Oklahoma opens season atop Big 12 poll

Sooners return five All-Big 12 players from the 2019 season, but were picked to finish just ahead of Texas
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Lynnsie Elam (left) and Shannon Saile

Lynnsie Elam (left) and Shannon Saile

The headline isn’t that Oklahoma has been picked to win its ninth consecutive Big 12 Conference championship.

It’s that somebody else received votes in the preseason coaches poll — enough to nearly topple the Sooners from the top spot.

Texas got three first-place votes and finished with 33 voting points, just one vote and one point behind OU (four first-place votes, 34 points).

The preseason poll was announced Thursday, and it’s the ninth year in a row and 12th time in the last 13 seasons that Oklahoma was picked to win the Big 12.

Oklahoma State finished third with 26 points, ahead of Baylor (21), Texas Tech (14), Iowa State (13) and Kansas (6).

Big 12 softball poll

The 2020 season was canceled by Coronavirus, so OU remains the only team in league history to go undefeated in back-to-back seasons (2018-2019).

The Sooners are undefeated in their last 54 conference series (50-0-4 in that span) and have not lost a conference series since 2011.

Oklahoma returns five All-Big 12 selections from 2019: redshirt senior pitcher Giselle Juarez, senior utility player Jocelyn Alo and junior utility player Grace Green were first-team All-Big 12, and redshirt senior pitcher Shannon Saile was second-team. Infielder Grace Lyons joined Green on the All-Freshman Team.

Green was also named Big 12 Freshman of the Year and head coach Patty Gasso was selected as the league's Coach of the Year.

The Sooners in 2020 were 20-4 before the season was canceled and finished the year ranked No. 6 in the final NFCA poll.

OU has won four national championships and been to the Women’s College World Series 13 times under Gasso, who is a 12-time Big 12 coach of the year.