By Nathan Keil | Sports Writer
Baylor softball senior pitcher Kelsee Selman is developing quite a resume. The Lufkin native was named Big 12 Pitcher of the Week for the third time this season.
Selman was crucial in Baylor’s three-game sweep over Texas Tech last weekend. She went 2-0, earning the win in the series opener on Friday afternoon and in the finale on Sunday. She also collected the save, her third of the season, in game two on Friday.
She previously won the award on March 7 and 28.
Baylor head coach Glenn Moore has been impressed with Selman’s consistency all year.
“Selman is pretty consistent for us. We know what we’re going to get out of her,” Moore said. “I think she’s locked in right now to compete. Everything is working for her. Sometimes you just don’t talk to a kid whenever they’re in that zone. She’s been in it for quite a while, ever since California. Maybe most of the year for that matter. She’s thrown really well.”
In her three appearances, Selman pitched 14 1/3 innings, allowing just one run on seven hits. She walked two and struck out 18 including a career-high 11 in the 5-1 win on Friday.
Selman credits her pitching coach, Britni Newman, for bringing out the best in her in the circle this season.
“I just knew I had to come out and be dominant, and I knew we would score runs,” Selman said after Baylor’s doubleheader sweep of Texas Tech on March 31. “I just kind of went after batters, and Coach Newman did a good job calling pitches.”
Selman has emerged in 2017 as the team’s ace. She leads the team with a 17-3 record with a 1.34 earned run average. She has made 27 appearances in the circle, seven more than sophomore Gia Rodoni, who is second with 20. Selman also leads the team in saves with three. In 120 1/3 innings this season, Selman has allowed just 23 earned runs on 79 hits. She has struck out 116 to just 21 walks, good for a strikeout to walk ratio of 5.5.
Command in the circle was an issue for Selman a year ago, as she walked more batters than she struck out (36-35). It became her focal point of improvement this season.
“I struggled with my control last year,” Selman said after the team’s opening tournament in Tucson, Ariz. “My mindset this year is to go at them, give them strikes and give them something to hit. My big thing has been just to work on my control and just go out at the hitters.”
Opponents are hitting just .183 against her.
Selman’s dominance in the circle is a big reason why Baylor is in the position that it is in. The Lady Bears currently rank No. 13 in the country with a 32-6 record and No. 9 in the Rating Percentage Index (RPI), a tool used to evaluate teams based on their wins, losses and quality of their schedule. Baylor has a 5-1 record in Big 12 play and sits only behind Oklahoma State (6-0) and Oklahoma (3-0) in the standings.
Her confidence in the circle is contagious, spreading through the Baylor bats at the plate and in the defense behind her. Sophomore outfielder Kyla Walker said that Selman has electric stuff and, it gives them a chance to win every game.
“We’re really confident in what she can do,” Walker said after Selman’s performance against Arizona. “She spins the ball really well and keeps in low in the zone or high enough where they can’t touch it.”
Selman and the Lady Bears will put their 18-1 record at Getterman Stadium on the line when they host Iowa State (15-22, 0-6) in a three-game series beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday in Waco.