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Big 12 Softball Power Rankings: Sooners Remain a Cut Above

Oklahoma Softball

Before we even reached the final weekend of the 2023 regular season, the Oklahoma Sooners found a way to nab their 11th consecutive, and 15th overall, Big 12 regular season title.

Patty Gasso’s squad has proven to be a cut above the rest of the teams it’s played thus far, simply outmatching them in the circle and at the plate.

The overwhelming run support from their offense, coupled with the best pitching staff in the country, has given Oklahoma a recipe for success that should carry them straight into Oklahoma City for the seventh straight year.

 

Here’s a look at our Big 12 softball power rankings ahead of the final week of the regular season.

1. OKLAHOMA (45-1, 15-0); LAST WEEK: 1

The Big 12 still runs through Norman as it has for the last decade-plus, and that doesn’t appear to be changing. The Sooners are perfect to this point in Big 12 play, going 15-0 and truly dominating its opponents from beginning to end. The recent emergence of Cydney Sanders makes this team even more terrifying, as the Arizona State transfer struggled to get things going early on but has become a big part of the Sooners’ lineup. A monstrous series in Stillwater awaits the Sooners, but they’ve got to feel good about their chances coming into this weekend.

2. TEXAS (39-9-1, 11-4); LAST WEEK: 2

The Texas Longhorns had the weekend off but managed to build a larger lead on Oklahoma State as the Cowgirls dropped a game to Texas Tech on Saturday. Texas is in great shape to host Super Regionals right now and should elevate their chances even more if they can take down Baylor this weekend. Also, if things go the way we expect them to this weekend, Texas will own second place in the Big 12, meaning they grab the No. 2 seed in the Big 12 Tournament next week.

 

3. OKLAHOMA STATE (41-9, 10-5); LAST WEEK: 3

Well, the losing streak is over and the bats are warming again as Oklahoma State took down Texas Tech in two of three this past weekend. Over the last two weeks, the Cowgirls have seemingly lost some of the game control that has made them so dangerous over the last several years. Streaking hitting and an inability to close out games has proven to be an issue, but two run-rule victories this weekend are a positive sign. Now, their sights turn to Bedlam in front of a home crowd.

4. BAYLOR (36-15, 5-10); LAST WEEK: 4

Woof, what a weird weekend for Baylor. The Bears dropped a very winnable series to last-place Iowa State, dropping the Bears to 5-10 in Big 12 play. Despite beating the Cyclones 15-3 in Game 2, Baylor just couldn’t make things happen consistently enough at the plate to put ISU away, and it cost them. Now, Baylor will hit the road again, but this time they head to Austin where a red-hot Texas team waits. Baylor is comfortably in the field for the NCAA Tournament, but getting a win or two this weekend would make things feel a lot better in Waco.

 

5. TEXAS TECH (31-21, 5-13); LAST WEEK: 6

Texas Tech has proven that it is a much better team than it was a season ago and by quite a wide margin. The Red Raiders have finished up the regular season at 5-13 and hold the tiebreaker over Iowa State. That means if Kansas wins the series against the Cyclones this weekend, TTU will fall to sixth place, but remain ahead of the Cyclones, even if they win a game. However, if surging Iowa State gets picks up two wins in Lawrence this weekend, Texas Tech would fall to last place, since it lost the series to KU. It was a promising regular season for Craig Snider in Year 1, and something they can build off of going forward.

6. IOWA STATE (21-28, 4-11); LAST WEEK: 7

The Cyclones are playing strong softball in the final leg of the season, winning eight of their last 11 games. The latest pair of wins, over No. 20 Baylor, were some of the biggest victories of the year for Iowa State, and pushed them out of last place in our power rankings. Despite taking nearly all season to get going, the Cyclones are dangerous right now and could ascend to as high as the four-seed in the Big 12 tournament with a series win over Kansas. That would be an incredible finish for the Cyclones, considering what this team looked like a few weeks ago.

7. KANSAS (22-24, 4-11); LAST WEEK: 5

The Jayhawks were Oklahoma’s latest victim this past weekend, but there is still plenty to play for if you are Kansas. If the Jayhawks can win this weekend at home, it will put them into fifth place in the standings, likely matching them up with Baylor in the Big 12 tournament. With how the Bears are playing right now, that’s a much better draw than Oklahoma State, who is currently the three-seed. Kansas has been competitive down the stretch, and that might prove important when everyone meets up in OKC next week.

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