Game 10: Baylor 1, Missouri 0 (13 Innings)
- Baylor freshman Holly Holl hit a two-out 13th-inning walk-off home run to result in the game’s only run as Baylor eliminated Missouri and improved to 47-14 on the year. It was Baylor’s second walk-off home run win in this year’s WCWS (Kelsi Kettler hit one in the eighth inning against Oklahoma State in a 1-0 Game 2 win Thursday).
- Baylor improved to 4-2 in extra-inning games this season and to 2-1 all-time in extra-inning games at the WCWS. Missouri fell to 2-2 in extra-inning contests this year and to 1-2 all-time in extra-innings at the WCWS.
- 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 sophomore pitcher Whitney Canion went the distance and improved to 31-11 on the year. She allowed just two hits and two walks while striking out 11. It was her 11th game of double-digit strikeouts this year.
- Canion threw 175 pitches, 114 of them for strikes.
- Missouri’s two hits (both singles) came in the first and 13th innings (41 at-bats between hits).
- Missouri sophomore pitcher Chelsea Thomas registered a career-high 19 strikeouts. It was her 19th game of double-digit strikeouts this year. Thomas, who threw 192 pitches, finished the season with a 32-8 record. She gave up eight hits and nine walks in the complete-game effort.
- Thomas became the fourth pitcher in WCWS history to record at least 19 strikeouts in a game. It was the highest WCWS strikeout total since 2008 when Virginia Tech’s Angela Tincher fanned 19 Florida batters in a 2-0 nine-inning loss. UCLA’s Debbie Doom owns the WCWS single-game strikeout record of 20 (against Oklahoma State in 13 innings in 1982).
- Four of Thomas’ strikeouts came in the 11th inning alone.
- The 13 innings played were Baylor’s most since a 16-inning game against North Carolina on May 20, 2004 (Baylor won 1-0). It was the longest game for Missouri since playing a 13-inning contest against Texas on April 16, 2005 (Missouri won 3-2).
- Baylor will play Arizona State on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. CT.
- Tonight’s Session 5 attendance of 8,477 represented the fourth largest crowd in WCWS history. Through five sessions, this year’s WCWS total attendance is 40,697 (8,139 average). The current record for per-session attendance for an entire WCWS is 6,724 (set last year).
BAYLOR HEAD COACH GLENN MOORE
“I don’t have any energy to come up with anything profound. I’ve talked about the resiliency of this team all week and all throughout the NCAAs. I think we saw it tonight in an incredible performance by both teams – a never give-in attitude and just continue to go out there inning after inning and make plays. For Whitney (Canion) to hold a team like Missouri to two hits is nothing short of amazing and why she’s an All-American; and Chelsea Thomas as well. We weren’t even getting runners to second base. I think we had one runner at third base. It was a phenomenal game, an old-fashioned pitchers’ duel – the way you love ’em, unless you’re ready to go to sleep, go to bed. It was a lot of fun and much more fun to come out on top. I’m just so stinking proud of these girls.”
On his team’s strong defensive play:
“Yea, they played an outstanding game. I know Dani (Leal) is a little down; she’s an All-American and great player. She’s struggling a little bit, but she’s carried us so far to this point and now it’s time for someone else to pick up the load and carry us. That’s what’s happening. Outside of that, we made some good plays. Whitney (Canion) didn’t strike everybody out, but she did what she’s done all year. She’s gone from a very dominant pitcher that has gotten double-digit strike outs every game to being OK with getting a ground ball, as long as she knew that her pitch was where it should’ve been and it dictated the ground ball or pop-up or whatever. It’s probably why she kept her pitch count down as low as it was, and has done that throughout the year. Rhea Taylor is the toughest out I’ve ever seen in college softball and for us to jump on top of those bunts and those balls on the right side. Holly (Holl) just didn’t get that game-winning home run, she made some phenomenal plays at first base; quick release. I think she may be the best first baseman I’ve ever coached and we’ve had some pretty good ones.”
