on Kelsi Kettler’s home run:
“We have been playing good defense all year. People like Alysia (Hamilton) have been making great dives and catches all year. On the last play of the game, I mean it was just a shot and I knew it was out. It was a straight hit, a liner.”
OKLAHOMA STATE FRESHMAN DESIGNATED PLAYER ARI MORRISON
On her out at home plate and what she saw:
“I didn’t really know what was going on until I got up from the plate. I was just going straight for home.”