For the second year in a row, Oklahoma was chosen by the league’s head coaches as the frontrunner for the Big 12 softball title in 2010. Missouri finished a close second. The two teams were ranked the same in the 2009 preseason poll and went on to meet in the Big 12 Championship game.
The Sooners (79 points) received seven of 10 first-place votes and Missouri (75) grabbed three.
Baylor (61) was chosen as the third-ranked squad and Nebraska (49) edged out Texas (48) for fourth place.
OU returns 12 letterwinners and seven starters from last season’s NCAA Regional team, including senior All-American Amber Flores. The 2009 Big 12 Player of the Year leads a roster that features five newcomers and three returning All-Big 12 selections. Head coach Patty Gasso was also named the 2009 Big 12 Coach of the Year for the fourth time.
The Tigers welcome back six starters from a team that finished the season ranked eighth nationally, MU’s highest final ranking ever. Among the total of 17 returnees are two All-Americans, four All-Big 12 honorees and Big 12 Championship Most Outstanding Player Chelsea Thomas.
The softball season opens on Thursday, Feb. 11, with three Big 12 squads beginning non-conference action.
2010 PRESEASON COACHES POLL
Team (first-place votes) Points
1. Oklahoma (7) 79
2. Missouri (3) 75
3. Baylor 61
4. Nebraska 49
5. Texas 48
6. Texas A&M 44
7. Oklahoma State 41
8. Iowa State 23
9. Kansas 17
10. Texas Tech 14
**Points were awarded nine for first, eight for second, etc. (Coaches were not allowed to vote for their teams.)