Baylor and Missouri have each earned a berth to the 2011 Women's College World Series after capturing the championship at their respective Super Regionals. The WCWS appearance is the second overall for BU and first since 2007, while it is MU's sixth in program history and third in as many years.
Both squads will join Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to give the Big 12 four representatives, the most of any conference in the nation this season and the most in league history.
With its backs up against the wall after a 14-2 defeat in game two of the series, Baylor (45-13) bounced back with a 9-2 win over Georgia (51-14) to earn its second berth in the Women's College World Series.
In Game Two the Lady Bears hit three home runs in a game for the first time since April 6 at Texas Tech, as Whitney Canion, Megan Turk and Sydney Wilson each homered for BU. Baylor took control of the game from the start, leaping out to a 5-0 lead in the first. The Lady Bears busted the game open with a three-spot in the fifth, including a two-out, two-run home run from Sydney Wilson, her second of the year.
Canion put the icing on the cake in the sixth with Canion's second home run of the weekend and sixth of the season to make it 9-2. Canion (29-10) went the complete game, allowing seven hits, two earned runs, two walks and three strikeouts.
The Lady Bears will face Oklahoma State on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN2 in WCWS first round action.
Mizzou rode a five run first inning to their record-breaking 52nd win of the season, surpassing last year's total of 51. Chelsea Thomas picked up another victory to improve to 31-6 - putting her one shy of tying the school record for wins in a season. She scattered 10 hits and allowed three runs - two earned, while striking out nine.
A wild top of the first inning saw the Tigers score five times on three hits to take a huge early advantage. Missouri added another run in the top of the third with the aid of a two out error by the Washington left fielder, keeping the inning alive. A leadoff double by Jenn Salling to start the bottom of the third put another Huskie in scoring position, but once again Chelsea Thomas and the Tigers worked out of trouble.
Washington was finally able to cut into the lead in the bottom of the fifth, scoring three times to trim the Tiger advantage to 6-3. That would be all the Huskies would get, however, as Thomas would continue to strand UW runners on base. After giving up a one out single in the bottom of the seventh, Thomas worked a strikeout and got the final hitter to ground into a fielder's choice, sending the Tigers back to Oklahoma City.
Another University Field record was set on Sunday night, as 2,604 fans were in attendance to see Missouri move on. Almost 5,200 fans were in attendance for the two game series this weekend, as 2,595 were in the stands last night. Missouri now moves on to face No. 4 Florida in the opening round of action. Play will begin at 8:30 p.m. CT on Thursday, June 2, and will air live on ESPN2.
Oklahoma will face Arizona State Thursday at 6:00 p.m., with the contest also shown live on ESPN2.
Since the first season of Big 12 softball in 1996, a league team has advanced 21 times to the WCWS. The league has sent at least one team to the WCWS every year since 2000, with three teams advancing in 1998 and two each in 2002, '03, '07 and '11.
The 2011 NCAA Division I Softball Championship will take place June 2-8 from ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City.