If Baylor softball coach Kelli Smith was concerned Friday about the mental focus of her softball players, who hadn't played since May 8, they put at her at ease by getting three consecutive outs against Harpeth Hall and then scoring five runs in their first at-bat.
Baylor won 12-1 in five innings and won 15-0 in six in the second game of the best-of-three TSSAA Division II-AA sub-state series at Baylor.
The Lady Raiders have earned their way back to the Spring Fling and will begin defense of their championship next week in Murfreesboro.
"We just need to keep doing what we've been doing," sophomore center fielder Noelle Winkles said. "As long as we practice hard all the time, defensively and offensively, and don't get ahead of ourselves, I think we can accomplish a lot."
The Lady Raiders didn't get ahead of themselves Friday.
"We had practiced for about 10 days and everybody was over it," Baylor coach Kelli Smith said. "We're fortunate to be the No. 1 seed, but we've had to get by having practice for two weeks. You have to find ways to stay competitive and focused to help you not be rusty.
"For us to get five and six in the first innings of two games, after getting those three outs to start, that gives your defense and your pitchers some comfort when they take the field. It was good to see we came out competitive."
The Honey Bears committed five errors in the first game, including three in the big first inning -- all of which turned into runs.
Every Baylor starter had at least one hit in the game, led by three from Haley Andrus. After capping a five-run first inning with a two-run home run, she doubled, singled in a run and scored both times.
Maya Mathis went 3-for-4 in the second game, drove in four runs and scored twice. Braleigh Angel and Sarah Moore each went 3-for-5 with an RBI and Angel also scored a run. Lauren Lewis contributed a home run.
Kaitie Sims was the winning pitcher in the first game. Moore was the winning pitcher in the second.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.