By Braden Simmons | Reporter
Baylor softball [8-2] will host the Baylor Invitational starting against Tulsa at 3:45 p.m. Friday in Getterman Stadium. The team will play Illinois shortly after in a doubleheader at 6 p.m.
Baylor is coming off an undefeated weekend of play in the Getterman Classic, but sophomore outfielder Josie Bower is excited about the upcoming challenge of a new tournament.
“It’s a very impressive set of teams,” Bower said. “It’s really exciting to see that type of competition. We started well in Clearwater against Auburn and Louisville. It’s kind of exciting to have them here at home.”
Baylor hosts two other schools outside of the opening doubleheader against Tulsa and Illinois. On Saturday, they will have another doubleheader starting with Texas State at 2:35 p.m. Then, the Lady Bears will play the 17th ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers at 4:45 p.m.
Head Coach Glenn Moore said his team is ready, but also knows the competition they are facing will be tougher than usual this early in the season.
“I told the girls that somebody could play really well this weekend and not win a ballgame,” Moore said. “This early on, you could play poorly and get rewarded. But it’s doubtful this weekend that you’ll be rewarded for playing poorly. We need to play well.”
The Lady Bears have familiarity with all of the teams coming into the tournament except for Minnesota, but Moore said the team knows how strong of an opponent the Golden Gophers are.
“Any time you have an opportunity to bring in a team like Minnesota, you certainly want to do that,” Moore said. “We rearranged some things, which is the reason we’re not playing a true tournament format. But we’re getting in some quality games against good opponents.”
Even though the competition may be amped up in this tournament, Bower is confident in the team’s ability to compete this weekend.
“We need to keep that same aggression that we had in those five games at the Getterman Classic,” Bower said. “Even though these are some really good teams, I believe we can beat all of them.”
Redshirt senior outfielder Kyla Walker likes where the team is at in the preseason so far but knows they still have improvements to make as the season goes along.
“We’ve played pretty well so far, but I still feel we could do better at timely hitting and aspects of that,” Walker said. “Personally, I have to get better in the outfield. There are always things we can get better at.”
Walker said she still feels like she is recovering from hip surgery but feels “pretty good being back.”
After the Baylor Invitational, the Lady Bears will play Louisiana Tech Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in Getterman Stadium.