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Oklahoma Softball Ranked Unanimous No. 1 Team in USA Softball Poll

The reigning National Champions will hold the top spot headed into the 2022 season.

Oklahoma softball will start 2022 where they left off last June: on top of the mountain.

The Sooners were ranked as the unanimous No. 1 team in the Softball Collegiate Preseason Top 25 poll, USA Softball announced on Tuesday morning.

Last year, Patty Gasso’s Sooners took the scenic route at the Women’s College World Series, playing every possible game en route to the program’s fifth National Championship.

Overall, OU received 625 points and all 25 first-place votes in the poll, which should come as no shock for a team that reloaded after only losing seniors Nicole Mendes, Giselle Juarez and Shannon Saile.

Reigning USA Softball Player of the Year Jocelyn Alo and 2021’s NFCA Freshman of the Year Tiare Jennings return, as well as All-Americans Kinzie Hansen, Grace Lyons and Jayda Coleman. Additionally, standout North Texas pitcher Hope Trautwein and former Oregon star Alyssa Brito transferred to OU, joining top-rated recruit Jordyn Bahl as key additions to the 2022 Sooner squad.

Trailing behind the Sooners were the Alabama Crimson Tide ranked at No. 2, the UCLA Bruins at No. 3, Oklahoma State in fourth and the Florida Gators at No. 5 to round out the top five.

Oklahoma and UCLA will actually meet this year in the regular season on Feb. 12, a rematch of last year’s WCWS elimination game.

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This is the third time OU enters the season as the top-ranked team, after starting the year in the top spot in both 2017 and 2018.

In the poll’s 20-year history, this is the 18th time the Sooners have entered the season ranked inside the top 10.

The panel voting on the poll is made up of coaching representatives from 11 Division 1 conferences, as well as media members who consistently cover the sport across the country.

Oklahoma’s title defense will get rolling on Feb. 10, as the Sooners will head to the West Coast to battle UC Santa Barbara. 

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