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Big 12 Softball Preview: Oklahoma State, Texas Have Chance to Right the Ship

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Two weeks into the 2022 Softball season things look exactly as we expected them to, right? Wrong. Well, outside of Oklahoma picking up where it left off last season. The Sooners still appear to be the top dog in softball through ten games and have some “prove it” games this weekend against ranked opponents.

Oklahoma State hast struggled out of the gate, dropping four of their first 10 games and three of five games in the St. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational last weekend. The Cowgirls were able to rally and end the weekend on a high note with a win over Northwestern, which is something that the Texas Longhorns cannot say.

Perhaps the most shocking revelation of the early 2022 season has been Texas’ inability to play winning softball. Sure they’ve played tough competition, but your ace starting the season with a 10.00 ERA and an 0-3 record is concerning, to say the least.

Another surprising outcome of the first two weeks is the emergence of Iowa State, who is sitting at 8-1 and has scored 10 or more runs in their last four games. They’ve looked explosive against lesser foes but have a chance to make some noise this weekend with huge games on the docket.

 

Oklahoma (No. 1); 10-0

The Sooners have looked every bit as dominant through two weeks as they did on their way to a national title in 2021, but the addition of a lethal bullpen might make this squad even more dangerous. OU has yet to allow an earned run this season, outscoring its opponents 95-2 along the way. Big games against Arizona and Tennessee are on the schedule this weekend and should be a good test for Patty Gasso’s group. There is extra incentive to tune into the Sooners this weekend, as Jocelyn Alo’s next home run will break the NCAA career home run record. Alo has hit five bombs in the last five games, so the chances of the record being broken this weekend are quite high.

OPPONENTDATETIMELOCATIONNETWORK
CSU FullertonFeb 25 (Fri)2:30 p.m. CTCathedral City, CATV: FloSoftball
Long Beach StateFeb 25 (Fri)5:00 p.m. CTCathedral City, CATV: FloSoftball
Arizona (#10)Feb 26 (Sat)12:00 p.m. CTCathedral City, CATV: FloSoftball
Tennessee (#17)Feb 26 (Sat)2:30 p.m. CTCathedral City, CATV: FloSoftball
UtahFeb 27 (Sun)11:00 a.m. CTCathedral City, CATV: FloSoftball
Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic (Oklahoma Schedule)

Oklahoma State (No. 12); 6-4

The Cowgirls have been up-and-down thus far and sit just one game above .500 on the season. They played their worst stretch of softball dating back to the start of last season in Clearwater, going on a three-game losing streak that saw them outscored by a combined 24-9 during that stretch. The good news is that they picked up two wins over ranked opponents in the tournament and appear to have a true ace in Kelly Maxwell. They will need Morgan Day (6.83 ERA) and Miranda Elish (4.14 ERA) to find themselves if this team is to reach its potential. OSU has a much more manageable schedule this weekend in the Reveille Classic, with back-to-back dates with Texas A&M being the biggest challenges.

OPPONENTDATETIMELOCATIONNETWORK
Texas SouthernFeb 25 (Fri)9:00 a.m. CTCollege Station, TX
Tennessee StateFeb 25 (Fri)11:30 a.m. CTCollege Station, TX
Texas SouthernFeb 26 (Sat)11:30 a.m. CTCollege Station, TX
Texas A&M (RV)Feb 26 (Sat)2:00 p.m. CTCollege Station, TXTV: SECN+
Texas A&M (RV)Feb 27 (Sun)11:30 a.m. CTCollege Station, TXTV: SECN+
Reveille Classic (Oklahoma State Schedule)
 

Texas (No. 24); 5-6

Texas had about as bad a weekend as one can in softball, going 0-5 in St. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational and getting outscored 41-17 on the weekend. The Longhorns are back in their home stadium this weekend and will host the Texas Classic tournament. The toughest draw for the Longhorns this weekend comes on Friday afternoon when they face the Arizona State Sun Devils. That is a game that the Longhorns should win, and the rest of the lineup is manageable. If Texas doesn’t end the weekend at 5-0, it will be time to hit the panic button in Austin.

