Baylor Bears

Big 12 Softball Preview: Opening Weekend of Conference Play

The Big 12 softball schedule has shifted to conference play for the 2023 season and the race will be on for the conference crown.

Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are the clear frontrunners in the league right now, but an interesting tier of other teams has emerged as Texas, Baylor, and Texas Tech are looking like prime challengers to push the teams from Oklahoma.

Oklahoma State will host Baylor and Texas Tech will head to Austin this weekend, which marks the top two matchups of the opening slate.


Here’s a look at all of the matchups coming up this weekend and how I think they will play out.

#1 Oklahoma (27-1) at Iowa State (11-13)

This series pits the No. 1 overall team in the country against the only team in the Big 12 with a record under .500. Oklahoma’s offense has officially caught fire, as the Sooners lead the nation in batting average (.399), on-base percentage (.481), slugging percentage (.720), scoring (9.0 runs per game), and are second nationally in home runs per game (1.75). Defensively, the Sooners lead the nation in fielding percentage (.992), shutouts (17), are third in ERA (1.02), and ninth in strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.00). Simply put, OU should dominate this series against a struggling Iowa State team whose best win of the season came against Hawaii in nine innings.

#1 Oklahoma at Iowa StateMar 24 (Fri)4:00 PM CTAmes, IAESPN+
#1 Oklahoma at Iowa StateMar 25 (Sat)1:00 PM CTAmes, IAESPN+
#1 Oklahoma at Iowa StateMar 26 (Sun)12:00 PM CTAmes, IAESPN+

Prediction: Oklahoma Wins Series, 3-0


#22 Baylor (23-5) at #2 Oklahoma State (25-2)

Both Oklahoma State and Baylor will take on opponents Wednesday before getting this series underway, but I expect both teams to come into this weekend win winning streaks. Baylor will have its hands full on the road, as the Oklahoma State offense ranks sixth in the country in scoring (7.37 runs per game) and batting average (.356). Kelly Maxwell leads the Cowgirls in the circle this weekend and enters with a Big 12 leading 112 strikeouts. Baylor’s Dariana Orme ranks second in the conference in strikeouts (85), but has the edge over Maxwell in ERA, with Orme at 0.79 for the year compared to 2.02 for Maxwell. Nonetheless, Oklahoma State is the better overall team here, and should pick up a big series win at home.

#22 Baylor at #2 Oklahoma StateMar 24 (Fri)6:00 PM CTStillwater, OK
#22 Baylor at #2 Oklahoma StateMar 25 (Sat)2:00 PM CTStillwater, OKESPN+
#22 Baylor at #2 Oklahoma StateMar 26 (Sun)12:00 PM CTStillwater, OKESPN+

Prediction: Oklahoma State Wins Series, 2-1


Texas Tech (25-8) at #8 Texas (26-5-1)

This is a series that I wasn’t expecting to be all that intriguing, yet here we are. Both teams will take on opponents Wednesday before clashing in Austin, and both teams carry a lot of momentum into the week. The Red Raiders just picked up a ranked win over Maryland on the road last week, and an explosive offense has turned them into a formidable opponent in the Big 12 landscape. Unfortunately for TTU, they share the conference with three of the best eight teams in the country, and they’re playing one of them this weekend. I do think that Craig Snider’s group will take one from the Horns, but Texas will win the series.

Texas Tech at #8 TexasMar 24 (Fri)4:30 PM CTAustin, TexasLHN
Texas Tech at #8 TexasMar 25 (Sat)12:00 PM CTAustin, TexasLHN
Texas Tech at #8 TexasMar 26 (Sun)12:00 PM CTAustin, TexasLHN

Prediction: Texas Wins Series, 2-1

Kansas (17-12): Idle in Big 12 Play

The Jayhawks took on Wichita State Tuesday and lost, 9-3, on the road. A game against Kansas City awaits next Tuesday, but Kansas will take the weekend off to regroup.

Midweek Games Around the Conference

UT Arlington at #22 BaylorMar 22 (Wed)11:30 AM CTBaylor, TXESPN+
Iowa State at NebraskaMar 22 (Wed)4:00 PM CTLincoln, NEBTN+
North Texas at #2 Oklahoma StateMar 22 (Wed)6:00 PM CTStillwater, OKESPN+
Stephen F. Austin at #8 TexasMar 22 (Wed)6:00 PM CTAustin, TexasLHN
Abilene Christian at Texas TechMar 22 (Wed)6:00 PM CTLubbock, TexasESPN+
Kansas at Kansas CityMar 28 (Tue)6:00 PM CTKansas City, MON/A
To Top