WACO, Texas — Gia Rodoni threw her fifth career no-hitter, and Sidney Holman-Mansell followed that up to hold Illinois to one run off three hits with nine strikeouts as the pair of aces completed stellar complete-game performances to give the Lady Bears wins over Tulsa and Illinois on Friday.
The Baylor defense backed up the pitchers with errorless ball through both games to open the Baylor Invitational.
At the plate, the Lady Bears scored all of their runs on the day in the sixth inning.
GAME 1: BAYLOR 1, TULSA 0
Gia Rodoni tossed her fifth career no-hitter, and first since May 19, 2018 against McNeese. It was her first no-no in regular season action since Feb. 9, 2018, vs. Northwestern State.
The Baylor defense retired the first 14 batters in a row, with eight of those outs coming from Rodoni strikeouts. On the outing, Rodoni racked up nine strikeouts. In total, Tulsa finished with a pair of baserunners but only one advanced to second base.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Maddison Kettler led things off for BU with a bunt single and then moved to second off a sacrifice bunt by Josie Bower. With two outs and Kettler on second, Taylor Ellis hit a single that dropped perfectly in the left side to bring Kettler home.
GAME 2: BAYLOR 5, ILLINOIS 1
Another sixth-inning rally by the home team helped Baylor to its second win of the day, a 5-1 victory over Illinois. And like their first game of the day, the Lady Bears were paced by a strong performance in the circle.
Sidney Holman-Mansell went the distance for Baylor with one run allowed off three hits with nine strikeouts.
After the Fighting Illini took the 1-0 lead in the top of the sixth inning, it took the Lady Bears little time to respond. Hannah Thompson led things off with her first hit of the year, a double, off the wall in right center field. That was just the spark the BU dugout needed as Baylor capitalized off a trio of Illinois errs in the inning.
Lou Gilbert reached base off an error by the Illinois shortstop which allowed Alyssa Avalos, who came on to pinch run for Thompson, to score. Gilbert crossed the plate shortly after when Kyla Walker reached base off an error by the third baseman.
With one out and a runner on second, Josie Bower pummeled her second home run of the season over the right field wall. A batter later, Goose McGlaun doubled to left field and later scored when Emily Hott reached base off an error by the Illinois first baseman.
- Kyla Walker hit her ninth career triple in the fourth inning vs. Illinois. That moves her into a tie for first place in the record books with nine career triples – Kim Wilmoth (2002-05), Carrie Leerberg (2002-05), Harmony Schwethelm (2003-06).
- Josie Bower hit her second home run of the season, and third of her career, against Illinois. She was the lone Lady Bear to record a hit in both games on Friday and now has a hit in seven of the last eight games. Bower has also now reached base safely in eight-straight games, a new career high.
- With an RBI vs. Tulsa, Taylor Ellis has an RBI in three of the last four games. She’s got 11 RBI on the season.
- Lou Gilbert’s hit streak reached nine games in a row with her hit vs. Tulsa. Gilbert’s reached base safely in every game this season. That 12-game streak is three shy of tying her career high.
- In her last three starts, Sidney Holman-Mansell has 22 strikeouts.
- Goose McGlaun hit her fourth double of the season.
STAT OF THE GAME
0 – Number of hits Gia Rodoni allowed in seven innings of work against Tulsa, marking her fifth career no-hitter.
Glenn Moore on the pitching…
“We only really had one pitcher last year, so it’s been a while since we’ve had two performances this efficient. Obviously, a no-hitter is efficient. Sid was very efficient for her tonight. She stayed around the zone and threw really hard and stayed with two-ball counts at the most. They were swinging at pitches helping her out, but whenever you’re throwing pitches that look like strikes and they swing at them, then you’re doing your job. I certainly thought that was one of her better performances against a great team in a Baylor uniform.”
Josie Bower on her home run…
“She had been throwing that change-up since the beginning of the game, so it was in the back of our minds the entire time. Honestly, I just went up there and I was like, ‘Whatever she throws, I’m going to hit it.’ That was my mentality.”
Sidney Holman-Mansell on her preparation this week…
“We adjusted some things over the week, and threw a lot of curveballs and worked on spinning rather than speed the whole time.”
Gia Rodoni on her no-hitter…
“I felt good. I felt like I hadn’t missed a year. Everything felt good and my body felt good. It was just a great overall team effort. I’m super pleased with the performance.”