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Former Arizona shortstop Amber Toven transfers to Baylor

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Arizona softball vs. Loyola Chicago at Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium on March 6, 2022.
Photo by Isaiah Willhoite / Arizona Athletics

The name “Baylor” carries a lot of negative emotions for Arizona softball fans who watched the Bears come back from a 0-1 deficit in the 2017 Tucson Super Regional to keep the Wildcats from going to the Women’s College World Series. One former Arizona player found something positive there, though—her future.

Former Arizona shortstop Amber Toven has announced that she is transferring to Waco. She made the announcement on social media on Saturday afternoon.

The rising sophomore from Northridge, Calif. is one of five players who opted to put her name in the transfer portal after Arizona’s latest appearance at the WCWS. Almost all of them were underclassmen who appeared to be blocked at their positions and played little during the 2022 season.

Toven appeared in 47 games, including seven starts at shortstop when starter Sophia Carroll was out with a concussion. Toven was commonly known as a glove-first infielder, but she showed considerable promise at the plate in limited appearances.

Toven had a .286 average in 14 at-bats. She had four hits—including a double and two home runs—and three walks to give her a 1.246 on-base plus slugging percentage. Her slugging percentage was .857 and her on-base percentage was .389, albeit primarily during a weaker part of Arizona’s schedule. Her number of appearances gave her an extremely small sample size, but Toven’s OPS would have trailed only All-American Allie Skaggs and her SLG% would have led the team if she qualified.

When Carroll was healthy, Toven appeared exclusively as a pinch runner. There was a risk that this state of affairs could continue next season with Carroll entering her junior year. The Wildcats also have several other players who can handle shortstop duties, including rising junior Blaise Biringer and incoming freshman Logan Cole.

Baylor may present more opportunities for playing time. The 2022 roster lists just three infielders and two utility players. The Bears rotated players at shortstop this season, including sophomore INF/P Aliyah Binford and junior utility player Campbell Selman.