Baylor Bears

Top 25 Big 12 Softball Players Heading into the 2024 Season

The 2024 college softball season is upon us, as every team in the Big 12 is less than one week away from their first contests of the year.

Even outside of the three-time defending champion Oklahoma Sooners, the Big 12 has been home to some of the best softball in the entire country over the past several seasons.

The roster in Norman is undoubtedly the most talented that you’ll find in college softball, but there are players in Stillwater, Austin, Waco, and other Big 12 cities that could go just about anywhere and be a top player for another program.

Entering the 2024 season, there’s a ton of talent spread out amongst the conference and these are the top 25 players that you’ll need to keep an eye on.

 

1. Jayda Coleman, CF, Oklahoma

2023 Stats: .408 BA, .533 OB%, .788 SLG, 17 HR, 48 RBI, 16 SB; 1.000 FLD%

Jayda Coleman isn’t just the best player in the Big 12, but perhaps the top player in the entire country entering the 2024 season, and will certainly be in the discussion for the USA Softball National Player of the Year.

2. Tiare Jennings, 2B, Oklahoma

2023 Stats: .415 BA, .477 OB%, .781 SLG, 17 HR, 66 RBI, 13 SO (183 AB); .992 FLD%

One of the nation’s top infielders, Tiare Jennings is another player on the Sooners’ 2024 roster that could be up for National Player of the Year awards at season’s end.

3. Kelly Maxwell, P, Oklahoma

2023 Stats: 1.91 ERA (143.0 IP), 228 K, 73 BB, .157 BA

The former Oklahoma State star has switched sides in the Bedlam Rivalry and will now be a member of a true staff in 2024. Will that allow her to get back to her dominant form that we saw in 2022?

4. Kinzie Hansen, C, Oklahoma

2023 Stats: .401 BA, .431 OB%, .752 SLG, 13 HR, 57 RBI; .993 FLD%

Another superstar senior for the Sooners, Kenzie Hansen caught fire in the postseason last year and showed how dominant she can be when healthy. If that continues in her final year, watch out.

 

5. Lexi Kilfoyl, P, Oklahoma State

2023 Stats: 1.70 ERA (139.2 IP), 130 K, 39 BB, .188 BA

The unquestioned ace for Oklahoma State in the 2023 postseason, Lexi Kilfoyl will be the arm that carries the Cowgirls in 2024. There are pieces around here, and if a second arm emerges, OSU will be a WCWS team once again.

6. Alyssa Brito, 3B, Oklahoma

2023 Stats: .412 BA, .477 OB%, .824 SLG, 17 HR, 60 RBI; .960 FLD%

Alyssa Brito emerged as one of the top power hitters for Oklahoma last season and is expected to fill that role again in 2024. Her role at third base is also pivotal in the Sooners defensive stalwart.

7. Shaylon Govan, 1B, Baylor

2023 Stats: .366 BA, .510 OB%, .676 SLG, 11 HR, 54 RBI; .981 FLD%

There are not many players in the country that have the presence at the plate that Shay Govan brings. With the power to go deep in any part of the field, Govan can always provide a spark for the Bears’ offense.

8. Kailey Wyckoff, C, Texas Tech

2023 Stats: .391 BA, .449 OB%, .735 SLG, 9 HR, 31 RBI; .994 FLD%

Kailey Wyckoff is coming off winning the 2023 Big 12 Freshman of the Year award and will be looked to as a leader for a Texas Tech squad that is trying to get back to relevance in the Big 12 picture. A sophomore leap might make her one of this sport’s best young superstars.

9. Mia Scott, 3B, Texas

2023 Stats: .377 BA, .444 OB%, .503 SLG, 2 HR, 32 RBI, 20 SB; .929 FLD%

A do-it-all junior for the Longhorns, Mia Scott is one of the hardest players in the Big 12 to send back to the dugout and once she’s on base, she’s always a threat to advance. Scott should be one of the leaders for a dangerous Texas squad in 2024.

10. Jada Cody, IF, UCF

2023 Stats: .301 BA, .403 OB%, .538 SLG, 7 HR, 26 RBI; .950 FLD%

While she didn’t live up to her 2022 season which included 15 HR and 75 RBI, Jada Cody was still a force for the Knights’ offense last season. If she can have a resurgent year in ’24, the Knights could be surprise contenders in the Big 12.

 

11. Leighann Goode, 2B, Texas

2023 Stats: .330 BA, .396 OB%, .557 SLG, 8 HR, 41 RBI; .986 FLD%

Leighann Goode was one of several young bright spots for Texas in 2023 and figures to be one of the top infielders in the Big 12 this season. There were times that she showed some flashes of Janae Jefferson-like ability as a freshman, and that’s high praise around Austin.

12. Nicole May, P, Oklahoma

2023 Stats: 0.91 ERA (107.2 IP), 130 K, 29 BB, .161 BA

Often the forgotten hero of Oklahoma’s pitching staff over the past several seasons, but has been statistically elite. May finished second in the country with a 0.91 ERA in 2023 and will be a key cog in the Sooners rotation in 2024.

