NORMAN — Winner of the last eight regular-season Big 12 championships, the Oklahoma softball team topped the 2020 Big 12 Preseason Coaches' Poll, the league announced Thursday.
For the fourth year in a row, each of the other six head coaches selected the Sooners as No. 1. Oklahoma State received the other first-place vote. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.
This marks the eighth straight year and 11th in the last 12 that OU has topped the conference's preseason poll. The Sooners received 36 points in this year's poll and were followed by Texas with 29 and Oklahoma State with 27.
Texas Tech was selected fourth (20 points) and Baylor took fifth (15 points). Rounding out the poll are Iowa State (13 points) and Kansas (7 points).
Last year, the Sooners became the first program to finish Big 12 play undefeated in back-to-back seasons. OU is undefeated in their last 54 conference series (50-0-4 in that span) and have not lost a conference series since 2011. Overall, the Sooners finished 2019 with a 57-6 record as they made their 13th Women's College World Series appearance, culminating with a national runner-up finish.
Oklahoma returns five All-Big 12 selections from 2019. Returning first-team honorees include senior pitcher Giselle Juarez, junior utility player Jocelyn Alo and sophomore utility player Grace Green. Senior pitcher Shannon Saile earned second-team accolades last year, and infielder Grace Lyons joined Green on the All-Freshman Team.
Green was tabbed Big 12 Freshman of the Year and head coach Patty Gasso was selected as the league's Coach of the Year for the 12th time.
The Sooners begin their 2020 campaign on Feb. 6 as they take on Nevada at the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Oklahoma will open its home slate Feb. 28-March 1 as it hosts the Courtyard Marriott Tournament at Marita Hynes Field.