Lindsey Cargill might be the most versatile player to ever wear a Baylor softball uniform.
She’s played every position on the field except first base and pitcher. She pitched at Robinson High School four years ago, so she didn’t think it was outlandish to ask Baylor pitching coach Britni Sneed Newman if she could give it a shot.
“She just thinks it’s funny,” Cargill said. “But I’m confident enough.”
Confidence has never been an issue for Cargill. It’s evident in how close she gets to home plate when she plays third base. She almost dares batters to hit the ball her way even though she just started playing the position this year.
“I really love playing third base because you’re in the game more,” Cargill said. “Out there (in the outfield) I want to yell and scream and no one will hear me. I actually want to get as close to possible. It kind of gives me an edge over them.”
Cargill takes the same aggressive approach at the plate. She leads the Big 12 with a .457 batting average and is on pace to break the Baylor single season record of .415 set by Kyla Walker last season.
Through her first three seasons, Cargill hit .334 but she’s been phenomenal this year for the No. 13 Lady Bears coming into this weekend’s three-game series against Oklahoma State. Friday’s 5 p.m. doubleheader will be followed by Saturday’s 2 p.m. series finale at Getterman Stadium.
“If she had played at the level she had the first three years she would have still been one of our better players,” said Baylor coach Glenn Moore. “But she’s gone to a whole ‘nother level. She’s more disciplined and we’re doing more power slapping this year.”
Cargill saw how often Walker reached base last season as a slap hitter, and decided to make the switch from a conventional hitting approach. Batting left handed with tremendous speed, Cargill often beats out infield hits because she gets down the first base line so quickly.
Cargill leads the Big 12 with 64 hits and 28 stolen bases and ranks fifth with 40 runs. She set a school record with a 22-game hitting streak that ended last weekend against Oklahoma.
While Cargill has a phenomenal .503 on-base percentage, she’s mature enough to take it in stride when she doesn’t reach base.
“It’s my senior year and I say let’s not get upset every time I don’t get on base,” Cargill said. “I just try to get contact on the ball. I’ve tried to get something from all our slappers and put it into my game.”
When Cargill reaches base, Moore is confident enough to let her attempt to steal bases whenever she believes the time is right. He trusts her instincts.
“I’ve given her more freedom on base to do what she wants to do because she’s earned that,” Moore said. “Her timing is impeccable and the way she reads the defense. She’s locked in.”
Cargill enjoyed a superb four-year career at Robinson and honed her game even more by playing for the Buzz travel team that was coached by her father, Mike Cargill.
Moore has a roster filled with tremendous Central Texas talent. Six are starters including Cargill, first baseman Shelby Friudenberg from Bruceville-Eddy, shortstop Taylor Ellis from Midway, leftfielder Maddison Kettler from West, rightfielder Kyla Walker from Franklin and catcher Sydney Christensen from Crawford.
Moore has recruited Central Texas more widely in recent years because his recruits have increased their skills by playing more travel ball against the best high school players in the state and across the country.
“The Central Texas talent is here,” Moore said. “It’s just a matter of that talent being developed. Over the last 10 years there’s been a huge commitment to developing it. We’ve been able to recruit them and win because of their commitment.”
After finishing her Baylor career this spring, Cargill is considering playing professional softball for the Texas Charge which is based in San Marcos. After earning her bachelor’s degree in business last year, she hopes to graduate in December with a master’s degree in sport pedagogy.
Cargill got engaged to Baylor baseball player Steven McLean on Easter and plans to get married in the summer of 2018.
“It was his birthday on Easter,” Cargill said. “I gave him his cake and he said I want to give you your birthday present early. All of a sudden he gets down on one knee and he asked me to marry him.”
Cargill wants to coach college softball but first she wants to help Baylor get back to the College World Series for the first time since 2014 when she was a freshman.
“She puts a smile on my face just thinking about Lindsey her whole career,” Moore said. “She’s been a pleasure to coach and has brought it every day in practice and games. She’s all about winning and competing. This community loves her and deservedly so because she’s poured her heart into Baylor University.”