Baylor Bears

Big 12 Softball Preview: Five Teams Hosting Weekend Tournaments

Photos Courtesy of Team Sites

This week marks one month’s worth of softball already as we head into the fourth tournament weekend of the 2023 softball season.

Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have looked like two of the best teams in the country, while Baylor has emerged as a legitimate contender in the Big 12 race. Texas is hit-or-miss to this point in the season against good competition but is still a team that will vie for a tournament bid in all likelihood.

Meanwhile, Texas Tech looks to have separated itself from the bottom portion of the Big 12, as the Red Raiders have outperformed Kansas and Iowa State to this point.

The top five teams in Big 12, according to our power rankings, are hosting tournaments this weekend as we inch closer to conference play in just a few weeks. Let’s take a look at what’s on this week’s schedule.

 

#1 OKLAHOMA (13-1)

After last week’s domination of UCLA, the big, bad Oklahoma Sooners are back. Now, back in Norman, the Sooners will host the OU Tournament at Marita Hynes Field and a future SEC foe will be in town. Bookend games with UIC should be a cakewalk for Patty Gasso’s group, but two games against No. 16 Kentucky will be challenging. It will be interesting to see how Oklahoma comes out swinging at home after three straight weeks on the road. The Sooners have outscored opponents 123-13 so far this season.

OPPONENTDATETIMELOCATIONNETWORK
UICMar 3 (Fri)3:00 PM CTNorman, OKESPN+
#16 KentuckyMar 3 (Fri)5:30 PM CTNorman, OKESPN+
#16 KentuckyMar 4 (Sat)3:00 PM CTNorman, OKESPN+
UICMar 4 (Sat)5:30 PM CTNorman, OKESPN+

#3 OKLAHOMA STATE (13-1)

Ever-steady Oklahoma State is on an 11-game winning streak heading into this weekend’s OSU Invitational and has just one game on the slate that should put that streak to the test. After opening up the day on Friday against Maine, Oklahoma State will play No. 23 Missouri in the night game. After that, games against South Dakota State and Tarleton State should be opportunities to get some of the younger players on the roster involved.

OPPONENTDATETIMELOCATIONNETWORK
MaineMar 3 (Fri)2:30 PM CTStillwater, OKN/A
#23 MissouriMar 3 (Fri)5:00 PM CTStillwater, OKESPN+
South Dakota StateMar 4 (Sat)2:30 PM CTStillwater, OKN/A
Tarleton StateMar 4 (Sat)5:00 PM CTStillwater, OKN/A
South Dakota StateMar 5 (Sun)12:30 PM CTStillwater, OKN/A
 

#11 TEXAS (11-2-1)

Following a mid-week game against North Texas, UT will play its third-straight tournament in the confines of McCombs Field this weekend as the Longhorns welcome teams from across the nation for the Longhorn Invitational. Games against Tennessee State, McNeese State, and Princeton don’t really move the needle, but two contests against No. 24 Louisiana will be challenging. Texas currently leads the nation in team batting average with a .397 mark through 14 games.

OPPONENTDATETIMELOCATIONNETWORK
North TexasMar 1 (Wed)6:00 PM CTAustin, TXLHN
Tennessee StateMar 3 (Fri)4:30 PM CTAustin, TXLHN
#24 LouisianaMar 3 (Fri)7:00 PM CTAustin, TXLHN
McNeese StateMar 4 (Sat)12:00 PM CTAustin, TXLHN
PrincetonMar 4 (Sat)2:30 PM CTAustin, TXLHN
#24 LouisianaMar 5 (Sun)12:30 PM CTAustin, TXLHN

#19 BAYLOR (14-1)

The Baylor Bears are rolling into the fourth weekend of the 2023 season as one of the hottest teams in the country and should have a good opportunity to keep that rolling in the Ode to Joy Invitational in Waco. Games against Texas A&M and Sam Houston State are on the docket, with two games being played on Saturday and Sunday. Through three weekends, Baylor ranks sixth nationally in batting average (.375) and 10th in on-base percentage (.445).

OPPONENTDATETIMELOCATIONNETWORK
#25 Texas A&MMar 4 (Sat)2:30 PM CTWaco, TXN/A
Sam Houston StateMar 4 (Sat)5:00 PM CTWaco, TXN/A
Sam Houston StateMar 5 (Sun)12:30 PM CTWaco, TXESPN+
#25 Texas A&MMar 5 (Sun)3:00 PM CTWaco, TXESPN+
 

TEXAS TECH (12-5)

The Red Raiders are coming off a 3-3 weekend at the Mary Nutter Classic but are returning home to Lubbock for the Jeannine McHaney Memorial Classic. There, Texas Tech will host North Dakota, Seton Hall, and an upstart Rutgers team that has gotten off to a 12-3 start. Should be another favorable weekend for TTU to build up some vital wins before a tough conference slate kicks off in a few weeks.

OPPONENTDATETIMELOCATIONNETWORK
North DakotaMar 2 (Thu)6:00 PM CTLubbock, TXESPN+
RutgersMar 3 (Fri)3:00 PM CTLubbock, TXESPN+
Seton HallMar 3 (Fri)5:30 PM CTLubbock, TXESPN+
RutgersMar 4 (Sat)3:00 PM CTLubbock, TXESPN+
Seton HallMar 4 (Sat)5:30 PM CTLubbock, TXESPN+

KANSAS (10-5)

The Kansas Jayhawks have been the most up-and-down team in the Big 12 to this point, winning games that they aren’t supposed to, but then dropping games against teams they should be run-ruling. This week, Kansas hits the road and will head to Tampa, Florida, for the South Florida Tournament. There they will face the host team, as well as a few competitive mid-majors, including 13-0 USC Upstate. Kansas should be one of the best teams in attendance, but will they perform like it?

OPPONENTDATETIMELOCATIONNETWORK
USFMar 2 (Thu)5:00 PM CTTampa, FLESPN+
ArmyMar 3 (Fri)10:30 AM CTTampa, FLN/A
USC-UpstateMar 3 (Fri)1:00 PM CTTampa, FLN/A
Northern IllinoisMar 4 (Sat)10:30 AM CTTampa, FLN/A
Rhode IslandMar 4 (Sat)3:30 PM CTTampa, FLN/A

IOWA STATE (6-7)

It’s not a good time to be in a slump for Iowa State, but that’s exactly where the Cyclones are at after being swept by Arizona State this past weekend. Now, at the Woo Pig Classic in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Iowa State will have to face the Razorbacks, as well as a North Texas team that is starting to creep into Top 25 consideration. The Cyclones need to get things together before Big 12 play starts, and getting a couple of wins in a tough tournament this weekend would go a long way in doing that.

OPPONENTDATETIMELOCATIONNETWORK
#6 ArkansasMar 2 (Thu)4:00 PM CTFayetteville, ARSECN+
Texas A&M CCMar 3 (Fri)10:00 AM CTFayetteville, ARN/A
North TexasMar 3 (Fri)12:30 PM CTFayetteville, ARN/A
North TexasMar 4 (Sat)10:00 AM CTFayetteville, ARN/A
#6 ArkansasMar 4 (Sat)3:00 PM CTFayetteville, ARN/A
Texas A&M CCMar 5 (Sun)10:00 AM CTFayetteville, ARN/A

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