Former Texas A&M outfielder Baylee Klingler has signed with Washington, which just made its third-straight trip to the Women’s College World Series. She announced her decision Tuesday via Twitter and will join a squad that loses just one position player.
“Excited to announce that I will be continuing my academic and athletic career at the University of Washington!” Klingler tweeted. “Thank you to everyone who has genuinely supported me throughout this process. Excited to have the opportunity to play for an amazing program w awesome gals! GO DAWGS!”
Klingler posted three pictures with the tweet, two of them with her in a Huskies’ uniform.
Klingler, who was expected to be a cornerstone of a young Aggie team, announced she’d transfer May 31 after a solid season in which she earned a spot on the All-Southeastern Conference freshman team. She batted .289 with five home runs and 29 RBIs, starting 55 games for the 28-27 Aggies who made their 18th straight trip to the NCAA tournament.
Klingler started the season at first base but moved to third base midway through the season when Riley Sartain, the team’s only senior, moved from third base to shortstop. Klingler, who played the last 25 games at third, had a .986 fielding percentage with four errors.
This season, Washington was 52-9, including 2-2 in the WCWS, falling to Pac-12 Conference rival UCLA 3-0 in 10 innings. UCLA, which went on to defeat Oklahoma in the championship series, tied Washington for the Pac 12 regular-season crown. It was the third straight year Washington won at least 50 games and reached at least the WCWS semifinals.
Klingler is joining a loaded team but will have a chance to be in the starting lineup.
Washington had only two senior starters – All-America pitcher Taran Alvelo and center fielder Amirah Milloy. Washington’s first baseman was junior Kaija Gibson (.262, 2 HRs, 24 RBIs) and its starting third baseman was freshman SilentRain Espinoza (.324, 2 HRs, 18 RBIs). The Huskies’ designated player was sophomore Emma Helm (.242, 4 HRs, 13 RBIs).
Klingler, who committed to A&M before her freshman season at Dickinson, was rated the country’s No. 4 recruit in the class of 2018 by FloSoftball.com. She joins an incoming class for Washington that includes pitcher/first baseman Kelley Lynch, ranked the top recruit in the Class of 2019 and outfielder Jadelyn Allchin, who is ranked fourth.
Klingler is A&M’s fourth returning starter in two years to transfer. Last year, the Aggies lost pitcher/designated player Samantha Show (Oklahoma State) and outfielders Sarah Hudek (Louisiana-Lafayette) and Keeli Milligan (ULL).