Big 12 Softball Preview: Four Ranked Matchups Highlight Jam-Packed Weekend
We had some very intriguing games around Big 12 softball in the second weekend of action, with Baylor taking down Oklahoma and Oklahoma State running through the Clearwater Invitational.
This week, we have four ranked matchups headlining a big tournament weekend for the Big 12. Oklahoma and Texas Tech are all headed to the Mary Nutter Classic in California, while Oklahoma State heads to New Mexico for the Troy Cox Classic. Baylor and Texas will host ranked foes in tournament play this weekend and Kansas will be in Austin as well. Iowa State was set to head to the Mary Nutter Classic, but has opted out in favor of a three-game series with Arizona State in Tempe, Arizona.
Here’s a look at what each team’s schedule looks like heading into the third weekend of action.
#2 OKLAHOMA (8-1)
After going wire-to-wire in 2022 as the No. 1 team in the land, Oklahoma has be supplanted by UCLA after a 4-3 loss to Baylor last weekend. The good news? Oklahoma will get their chance to reclaim the throne this weekend when they take on the top-ranked Bruins in the Mary Nutter Classic. Games against Utah and Texas A&M will be tricky as well, but that Sunday matchup between No. 1 and No. 2 will have the entire softball world’s attention.
|(RV) CSU Fullerton||Feb 24 (Fri)||2:30 p.m. CT||Cathedral City, CA||FloSoftball|
|(RV) Texas A&M||Feb 24 (Fri)||5:00 p.m. CT||Cathedral City, CA||FloSoftball|
|Utah||Feb 25 (Sat)||11:30 a.m. CT||Cathedral City, CA||FloSoftball|
|Loyola Marymount||Feb 25 (Sat)||2:00 p.m. CT||Cathedral City, CA||FloSoftball|
|UCLA||Feb 26 (Sun)||11:30 a.m. CT||Cathedral City, CA||FloSoftball|
#4 OKLAHOMA STATE (8-1)
Oklahoma State was arguably the most impressive team in the country last weekend, as the Cowgirls ran through good competition, outscoring opponents 45-17 over the course of five games. This weekend, the competition isn’t as stiff as the Cowgirls will face just one Power Five team, the same Nebraska team they defeated 10-0 last week in five innings.
|New Mexico||Feb 24 (Fri)||10:00 a.m. CT||Las Cruces, NM||N/A|
|Nebraska||Feb 24 (Fri)||12:30 a.m. CT||Las Cruces, NM||N/A|
|CSU Bakersfield||Feb 25 (Sat)||10:00 a.m. CT||Las Cruces, NM||N/A|
|New Mexico State||Feb 25 (Sat)||12:30 p.m. CT||Las Cruces, NM||N/A|
|UTEP||Feb 26 (Sun)||1:00 p.m. CT||El Paso, TX||N/A|
#9 TEXAS (8-1-1)
Texas will stay home for the second-straight weekend, but their opponents will be much tougher this time around in the Lone Star State Invitational. Games against Abilene Christian and Texas Southern to close the weekend are more than manageable, but two games against Virginia Tech will be tough. Texas played with fire last weekend letting Loyola Chicago and Omaha stick around until late, and they can’t afford to do that with Virginia Tech.
|(10) Virginia Tech||Feb 24 (Fri)||4:00 p.m. CT||Austin, TX||LHN|
|(10) Virginia Tech||Feb 25 (Sat)||4:00 p.m. CT||Austin, TX||LHN|
|Abilene Christian||Feb 25 (Sat)||6:30 p.m. CT||Austin, TX||N/A|
|Texas Southern||Feb 26 (Sun)||3:00 p.m. CT||Austin, TX||N/A|
#25 BAYLOR (8-1)
After a monster win over Oklahoma last weekend, the Baylor Bears will immediately face another test at home against No. 21 Maryland. After that, the Bears will take on Minnesota and Texas A&M Commerce, before starting next week against UT Arlington on Tuesday. If the Bears can ride the momentum of beating Oklahoma for the next few weeks, Baylor could see itself rise in the rankings.
