Hampered by injuries, softball set to open season with international tournament

Senior pitcher Gia Rodoni works quickly in Baylor's 5-0 loss to Oklahoma on March 29. Rodoni will miss the 2019 season after having knee surgery. Lariat File Photo

By Kaitlyn DeHaven | Digital Managing Editor

Baylor softball has a major weekend ahead of them, traveling all the way to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to open its 2019 season. This will be the first international tournament in program history, and it will run from Feb. 7-10 at the Campo de Softball Nancy Almaraz.

The Lady Bears will play some big competitors this weekend, including two top 10 opponents: No. 9 South Carolina on Thursday and No. 3 Washington on Sunday. While there, the team will play five games total.

Junior Goose McGlaun said the season-opening games will be a good test for the team, and a hopefully will be a great way to start the season.

“We’re the first team to play internationally, so we’re excited to see some good competition out there,” McGlaun said. “Those wins are big, and they’ll definitely affect us at the end of the season. We’re just going to go out there, play Baylor softball and do what we’ve been doing the past few weeks at practice.”

Baylor softball took a large hit this season by losing senior outfielder Kyla Walker and senior pitcher Gia Rodoni to injuries. The players will redshirt for this season.

Head Coach Glenn Moore said that while it’s a huge blow to the program, the loss of Rodoni won’t dictate where this team goes completely.

“Fortunately for this team, we have one of the deepest pitching staffs we’ve had in quite a few years,” Moore said. “We just have to develop that bullpen a little quicker without having [Rodoni] to rely on. It’ll give them an opportunity to do that faster than it would have with her bailing them out and pitching the better games.”

Moore said that, luckily, the loss of Rodoni didn’t blindside the team, as they always knew it was a possibility because of her knee surgery. He said that while Rodoni won’t be playing a physical position on the team, she will still be vital to the team’s success this season.

“Although she hasn’t been pitching, she’s been playing a great role of leadership,” Moore said. “We’ll certainly draw on that.”

With these two players out this season, Moore said that it will give some of the other players an opportunity to grow and make an impact this season.

Two of these players are senior pitcher Regan Green and sophomore pitcher Sidney Holman. He said that Green, as a senior, has the opportunity to make a difference this year – both for herself and the team. Moore said Holman, however, will have an opportunity for major growth this season. He said one of the key components regarding that growth will be for he and the team to come around Holman and give her that opportunity to grow.

Junior Taylor Ellis said that this season can definitely be described as a season with a great opportunity for growth. But, she said that the team is looking forward to this growth and is not hesitant about the challenges it could present.

“We’re a young team, and we’re missing a few key components, but we’re not too worried about it,” Ellis said. “We have young people who are willing to step into those roles and really grow this year.”

Moore said ultimately it’s not about where you start, but moreover, about where you finish.

“We have to keep in mind that it’s going to be a process and not freak out about the setbacks we have early on as long as we can use those setbacks to ultimately get us where we desire to be in the end,” Moore said.