BAYLOR SOPHOMORE PITCHER WHITNEY CANION
On the length of the game:
“Towards the end of the game, I kind of started laughing. I’m like, ‘This is so fun to be playing at this level in the World Series, this is what it’s supposed to be like every game.’ I love pitchers’ duels. I know everyone wants to see a lot of home runs and stuff but I’m more of a pitcher and it’s so fun to see this kind of atmosphere. It stinks that I had to go that long, but it’s so fun just battling out there every inning, getting their hitters out. I feel like our hitters did a good job all game, just trying to get her to go deeper in the pitch count; and that’s why we came out on top.”
BAYLOR FRESHMAN FIRST BASEMAN HOLLY HOLL
On her 13th-inning walk-off home run and how tough Chelsea Thomas was:
“Whatever she was going to throw me, I was probably going to swing at it. I wasn’t going down looking again; I already did that one time. I just wanted to be able to have a little bit of control in it. She threw it, I hit it and thank-goodness it went far. She’s a very good pitcher. She’s tough and has offspeed. You can’t always get your timing down.”
MISSOURI HEAD COACH EHREN EARLEYWINE
“Four years ago, this program wasn’t very good. When I inherited it, we were under .500 and had a bunch of freshmen and we didn’t know how they were going to turn out to be. But over the last four years, they’ve won two Big 12 Championships and been to three College World Series. I’m very proud of them for taking the program from where it was that day to where we are today.”
On Chelsea Thomas’ overall pitching performance:
“Nineteen strikeouts, 192 pitches; I’m so proud of her in so many different ways. She knows that tonight wasn’t her fault. We didn’t hit. She pitched brilliant. One of the best pitching performances I’ve ever seen; just doesn’t get any better than that.”
On saying goodbye to his senior class:
“Most of all, this has probably been the most emotional one, just for what the seniors have done; not only for our program but for my life personally. It was my dream when I was at Georgia Tech for me to coach at Mizzou so I could be close to my family and friends. This group of kids has allowed for me to get contract extensions, keep my job, and allow me to stay where I want to be. I will be eternally grateful for what they’ve done in my life. That’s emotional for me because I’ll miss them.”
MISSOURI SOPHOMORE PITCHER CHELSEA THOMAS
On facing Baylor after playing an earlier game today:
“We knew it was going to be a battle going in. They came in fresh not having to play today. We were still fired up even though we had to play that game earlier in the day. We knew it was going to be battle, and that’s how the Big 12 is. Just didn’t turn out the way we wanted.”
On what carried her through such a long game:
“I think adrenaline carries me. I honestly didn’t know what inning it was after the game. I was trying to keep going out there.”
MISSOURI SENIOR CENTER FIELDER RHEA TAYLOR
On her career:
“From where it started until now is completely two different teams. I’m definitely proud to say I played for Missouri and I wouldn’t trade anything.”
On the length of game:
“It was definitely the longest game I’ve ever participated in. After I chugged a coke, I felt pretty good. Just like Chelsea (Thomas) said, I didn’t know what inning it was. I was just trying to go out there fighting; things just happened like that. As hitters, we definitely didn’t do our part. I don’t think there wasn’t not any fight there, we were trying our hardest to get there.”
MISSOURI SOPHOMORE SHORTSTOP JENNA MARSTON
On Missouri’s hitting frustrations tonight:
“As a hitter, you don’t like pitchers’ duels – you want to get hits. I think for us personally, for me at least, we weren’t able to make the adjustments to get the big hits we needed. I think that’s really what it came down to. We weren’t able to make the adjustment.”
Missouri Footnote by Steven Keers
Chelsea Thomas threw an absolute gem for the Tigers, striking out 19 batters – the second most in a Women’s College World Series game ever – while walking just three and scattering seven hits. She finishes her stellar redshirt sophomore campaign with a 32-8 record, tied for the most in a single season at Missouri. She also wrapped up the season with 397 strikeouts – a school record, and a 0.95 ERA, the best in all of Division I softball.
Despite all the anticipation associated with having four Big 12 teams in the tournament, no Big 12 teams have beaten any teams outside the Big 12. Instead, they knock each other off. Eg, Oklahoma was eliminated by Missouri, which was eliminated by Baylor. Oklahoma State was ousted by California after losing its first game against Baylor.