published Friday, May 20th, 2011

Baylor sweeps into Spring Fling

Sarah Moore started it. Kaitie Sims finished it.

Pick either of Baylor’s softball games Thursday in its best-of-three Division II-AA sub-state series against St. Agnes, and those statements apply.

The Lady Red Raiders beat the Stars 12-0 in four innings and 11-1 in six at Baylor and earned a spot in next week’s TSSAA Spring Fling.

All Division II games will be played at Starplex No. 3 in Murfreesboro. They begin Tuesday.

Moore started the home half of the first inning by lining a single to left-center field. She scored the first of four runs in the inning, which included five of Baylor’s 15 hits in the game.

“I think it helped,” Moore said of her hit that got things started, “but I think we were going to hit anyway.”

The early cushion was all that was needed for Sims, who threw a no-hitter with seven strikeouts and one walk. Catcher Cassi Pickett picked that runner off first.

Moore started in the pitcher’s circle in the second game and allowed St. Agnes two hits and four walks while striking out eight. Sims closed it out by pitching a scoreless sixth.

Baylor coach Kelli Smith said she was pleased with her team’s play, especially considering it had been a week and two days since the last game.

“Our pitching and defense was superb all day,” Smith said.

The Stars did not retire Moore until she flied out in the fourth inning of the second game in her seventh plate appearance of the day. The Lady Raiders’ leadoff batter wound up 5-for-6 with two walks, scored four runs in the opener and had an RBI in the second game.

Among Moore’s offensive supporters was Noelle Winkles, who was 3-for-4 with a triple in each game and ended the first game via mercy rule with a two-run double. She finished the day with five RBIs and four runs scored.

Lauren Lewis went 4-for-7 — with two doubles in the opener — and she drove in a run and scored three. Braleigh Angel had two hits, two RBIs and two runs scored in the first game, and Kelsie Clark had two hits and two RBIs in the second game.

“Our bats were there all day long,” Smith said. “We’ve really worked hard all season long, and especially in the last few weeks, on taking the outside pitch to the right side of the field. You have to make adjustments against slower pitching, and I thought our girls did a great job of that today.”

about Kelley Smiddie...

Kelley Smiddie is a sports writer who has worked at the Times Free Press for 12 years. He covers high school sports and softball. Kelley’s hometown is Chattanooga, and he graduated from Brainerd High School and graduated Chattanooga State and UTC. Contact Kelley at 423-757-6653 or ksmiddie@timesfreepress.com.

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