Sooners, Cowgirls go No. 1 and No. 2 in Big 12 softball preseason poll | OSU Sports Supplementary

Oklahoma pitcher Giselle Juarez (45) celebrates with teammates after defeating James Madison in an NCAA Women’s College World Series softball game Monday, June 7, 2021 in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma advances to the Championship Finals Series. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Video from July 1, 2021. During his introductory press conference, Chad Weiberg spoke about improving existing facilities. COURTESY/OSU Athletics

STILLWATER — The Oklahoma softball programs that topped the Big 12 conference standings in 2021 are once again entering the 2022 season atop the league.

Conference coaches voted Oklahoma and Oklahoma State No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the Big 12 preseason poll released Wednesday. The reigning Big 12 and national champion Sooners claim the top spot for a 10th consecutive season. OSU’s place behind OU represents the Cowgirls’ highest preseason Big 12 ranking since the first poll was taken prior to the 1999-2000 season.

The Texas No. 3 is in the top three of the league’s preseason poll for the 12th straight season, followed by Baylor’s No. 4 and Iowa State’s No. 5. Texas Tech and Kansas round out the league’s preseason standings at No. 6 and No. 7, respectively.

The Sooners open as conference favorites for the 13th time in 14 seasons after winning a fourth straight Big 12 championship and fifth College World Series title last spring.

OU, ranked #1 in the The preseason top 25 released on Tuesday returns nine players from all conferences on its title-winning team, including 2021 Big 12 Player of the Year Jocelyn Alo and league rookie year Tiare Jennings. The Sooners open at UC-Santa Barbara on Feb. 10 with a 144-14 record over the past nine seasons.

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