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6 things to know about Baylor softball

  1. Head coach Glenn Moore will lead a deep, experienced squad in 2016. The Lady Bears return eight position players who started at least 30 games last year, for a team that reached the postseason for a program-record fifth straight year. In the circle, three pitchers who accounted for 37 of the Lady Bears’ 41 wins in 2015, and nearly 90 percent of all innings pitched, will anchor a deep pitching staff.

  2. The Lady Bears will prepare for Big 12 play with a challenging pre-conference schedule that pits Baylor against a number of other top programs, including Arizona State, California, Missouri, Mississippi State, Oregon State and Louisiana-Lafayette. They open the season Feb. 12 at Getterman Stadium with a three-game weekend series against McNeese State.

  3. Senior Linsey Hays enters her final season with two major hitting records within reach. In just three seasons, she reached third place on Baylor's all-time RBI list with 129, and is tied for fifth with 27 home runs. With a strong senior season, she’ll challenge Chelsi Lake’s program records of 44 homers and 184 RBI.

  4. Heather Stearns returns as the staff ace as a senior in 2016. Facing the tall task of following pitching legend Whitney Canion in 2015, she answered the challenge with 21 wins and 239 strikeouts in 35 starts, all of which ranked among the top 10 single-season performances in program history.

  5. After a record-setting freshman season, first baseman Shelby Friudenberg will be counted on to provide power in the Lady Bears lineup as a sophomore. Friudenberg hit a Baylor freshman-record 18 home runs last year, which also tied for the second-highest single-season total in program history.

  6. Baylor Softball is a family affair for freshman Kyla Walker. Her older sister, Kayce, wrote her name throughout the Baylor record books in a stellar career from 2009 to 2012. Kyla is expected to be the starting right fielder in 2016, the same position where Kayce was an All-Big 12 performer.