By Matthew Soderberg | Sports Writer, Video by Drake Toll | Broadcast Managing Editor
In the aftermath of Monday’s NCAA vote to allow spring-sport athletes another year of eligibility, Baylor softball head coach Glenn Moore said there are good and bad consequences that will follow the NCAA’s choice.
“This decision is going to prove to be a little more complicated than just the fact that we have a returning class,” Moore said. “Certainly I will be excited with this senior class coming back, and we’ll work through all the things we need to. I also think it was a very fair decision. No decision is perfect, but I have a lot of gratitude for our administration.”
Baylor softball seniors Nicky Dawson, Taylor Ellis and Gia Rodoni have chosen to come back for another season of collegiate play. However first baseman Goose McGlaun is still considering her options, and graduate outfielder Kyla Walker has chosen to move on to her career after collegiate softball.
Walker was a fifth year senior after missing the 2019 season with an injury and ranks third all-time in program history with 68 multi-hit games and is tied for first in career triples. She placed on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll in every semester on campus, and Moore said the outfielder left her mark on Baylor softball.
“I told her I was disappointed that her name was not on the All-American wall,” Moore said. “She deserved it. Some things are out of our control, and that’s life. Every year Kyla went through some kind of injury that prohibited her from probably becoming an All-American … We’re going to miss her, and those shoes are mighty big for a little athlete, but they’re big shoes to fill.”
The NCAA’s vote allows for larger roster sizes, more scholarships and eligibility relief for those already on campus. With seniors staying on that wouldn’t have had the opportunity to, and with five freshmen coming into the program next season, the Lady Bears are set for a full locker room. Moore said they had 23 players on the roster this season and 23 lockers to fill in the locker room and having such a large lineup should only have good results for their play in 2021.
“I assured [the incoming freshmen] that this didn’t change for them scholarship wise, but more competition means you improve your game,” Moore said. “That’s kind of the approach we’re taking with them. Just get here and expect a lot of great intersquad games where the cream will rise to the top, and we’ll put together a pretty good product on the field.”