Softball heads to Stillwater, feeling pressure to improve in conference

By Krista Pirtle
Sports Writer

Every Baylor team thus far has advanced to the postseason.

Softball, however, is in jeopardy of breaking that streak.

The Lady Bears are battling out for the sixth-place spot in the Big 12 with Oklahoma State, their opponent for this weekend.

“I don’t think this weekend will tell the tale, but if it does come down to one of these two teams, this weekend will determine it,” head coach Glenn Moore said. “We’re fighting for sixth place, and six teams go out of the Big 12. Right now I think this is a huge weekend for us.”

So far this season, things have not gone according to plan for the team with World Series aspirations.

After being the first team in program history to advance to the semifinals of the series last season, anything short of winning the title was deemed unacceptable.

“Well we’re not in good shape according to where we wanted to be this time,” Moore said. “But we’ve had some obstacles that we weren’t expecting as well. I still think our destiny is in our hands as far as post season goes.”

Inconsistency has plagued this team, and the loss of junior pitcher Whitney Canion has not helped either.

“We’re a little frustrated,” senior third baseman Megan Turk said. “Definitely worried about our consistency. I don’t know if worried is the right word. We have been very inconsistent this year.”

Usually, inconsistency can be pinned on the freshmen, but that is not the case for the 2012 Lady Bear squad.

Baylor totals over 30 RBIs in conference play with the freshmen accounting for half of them.

“I’m going to put this in the hands of who it should matter the most to,” Moore said. “They’re the ones that really haven’t performed well enough for us to win.”

Sophomore catcher Clare Hosack lives with Turk and knows what the three seniors are capable of.

“They have leadership, experience and are very good at what they do,” Hosack said. “They know how to make us better as a team, and that’s very important.”

While the blame has been placed on the leadership of the seniors, the mentality of the inconsistency is a problem without an easy fix.

“I don’t have a magic wand to wave over this team,” Moore said. “To me it has to be internal.”

Coming off an eight-run loss in College Station Tuesday evening came after a weekend in Lubbock where the team thought it was playing its best ball.

Now the team sees the loss as a boost into a big weekend on the road.

“Oklahoma State is a mirror image of Baylor right now,” Moore said. “They haven’t hit particularly well overall; neither have we. They honestly haven’t pitched that well. It’s going to be a dogfight. One of these two teams will go to the post season. The team that shows up and outplays the other will be the victor and have a pretty good shot at the postseason.”

An aggressive mindset at the plate will be vital for the Lady Bears to intimidate the struggling pitchers for Oklahoma State.

Mental breakdowns need to quit happening. A competitive nature needs to overwhelm the green and gold.

“In order to get to the postseason,” Hosack said, “we need to win.”

The first game of the three part series will take place at 7 p.m. in Stillwater, Okla.