OPPONENTDATETIMELOCATIONNETWORK
Arizona State (#22)Feb 25 (Fri)2:00 p.m. CTAustin, TXTV: LHN
UTSAFeb 27 (Sun)5:00 p.m. CTAustin, TXTV: LHN
TulsaFeb 27 (Sun)7:30 p.m. CTAustin, TXTV: LHN
TulsaFeb 28 (Mon)1:30 p.m. CTAustin, TXTV: LHN
Texas StateFeb 28 (Mon)4:00 p.m. CTAustin, TXTV: LHN
Texas Classic (Texas Schedule)

Iowa State (RV); 8-1

The Lady Cyclones have ripped off five games in a row, scoring a combined 49 runs in those contests. However, those games were against NMSU, UT Arlington, SE Louisiana, Northern Colorado, and Nebraska. This weekend, ISU plays in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic and draws two teams ranked in the top six: UCLA and Washington. Those games bookend a trio of games against CSUN, San Diego, and Loyola Marymount so at worst I expect Iowa State to come out of the weekend 3-2. However, don’t sleep on this squad. It wouldn’t surprise me at all to tune in and see this team taking UCLA or UW to the wire.

OPPONENTDATETIMELOCATIONNETWORK
UCLA (#6)Feb 25 (Fri)7:30 p.m. CTCathedral City, CATV: FloSoftball
CSUNFeb 25 (Fri)10:00 p.m. CTCathedral City, CATV: FloSoftball
San DiegoFeb 26 (Sat)2:00 p.m. CTCathedral City, CATV: FloSoftball
Loyola MarymountFeb 26 (Sat)9:30 p.m. CTCathedral City, CATV: FloSoftball
Washington (#5)Feb 27 (Sun)11:00 a.m. CTCathedral City, CATV: FloSoftball
Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic (Iowa State Schedule)
 

Baylor (NR); 6-3

Baylor was able to steal one against the 11th-ranked Oregon Ducks last weekend, a series-opening 3-0 victory behind a complete-game gem from Dariana Orme. Unfortunately, the Lady Bears have lost three straight since then and hope to get back on track at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. They have a tough test against the UCLA Bruins on Saturday but should be able to hold their own in the tournament. Then, BU returns home for a double-header with Prairie View A&M on Tuesday.

OPPONENTDATETIMELOCATIONNETWORK
Oregon State (RV)Feb 25 (Fri)10:00 p.m. CTCathedral City, CATV: FloSoftball
Loyola MarymountFeb 26 (Sat)4:30 p.m. CTCathedral City, CATV: FloSoftball
UCLA (#6)Feb 26 (Sat)7:30 p.m. CTCathedral City, CATV: FloSoftball
San DiegoFeb 27 (Sun)11:00 p.m. CTCathedral City, CATV: FloSoftball
Prairie View A&MMar 1 (Tue)4:00 p.m. CTWaco, TXTV: ESPN+
Prairie View A&MMar 1 (Tue)6:30 p.m. CTWaco, TXTV: ESPN+
Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic (Baylor Schedule), PV A&M (DH)

Kansas (NR); 6-4

KU went down to College Station last weekend and went 2-3 losing to Texas A&M in convincing fashion both times they matched up with the SEC member. Now, the Jayhawks will get another shot at an SEC foe, but this time it’s No. 8 Arkansas, and it’s in Fayetteville. The Woo Pig Sooie Tournament’s first day has been canceled due to inclement weather in Fayetteville, but Sunday and Monday’s scheduled games remain the same. Kansas was scheduled to face Louisville and Arkansas on day one.

OPPONENTDATETIMELOCATIONNETWORK
Louisville Feb 26 (Sat)CanceledFayetteville, AR
ArkansasFeb 26 (Sat)CanceledFayetteville, ARTV: SECN+
NebraskaFeb 27 (Sun)10:00 a.m. CTFayetteville, AR
Arkansas (#8)Feb 27 (Sun)2:45 p.m. CTFayetteville, ARTV: SECN+
Woo Pig Sooie Tournament (Kansas Schedule)

Texas Tech (NR); 3-7

Perhaps the only team in a worse place than the Texas Longhorns is the Red Raiders of Texas Tech. The St. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational was not kind to the Big 12, but it did give us a better understanding of what each team needs to improve on before conference play comes around. In the midst of a seven-game losing streak, TTU needs to get back on the right side of the scoreboard. Unfortunately, they are headed to another tough tournament, the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. There, Tech will face three more ranked teams, including a Northwestern team that they faced last weekend. This weekend will either lift the spirit of this team or drive it further into the ground.

OPPONENTDATETIMELOCATIONNETWORK
CBUFeb 24 (Thu)5:30 p.m. CTCathedral City, CATV: FloSoftball
Missouri (#19)Feb 25 (Fri)7:30 p.m. CTCathedral City, CATV: FloSoftball
UCLA (#6)Feb 25 (Fri)10:00 p.m. CTCathedral City, CATV: FloSoftball
Long Beach StateFeb 26 (Sat)2:30 p.m. CTCathedral City, CATV: FloSoftball
Northwestern (#15)Feb 27 (Sun)11:00 a.m. CTCathedral City, CATV: FloSoftball
Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic (Texas Tech Schedule)
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