Bears tee off in Texas

COLLEGE STATION, TX Arizona allowed four runs in the first inning and was shutout by Baylor pitcher Whitney Canion as Baylor cruised to an NCAA Regional opening victory, 7-0 on Friday at Aggie Softball Complex.

Arizona (32-25) will play the loser of the Texas A&M-Penn game at 4:30 p.m. CDT on Saturday. The Wildcats will need to win four straight games to advance out of the College Station Regional.

Both Arizona and Baylor scattered six hits in the contest, but UA pitchers issued six walks to BU's zero. The Wildcats stranded eight runners on base.

Baylor (40-15) will play the winner of the Texas A&M-Penn contest for a chance to punch its ticket to the regional championship.

Wildcat starter Shelby Babcock (16-11) walked the first three batters she faced and did not record an out as she faced just six Lady Bears in her outing. Babcock allowed four runs on two hits.

Her replacement, Nancy Bowling, allowed three runs on four hits the rest of the way. The freshman struck out four and walked three in five innings of work. She was relieved in the sixth after giving up two runs without recording an out.

Estela Piñon retired all three batters she faced in the sixth.

Canion (24-8) allowed just four base runners beyond the second inning. Canion struck out five and did not walk a batter in the shutout. The Baylor pitcher gave up just seven hits.

Babcock walked the first three batters she faced and gave up an RBI fielder's choice to give the Bears a 1-0 lead in the first. The next two batters singled to score three runs and chase Babcock in favor of Bowling.

Arizona attempted to respond in its next at bat when it loaded the bases with one out. The next two Wildcats were retired on one pitch to strand three.

The Lady Bears plated another run in the fourth inning when they loaded the bases with two out thanks to a walk, single and a hit-by-pitch. A wild pitch then scored Baylor's fifth run of the game.