Baylor Bears

Three Thoughts on Baylor’s Big Weekend in Knoxville

Baylor Athletics

For the second day in a row, the 22nd-ranked Baylor Bears upset the No. 5 Tennessee Volunteers. They jumped out to an 8-1 lead and held on for an 8-5 victory Friday afternoon in Knoxville, Tenn., sweeping a pair of games between the two this week.

With that in mind, here are three thoughts on what transpired at a stunned Sherri Parker Lee Stadium.

Another national statement

It’s impossible to understate this. The Bears came to Knoxville on a mission. They accomplished said mission. The Volunteers hadn’t lost twice in one weekend all season. That’s now out the window. As that would suggest, no team had beaten them two times all spring either. In fact, only Alabama, Cal State Fullerton, and Texas A&M could lay claim to victories against Tennessee. But now Baylor can lay claim to a pair of triumphs, and that pair of triumphs will likely loom large when seeding comes around here in about a month. So, too, will an earlier season 4-3 win over Oklahoma, as it’s the only team that can boast about defeating the back-to-back champs. Certainly not a bad trio of decisions to have on your resumé.


Dealing Dariana

Dariana Orme’s stat line in the latter of the two wins over Tennessee wasn’t nearly as impressive. Still, she scattered three hits and two walks for only one unearned run, while striking out a pair. And with that, she finished off the final two innings of a great win. A day before, to say Orme was dominant would be an understatement. She baffled the Vols to the tune of only one hit in a 1-0 shutout upset. That lone hit for the Vols off Orme came in the bottom of the third when Taylor led off with an infield single to third. Other than that, Tennessee mustered only one other base runner, a leadoff walk to start the home half of the first by center fielder Kiki Milloy. Seven other hitters stepped into the batter’s box and couldn’t figure Orme out. Dealing, she was.


Too early to doubt me

In this week’s rankings, I debated over three teams for the final spot in the Top 25. It is quite clear I erred in my ultimate decision. With Indiana entering the weekend on a 25-game winning streak and California just taking two of three from a Top 10 Washington team, I placed those two in front of Baylor. It had some merit, as Baylor dropped a game to Kansas–although it’s not a totally terrible Jayhawks team–at home a week ago. But the Bears bounced back in a big way, and responded with an emphatic message that they should be taken seriously still.


Baylor has now improved to 30-9. It’ll return to action with a Tuesday contest against Louisiana, set for 6 p.m. CT first pitch.

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