• All-American ace leads No.16 Baylor softball into 2014 season

    Whitney Canion

    The thermometer may say it’s still winter, but the start of Baylor softball says it’s spring.

    Head coach Glenn Moore’s Lady Bears begin the 2014 season tomorrow at a tournament in Las Vegas. Ranked 16th nationally, Baylor softball returns eight starters from last year’s squad that finished 42-17 (third in the Big 12) and reached the NCAA postseason for the eighth time in 10 years.

    The Lady Bears are picked to finish second in the Big 12 this spring, behind only defending national champion Oklahoma. Top returnees include senior pitcher Whitney Canion, Baylor’s all-time leader in strikeouts and wins, and junior outfielder Kaitlyn Thumann, the team leader last spring in virtually every offensive category.

    Canion, a rare sixth-year senior who has lost two years to injury during her Baylor career, is one of 50 players on the watch list for the 2014 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. With a healthy senior year, Canion could finish her time at Baylor among the top 15 strikeout pitchers in NCAA history.

    Baylor opens the season this weekend at the Sportco Kick-Off Classic with two games Friday, two more Saturday and one on Sunday. The Lady Bears then return home to open their home schedule next weekend, hosting the Getterman Classic Feb. 14-16. Season tickets are available now.

    Sic ’em, Baylor softball!

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