By Max Calderone | Sports Writer
May 28, 2017: For most Baylor students, it was just another summer evening. But for Shelby “Goose” McGlaun and the rest of her softball teammates, it was no ordinary Sunday.
The Lady Bears were trailing 5-3 in the deciding Game three of the Tucson Super Regional against Arizona. Momentum was not on their side. Baylor needed to score three runs to keep its 2017 Women’s College World Series hopes alive.
“It was awesome,” McGlaun said. “Just thinking about it now, it reflects all of our hard work as a team last year. Individually, I think it could be something to set the tone for the rest of my career here at Baylor.”
The freshman infielder McGlaun blasted a three-run shot over the center field wall, putting the Lady Bears ahead 6-5. Baylor was able to close out the victory over the Wildcats and move on to the Women’s College World Series for the fourth time in program history.
Now a sophomore, Goose McGlaun will be a main cog in the Baylor machine attempting to reach the WCWS in back-to-back years for the first time ever.
McGlaun hit .251 last season and tied for the team-high with 11 home runs. She drove in 35 runs and also appeared in the pitching circle 19 times, posting a 6-2 record with a 2.43 ERA. She is the only two-way player listed on Baylor’s roster, playing both as a pitcher and hitter.
“I don’t know if I prefer one or the other,” McGlaun said. “I think I’d rather be in the position to help my team win, whether that’s pitching or hitting, wherever Coach Moore needs me in the lineup. I’ll just do my job.”
Head coach Glenn Moore, now in his 18th season at Baylor, said McGlaun is as valuable as they come.
“She’s a coach’s dream,” Moore said. “She’s just a hard worker and talented. She’s a great teammate and she really checks all the boxes.”
McGlaun’s power at the plate and prowess as a pitcher will be essential to Baylor’s long—term success in the 2018 season. But there’s something else that fans adore the most.
“I think it’s cool that she has desired to keep her nickname from when she was young,” Moore said. “It’s catchy, the fans like it, the young girls like it. I think it’s neat that she has a little bit of personality.”
McGlaun prefers to go by Goose, rather than her birth name of Shelby. Her parents used to read her the bedtime story, “Time for Bed”, and began calling her “Goose.” The nickname has stuck ever since.
“It said ‘It’s time for bed little goose, little goose. The stars are out and on the loose.'” McGlaun said. “They read it to me every night.”
Though it began as a childhood nickname, “Goose” stuck throughout her years playing softball. Upon coming to Baylor and learning there was another Shelby on the roster, McGlaun and her teammates found an easy way to differentiate the two.
The nickname is a clear reflection of her personality, evidenced by the “Space Jam” theme song that will blare out of the loudspeakers every time McGlaun comes up to bat this season.
“When I think of a goose, I think of something goofy,” McGlaun said. “I think I’m pretty goofy myself. It’s just something that describes me.”
All jokes aside, Moore had even more praise for his star player and her persona off the field.
“She’s the definition of what anybody would want their daughter to be,” Moore said. “She’s not only a great person, but a great Christian young lady as well.”
Baylor will open its 2018 season on Friday against Northwestern State in Waco. McGlaun has high aspirations for the year as a whole.
“For this season, I think we definitely want to get back to the World Series and win some more ballgames there,” McGlaun said. “Winning the Big 12 first would be a big step in getting there.”
With all eyes on her, McGlaun isn’t feeling any pressure. She’s ready to lead her team back to another postseason berth.
“I think there’s enough people in this lineup that help set the table and can produce as well,” McGlaun said. “There’s no pressure. I’m just ready to have some fun.”
McGlaun and Baylor open the season at 6 p.m. Friday against Northwestern State. The Lady Bears will then play a doubleheader Saturday with first pitch slated for 2 p.m and the second one set to start at 4:30 p.m.