Lady Bears Clinch 2014-2015 Big 12 Regular Season Title
If they lose out, they'll still maintain at least a share of the title. They won't lose out. In an uncharacteristically close game against Texas Tech in Lubbock, Kim Mulkey's team won the conference again, continuing a 21st Century trend.
It was a sloppy game by the Lady Bears, in which they gave up 22 turnovers that translated to 21 Tech points. A quieter-than-usual night by Nina Davis allowed Niya Johnson to lead the team with 17 points. Winning at home against TCU on Saturday will give Baylor sole possession of the title.
Chrome Softball Helmets Disallowed by NCAA Rules
The helmets that we were so excited about for softball have been disallowed by NCAA rules, which is a great disappointment to us all. The issue is a bit murky, so we're not sure if it was an oversight by Baylor, by the manufacturer, or a new precedent set by the NCAA. Yesterday Adande commented on the fanshot reporting the issue with this:
3.8.3 Defense. A defensive player may wear a helmet. If more than one player wears a helmet, the helmets must be the same color. If a pitcher wears a helmet, it must have a nonglossy finish.
Now, I couldn't find an official copy of the 2015 softball rulebook online, so I can't confirm that this is the exact wording of the rule. If it is, then it suggests that the NCAA made a subjective judgment due to the possibility that one of Baylor's pitchers could elect to wear one of the helmets on the mound. None of Baylor's active pitching staff wear helmets, so I'm not sure what to think.
I do feel that I have the editorial authority to say that the ruling itself, even if valid, it extremely stupid. So long as a pitcher is not wearing the helmet, what's the harm in being creative with uniform designs? It furthers the sport by drawing increased interest from the fan base, and in a sport like softball that tends to draw smaller crowds, any promotion is a good promotion. Much like the ban on Baylor's postseason basketball uniforms last year, it demonstrates that the NCAA is more concerned with power struggles over victimless minutiae than it is with solving real issues that are making life more difficult for student athletes, their families, and their classmates.
Anyway, softball takes on No. 2 Oregon tonight at 6:30 in Getterman Stadium. I suggest you show up. The game kicks off the Baylor Invitational that also includes North Texas, Abilene Christian, and Tulsa.
Tennis in Action Tomorrow
Men's and women's tennis are both tied up in important contests tomorrow. The men will host Purdue and attempt to bounce back from their ITA semifinal loss to Oklahoma, while the women are in Ann Arbor to meet No. 15 Michigan. A major away win would be a nice feather in Joey Scrivano's cap.
The Daily Bear
Chrome bear wishes the NCAA would care more about athletes and less about minor uniform rules.