Big 12 Trio Among Top Six in 2023 NFCA Preseason Coaches Poll
The preseason edition of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Top 25 poll was released on Tuesday, just about a week ahead of the 2023 college softball season getting underway.
After dominating the sport at the highest level last season, the Big 12’s top three teams are looking to make it back to Oklahoma City for another run this season, and according to the preseason poll, the rest of the country’s coaches like their odds.
The back-to-back defending national champion Oklahoma Sooners come in at No. 1 and secured all 32 first votes in the poll, giving them yet another unanimous No. 1 in a preseason ranking. Oklahoma’s roster might be the best that it has been in any of the past three seasons, which should be terrifying for the rest of college softball.
Their top competition on the year will likely come in the form of in-state rival, Oklahoma State, who came in at No. 3 in the poll. The Cowgirls loaded up in the transfer portal and return several key pieces from last season, most notably Kelly Maxwell. Kenny Gajewski and Oklahoma State look like the second-best team in their state, but are probably the second-best team in the country for that matter.
Coming in at No. 6 in the poll are the Texas Longhorns, who finished last season as the national runner-up after making a run to the WCWS championships series after starting out the tournament unseeded. Mike White will have to rebuild a bit with Janae Jefferson, Mary Iakopo, and Hailey Dolcini gone, but Mia Scott and Sophia Simpson return and are surrounded by talent.
Here’s a look at the entire 2023 USA Today/NFCA Preseason Coaches Poll.
- Oklahoma (32)
- Oklahoma State
- Florida State
- Virginia Tech
- Oregon State
- Arizona State
- Mississippi State
Receiving Votes: Missouri (96), Michigan (53), Louisiana (44), Ole Miss (36), Nebraska (16), Georgia Tech (15), Notre Dame (13), San Diego State (10), North Texas (5), Iowa State (3), Baylor (2), Liberty (2), Loyola Marymount (2), Cal State Fullerton (1), Wichita State (1).