#16 Baylor Softball 2017 Preview

Baylor Bears
Overall Rank: #16
Conference Rank: #2 Big 12 
Baylor had to make the long trip to Oregon during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. The Ducks were too much for the Bears, but this Baylor team has the potential to stay much closer to home during the regional round of the 2017 tournament. The key for Baylor will be replacing Heather Stearns on the mound. She was the team’s workhorse in the circle and went 20-8 with a 2.10 ERA during her senior season. Kendall Potts, who boasted a 1.93 ERA will be asked to turn into the team’s top pitcher. Potts is not a great strikeout pitcher like Stearns, but the junior has proven that she can be a dominate force. Senior Kelsee Selman and sophomore Gia Rodoni will look to fill the secondary pitcher role behind Potts.
2016: 45-14, 13-4
2016 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Glenn Moore
Key Departed Players:
Heather Stearns, P, 2.10 ERA, 179.2 IP, 212 SO
Sarah Smith, .400 BA, 10 HR, 48 RBI
Linsey Hays, .307 BA, 13 HR, 44 RBI
Key Returning Players:
Kendall Potts, P, 1.93 ERA, 105.1 IP, 82 SO
Kyla Walker, OF, .415 BA, 0 HR, 11 RBI
Lindsey Cargill, OF/IF, .360 BA, 1 HR, 17 RBI
Jessica Scroggins, OF, .356 BA, 6 HR, 30 RBI
Shelby Friudenberg, IF, .315 BA, 11 HR, 51 RBI
Baylor will miss Sarah Smith and Linsey Hays at the plate. Both hit over .300, reached double digits in homeruns and drove in at least 40 runs. However, there is plenty of power left. Most notable is Shelby Friudenberg. The junior belted 11 long balls last season and led the squad with 51 RBIs. Jessie Scroggins is another talented junior. She hit six homeruns to go along with her 18 doubles. As long as players like Caitlin Charlton, Ari Hawkins and Sydney Christensen can boost their batting average, Friudenberg and Scroggins will get plenty of opportunities to drive in runs again this year.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament