Baylor softball released its full schedule slate for the 2017 season, including 28 home games at Getterman Stadium, the second-most in the regular season in program history.
With a compacted fall schedule kicking off this weekend, Glenn Moore, in his 17th year as head coach of the Lady Bears, also finalized the team roster for the upcoming season.
The Bears are coming off a 2016 season with a 45-14 overall record and 13-4 mark in Big 12 play, finishing second in the conference and falling in the NCAA Regional final to Oregon in Eugene.
The Baylor squad will feature an even balance of nine upper and nine lower classmen, anchored by four seniors and adding five freshmen.
“This schedule was designed to grow our young, but talented team, quickly,” said Moore. “Although we have a good balance in our strength of schedule, we have a very tough road schedule to Puerto Rico, Fullerton, Lafayette, Orlando, and, of course, the defending national champion Oklahoma Sooners.
“We’ll have another strong nonconference schedule for home crowds in Waco, including the Getterman Classic and Baylor Invitational, as well as the doubleheader with McNeese State.
Following a familiar pattern, the Baylor squad will start the year with a travel-heavy schedule, starting the season at the Puerto Rico Sport Tournament in San Juan, Puerto Rico, running Feb. 11-13. The Bears will face Georgia Tech, Illinois, and North Carolina, with the game times and schedule still to be determined.
The team will return to Waco to host the 15th-annual Getterman Classic on Feb. 17-19, with Lamar, Grand Canyon, and North Texas making up the tournament field
After a midweek doubleheader with McNeese State, the Bears host a second tournament, the Baylor Invitational, running Feb. 24-26, featuring SIU-Edwardsville, UMass, and St. Francis.
BU will then make a return trip to the Judi Garman Classic, one of the nation’s premier softball tournaments, hosted by Cal State Fullerton on March 3-5. Opponents and game times are still to be determined at a later date.
A four game swing through Louisiana will pit the Bears against perennial top-25 foe, Louisiana-Lafayette for a doubleheader on March 7 in Lafayette, La., followed by a doubleheader with Northwestern State on March 8 in Natchitoches, La.
Baylor will host a split doubleheader on March 14, facing Incarnate Word and UTSA, both at Getterman Stadium.
The Bears will hit the road again, heading to the east coast to take on a three-game series with UCF in Orlando, Fla., on March 17-19.
For a final non-conference tune-up before Big 12 play, BU will host Sam Houston State on March 21 before jetting to Lawrence, Kan., to kick off conference play with the Jayhawks on March 24-26.
The Bears only have two full conference road series, facing the Jayhawks first and then travelling to Norman to square off with the defending national champion Oklahoma Sooners on April 21-23.
Home conference series for the Bears will include Texas Tech (March 31-April 2), Iowa State (April 7-9), and Oklahoma State (April 28-April 30).
Following the now traditional format with the Texas series, the Bears open the final weekend of conference play with a single game in Waco before travelling to Austin for the last two games of the regular season against the Longhorns.
The Bears will have midweek non-conference matchups with Abilene Christian (March 29), at Texas State (April 12), home doubleheader with Houston (April 18), and at Lamar (April 25).
The Big 12 Softball Tournament makes its return in the 2017 season, with the conference tournament back in Oklahoma City, Okla., for the first time since 2010. The tournament will run May 11-13.