No. 15 Baylor Softball Opens Play in Women’s College World Series

Posted at 2:34 PM, May 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-31 15:34:56-04

The No. 15-seed Baylor Lady Bears (46-12) is set to play in the program’s fourth Women’s College World Series, the first since 2014, with BU opening the tournament with No. 10 Oklahoma on Thursday, June 1, at 8:30 p.m. at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Baylor enters the eight-team field as the largest upset coming out of the Super Regional round, with the Lady Bears knocking off No. 2 Arizona in three games at the Tucson Super Regional to become the first No. 15 seed to advance to the WCWS since Tennessee upset No. 2 Michigan in 2010.

BU was one of four lower seeds to upset a higher-seeded opponent, joined by No. 9 Texas A&M, No. 10 Oklahoma, and No. 13 LSU. The top-8 seeds who advanced out of the Supers round were No. 1 Florida, No. 3 Oregon, No. 5 UCLA, and No. 6 Washington. Baylor has a 3-2 mark against the tournament field in 2017, notching wins over Oklahoma, UCLA, and Washington.

The tournament kicks off on June 1 at 11 a.m., with Florida and Texas A&M facing off. UCLA versus LSU follows at 1:30 p.m., with an afternoon intermission before Oregon versus Washington at 6 p.m. and Baylor versus Oklahoma in the nightcap at 8:30 p.m.

Baylor’s tournament opening contest with the Sooners will be nationally televised on ESPN2, while fans can also tune in to ESPN Central Texas to hear the radio call from Dan Ingham.

Baylor enters the series with a 45-26 all-time NCAA Tournament record, including a 31-20 mark away from Waco and a 5-6 record at the WCWS.

Gia Rodoni notched back-to-back no-hitters, spinning no-no’s against Kent State and No. 12 James Madison during the Waco Regional. Rodoni became the eighth player in NCAA history to pitch multiple no-hitters in a single NCAA Tournament, joining the likes of Monica Abbott, Cat Osterman, and Lisa Fernandez.

Baylor finished third at the Big 12 Softball Championship, reinstated for the first time since 2010. Jessie Scroggins, Shelby Friudenberg, and Kelsee Selman were named to the Big 12 All-Tournament Team, highlighted by Scroggins, who led all Big 12 hitters on the weekend with an incredible .714 hitting clip.

Baylor landed a program-record 10 Big 12 postseason accolades, including Jessie Scroggins as the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, four first team All-Big 12 selections, two second team honorees, and three All-Freshman team members.

Baylor landed six Academic All-Big 12 selections, including five first-teamers and all four seniors.

Lindsey Cargill became the 10th Baylor Lady Bear to earn CoSIDA Academic All-America honors, named to the second team for her accomplishments both in the classroom and on the field.

Kyla Walker has built a steady lead in the single-hits count, already setting a new school record after topping the previous mark of 81.

Cargill set a new Baylor program record, with 248 career hits. The senior snapped Naomi Fitzgerald’s (1998-2001) record, the first in a long line of prolific hitters under the direction of head coach Glenn Moore and associate head coach Mark Lumley to top Fitzgerald’s record.

Cargill and Walker both carry batting averages over the single-season average record, set by Kyla in 2016 (.415). Cargill (.430) and Walker (.422) continue to land among the top averages and hit totals in the country.

Shelby Friudenberg launched her 40th home run of her career, tying Linsey Hays (2012-2016) for No. 3 on Baylor’s career leaderboard. The junior is now just four home runs shy of tying the program record.

Baylor matched a program-record with six NFCA All-Region selections: Lindsey Cargill (first team), Kelsee Selman (second team), Shelby Friudenberg (second team), Kyla Walker (second team), Ari Hawkins (third team), and Jessie Scroggins (third team).