WACO, Texas –
The Baylor softball team released its travel-heavy 2014 schedule Wednesday as the Bears prepare to make a run for the Women's College World Series in the spring. In addition, Baylor head coach Glenn
Moore finalized the roster as the non-traditional fall schedule is underway.
Bears will literally travel from one end of the continental U.S. to the
other in 2014 playing tournaments in Palm Spring, Calif., Clearwater,
Fla., Las Vegas, Nevada and Gulf Port, Miss.
Baylor will also host its annual Getterman Classic Feb. 14-16.
schedule is designed to put us in position to increase our RPI with
several road games against quality opponents," said Moore. "I think
we'll be tested early by this schedule, and that
will prepare us well for Big 12 competition, and hopefully, get us to
where we want to be with a host site for the NCAA Regional."
Bears are no stranger to postseason play advancing to a least the first
round of the NCAA Regional Tournament in seven of the last nine
seasons. Moore pointed particularly to USF's Spring
Break Invitational where he expects Baylor to see prime competition.
there is a top-30 type of program, and I think it's projected to be the
strongest tournament we will play in," said Moore. Baylor will face
USF, UCONN, Purdue and Penn State March
14-16 in Clearwater, Fla.
Bears finished 42-17 overall last season and were third in the Big 12
standings with a 10-8 mark. Baylor begins its conference schedule with
Texas at home for two games of the three-game
series. The final game of the series will be in Austin for the
regular-season finale May 11.
Baylor's road series in the Big 12 are with Texas Tech (March 28-30), Oklahoma State (April 17-19), and Iowa State (May 2-4). Other than the two games with the Longhorns, the Bears will play
host to two full conference series with Oklahoma (April 11-13), last year's Big 12 and national champions, and Kansas (April 25-27).
Moore also finalized his 21-person roster Wednesday and said it was the first time he has carried 21 players since his first season with Baylor in 2001.
Six newcomers join a cast of 15 veterans as the Bears gear up for their first Women's College Worlds Series run since 2011.
glad to have [pitcher] Whitney Canion back at full speed and along with
Heather Stearns, I think we'll have a great 1-2 punch at the top of our
rotation with depth behind them," Moore
a redshirt senior, became Baylor's all-time wins leader with 87 through
last season while Stearns won a dozen games as a freshman last year
with a 2.71 ERA.
said he expects to have a good defense behind the pitching staff with
experience in the infield, and the only starter to replace is Kathy
Shelton in the outfield.
put up great numbers and is a big one to lose, but we've got the people
to compete for her spot and fill the void adequately," Moore said. "We
just need the others to grow up as
players and fill the void."
the Bears ranked fifth in the Big 12 in batting average at a .295 mark
with Kaitlyn Thumann returning as the Bears' leading hitter. Thumann,
the junior outfielder, hit .377 with
32 RBI's in her sophomore campaign last season.
opens the season in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Sportco Kick-Off Classic
hosted by UNLV. The Bears will not play the hosts, but will open with
games against Washington and San Diego Feb.
Bears fans can catch their first glimpse of the 2014 team Saturday at a "Meet the Team" event at Getterman Field beginning at 9:45 a.m. Baylor will play two five-inning intrasquad scrimmages with fans getting the opportunity to be introduced to the team between games.