|(21) Maryland||Feb 24 (Fri)||1:30 p.m. CT||Waco, TX||ESPN+|
|Minnesota||Feb 24 (Fri)||6:30 p.m. CT||Waco, TX||ESPN+|
|Omaha||Feb. 17 (Fri)||5:30 p.m. CT||Austin, TX||LHN|
|Omaha||Feb. 18 (Sat)||3:00 p.m. CT||Austin, TX||LHN|
|Texas A&M Commerce||Feb 25 (Sat)||12:30 p.m. CT||Waco, TX||N/A|
|UT Arlington||Feb 28 (Tue)||6:00 p.m. CT||Waco, TX||N/A|
TEXAS TECH 9-2
Texas Tech took care of business last weekend and sits at 9-2 heading into the Mary Nutter Classic. Every game on the schedule this weekend is winnable for the Red Raiders, but the competition is a bit better than last weekend was. If Tech can come out of this weekend 6-0, it’s time to start taking a serious look at them as a potential tournament team. If they drop more than two games though, it will be disappointing after their performance thus far.
|Cal Poly||Feb 23 (Thu)||12:00 p.m. CT||Palm Springs, CA||FloSoftball|
|UC Riverside||Feb 23 (Thu)||5:00 p.m. CT||Palm Springs, CA||FloSoftball|
|Utah||Feb 24 (Fri)||12:30 p.m. CT||Palm Springs, CA||FloSoftball|
|Bethune-Cookman||Feb 25 (Sat)||7:00 p.m. CT||Palm Springs, CA||FloSoftball|
|UC San Diego||Feb 25 (Sat)||10:00 p.m. CT||Palm Springs, CA||FloSoftball|
|California||Feb 26 (Sun)||1:30 p.m. CT||Palm Springs, CA||FloSoftball|
Kansas will head to San Marcos for the Texas State Tournament, where they will face some decent competition after a confusing stretch last weekend. Liberty and Ole Miss are probably better than anyone Kansas will face this weekend, but the Jayhawks beat those teams and lost to SIU and Sacramento State. The Jayhawks should win every game they play this weekend, but based off of what I’ve seen thus far, they likely will trip at least once.
|UT Arlington||Feb 24 (Fri)||11:00 a.m. CT||San Marcos, TX||N/A|
|Texas State||Feb 24 (Fri)||4:00 p.m. CT||San Marcos, TX||N/A|
|UTSA||Feb 25 (Sat)||11:00 a.m. CT||San Marcos, TX||N/A|
|Sacramento State||Feb. 17 (Fri)||3:00 p.m. CT||Puerto Vallarta, Mexico||FloSoftball|
|Colorado State||Feb 25 (Sat)||1:30 p.m. CT||San Marcos, TX||N/A|
|Texas Southern||Feb 26 (Sun)||12:00 p.m. CT||Austin, TX||N/A|
IOWA STATE 6-4
Iowa State has adjusted its weekend schedule for the Mary Nutter classic, as there is consistent rain in the forecast in Cathedral City, California. Instead of playing the scheduled tournament, Iowa State will travel to Tempe, Arizona for a three-game series against Arizona State. This will be a stiff test for the Cyclones, as Arizona State is the first team outside of the Top 25 with the most votes received (82)
|(RV) Arizona State||Feb 24 (Fri)||7:00 p.m. CT||Tempe, AZ||N/A|
|(RV) Arizona State||Feb 25 (Sat)||3:00 p.m. CT||Tempe, AZ||N/A|
|Seattle||Feb. 18 (Sat)||6:00 p.m. CT||Fresno, CA||MW Network|
|(RV) Arizona State||Feb 25 (Sat)||5:00 p.m. CT||Tempe, AZ||N/A|
|Idaho State||Feb. 19 (Sun)||1:30 p.m. CT||Fresno, CA|