By Kaitlyn DeHaven | Digital Managing Editor
After placing third in the Getterman Classic last weekend, the No. 21-ranked Baylor softball team will take the field Friday for the Baylor Invitational at Getterman Stadium.
The Lady Bears (7-4) will compete against three teams this weekend: North Texas, Louisiana and Kent State. Louisiana is a Top 10 team.
Baylor will face North Texas at 3 p.m Friday. The team is 8-1 this season with their only loss against California Baptist. UNT’s junior outfielder Katie Clark is one of UNT’s leaders so far this season with four hits, two runs and a .588 batting average.
No. 10-ranked Louisiana will be Baylor’s most difficult matchup this weekend, as the team is undefeated this season. Sophomore outfielder Raina O’Neal has 16 hits, 10 runs and a .471 batting average this season.
Kent State sophomore utility player Kaitlyn Miller will be one player the Lady Bears need to watch throughout the weekend as she has six hits, three runs and a .400 batting average, even though the team has only played five games.
It’s no secret that the Lady Bears have struggled a bit with pitching this season without their senior ace Gia Rodoni, who is sitting out this season after having knee surgery. With both North Texas and Louisiana having seasoned pitchers, head coach Glenn Moore said the loss on the mound might be a bit more obvious this weekend.
Freshman outfielder Lou Gilbert said that while it’s in the back of her mind that she has to follow last season’s team and try to perform to the same caliber, she feels that her coaches have done a great job preparing her to do so.
“I definitely know [Rodoni] has paved the way for a great program and I just have to come in behind her and fill those shoes,” Gilbert said. “Coach Moore and [associate head coach coach Mark Lumley] are working with me and making sure the shoes fits as soon as I put it on.”
Freshman third baseman/pitcher Kassidy Krupit said that although the team has faced a lot of adversity without Rodoni, it’s making the team better as a whole.
“It’s making people step up, and that’s just making the team as a whole better by making everybody play their roles,” Krupit said. “Everyone is just making the team better at this point.”
Moore said it is vital that the team accepts where they’re at right now and looks to move forward, rather than being disappointed that they aren’t meeting unrealistic goals.
“We will see the fruit of our labor down the road,” Moore said. “We have to keep the next tree in sight; we can’t look at the mountaintop right now.”
Fans looking to watch the action live can find it on Facebook via Baylor Softball’s Facebook Live stream all weekend.