13. Sarah Willis, P, UCF

2023 Stats: 1.65 ERA (152.1 IP), 124 K, 57 BB, .186 BA

The unanimous AAC Pitcher of the Year in 2023 and AAC First-Team selection, Sarah Williams is easily the most impactful player of the four new rosters in the Big 12 and immediately becomes one of the top arms in a very deep conference of pitchers.

14. Huntry Ava, 1B, BYU

2023 Stats: .328 BA, .429 OB%, .746 SLG, 16 HR, 50 RBI; .995 FLD%

Perhaps one of the top incoming players among Big 12 newcomers, Huntyr Ava led the West Coast Conference in home runs (16) a season ago and will be a huge part of BYU’s first season in the Big 12.

15. Dariana Orme, P, Baylor

2023 Stats: 1.92 ERA (149.2 IP), 126 K, 50 BB, .210 BA

Dari Orme was right on the cusp of being among the nation’s elite pitchers a season ago and likely would’ve been that if Aliyah Binford had stayed healthy. In 2024, she could be an X-Factor in the Bears taking another step toward making it back to the WCWS.

16. Rylie Boone, OF, Oklahoma

2023 Stats: .392 BA, .493 OB%, .528 SLG, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 5 SB; .974 FLD%

Another senior for a dominant Sooners’ squad, Rylie Boone was a lightning rod for the Oklahoma offense last season, particularly in the postseason. When OU needed a play to wake the offense up, many times it was Boone, who is also a big-time threat on the base paths.

17. Joley Mitchell, 3B, Texas

2023 Stats: .382 BA, .438 OB%, .651 SLG, 10 HR, 39 RBI; .939 FLD%

Perhaps one of the most impactful transfers in the Big 12 in 2024, Texas brought in Notre Dame transfer Joley Mitchell, who was an All-ACC First-Team selection in 2023 and figures to be a key part of the Longhorns offense and infield.

18. Chloe Evans, RF, UCF

2023 Stats: .355 BA, .411 OB%, .624 SLG, 6 HR, 49 RBI; .970 FLD%

The statistical leader for UCF in 2023, Chloe Evans leads the Knights into an entirely new challenge in 2024. If Evans and Jada Cody can both play to their potential this season, UCF will surprise a ton of people.

19. Tallen Edwards, LF, Oklahoma State

2023 Stats: .328 BA, .381 OB%, .454 SLG, 3 HR, 26 RBI

A freshman All-American season in 2023 has set the expectations sky-high for Tallen Edwards, one of the few returning starters for Oklahoma State in 2024.

20. Turiya Coleman, IF, Houston

2023 Stats: .397 BA, .503 OB%, .645 SLG, 8 HR, 26 RBI; .947 FLD%

Turiya Coleman, an Oklahoma transfer in 2023, immediately became Houston’s top offensive weapon, ranking second in the AAC in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging.

21. Violet Zavodnik, CF, BYU

2023 Stats: .267 BA, .408 OB%, .586 SLG, 9 HR, 36 RBI, 9 SB; 1.000 FLD%

A trusty and experienced defender, Wioley Zavodnik will be one of BYU’s top offensive weapons as well as they enter the Big 12, with 42 career home runs and 143 career RBI in three seasons.

22. McKenzie Wilson, OF, Baylor

2023 Stats: .322 BA, .435 OB%, .383 SLG, 59 H, 53 R, 23 RBI; .977 FLD%

McKenzie Wilson is one of the top overall athletes in the Big 12 and led Baylor’s offense with 59 hits and 53 runs in 2023, earning her All-Big 12 First-Team honors.

23. Viviana Martinez, SS, Texas

2023 Stats: .346 BA, .391 OB%, .532 SLG, 5 HR, 52 RBI; .931 FLD%

Viviana Martinez is coming off an All-Big 12 Freshman Team selection in 2023 after setting the UT freshman record for RBI (52) in a single season. If she can clean up the errors (16), she’ll easily be one of the top 10 players in the Big 12 by season’s end.

24. Milaysia Ochoa, CF, Iowa State

2023 Stats: .313 BA, .401 OB%, .608 SLG, 12 HR, 33 RBI; .965 FLD%

Milaysia Ochoa was the only Cyclone to start all 55 games in 2023 and was not only Iowa State’s top offensive weapon, but one of the top centerfielders in the Big 12 as well.

25. Citlaly Gutierrez, P, Texas

2023 Stats: 2.00 ERA (108.2 IP), 77 K, 33 BB, .223 BA

The third Texas sophomore on this list, Citlaly Gutierrez enters the 2024 season with perhaps the highest ceiling of any pitcher on the Longhorns’ staff. Taking a leap to become the ace for this team would be huge, not just for Gutierrez, but for UT’s chances of getting back to the WCWS.

Honorable Mention: Aliyah Binford, UTL, Baylor; Mac Morgan, P, Texas; Ashton Maloney, UTL, Texas; Alynah Torres, UTL, Oklahoma; Cydney Sanders, IF, Oklahoma; Olivia Bruno, UTL, Kansas

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