For the fourth season in a row and the seventh time in the last eight years, the Oklahoma softball team has topped the Big 12 Preseason Coaches' Poll that was released Wednesday. The Sooners received five of the seven first-place votes. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team.
The Sooners led Big 12 teams with 35 points, while Baylor received the other two first-place votes and ranked second with 32 points. Texas was slotted third by the coaches with 26 points, followed by Kansas (20), Oklahoma State (14), Texas Tech (13) and Iowa State (7).
The four-time defending Big 12 champions return four of the seven Sooners that earned All-Big 12 honors last season, including Paige Parker, who was Big 12 Freshman of the Year and Big 12 Pitcher of the Year. In addition, six of OU’s eight all-region selections will be back for the 2016 season.
OU went 14-2 in the Big 12 in 2015 to capture the eighth regular season conference crown in program history and become the first team in league annals to win it four seasons in a row. In fact, no other program has won more than two consecutive league titles.
Overall, Oklahoma posted a 49-9 record last season and reached the NCAA Super Regionals for the sixth season in a row, tying for the second longest active streak in the country.
Oklahoma’s 2016 season starts on Friday, Feb. 12 against Minnesota and Washington at the Sportco Kickoff Classic in Las Vegas. The Sooners are also scheduled to face Lamar, Syracuse and Long Beach State in the tournament.