Baylor softball finished last spring ranked fourth in the country, reaching the semifinals of the College World Series at the end of the best season in program history. Those in the know agree that was no fluke, ranking head coach Glenn Moore’s Lady Bears No. 7 nationally in both the 2012 preseason ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 and the USA Today/NFCA coaches poll.
Baylor returns eight starters from last season’s squad, led by All-American pitcher Whitney Canion, the Lady Bears’ career strikeout leader after just two full seasons. Canion followed up last season’s success at Baylor by pitching for the USA Softball women’s national team in the 2011 World Cup of Softball. There, she defeated the Czech Republic in Team USA’s opener and beat Great Britain to clinch Team USA’s spot in the championship game, notching a 1.08 ERA in three games with 16 strikeouts in 13 innings against the world’s best.
At No. 7 in the nation, Baylor softball joins a growing list of BU programs ranked not just in the top 25, but among the top 10 in the country: women’s basketball (a unanimous No. 1), women’s tennis (No. 5), equestrian (No. 5), men’s basketball (No. 6), men’s tennis (No. 8). Other top-25 programs include football (No. 12/13), soccer (No. 15 in final 2011 RPI), women’s track and field (No. 16) and women’s golf (No. 20/21).
Sic ’em, Baylor softball!
[Worth noting: A special season ticket deal for both Baylor baseball and softball, based on the temperature in Waco on Jan. 13, has prices set at just $57 for adults and $25 for youth. Those prices run through Jan. 29; click here to purchase. The Lady Bears open the 2012 season Feb. 10-12 by hosting the Getterman/QTI Classic.]