Pre-season vote: Bears projected to finish second

Junior infield Ari Hawkins slides to make a base. Photo credit: Kevin Freeman | Lariat Photographer

By Hunter Hewell Lariat Reporter

The Lady Bears softball team has received the No. 2 ranking in the Big 12 Coaches Preseason Poll for the third season in a row.

Oklahoma, who has been ranked No. 1 seven times out of the last eight preseasons, has once again been selected as the leader of the Big 12.

Baylor earned a total of 32 points to achieve its second-place rank, and even received two first place votes.

The Bears’ 32 points placed them in front of the University of Texas (26 points) and the University of Kansas (20 points). The Bears also earned two first-place votes while Oklahoma earned five first-place votes.

Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Iowa State finished out the Big 12 rankings with 14, 13, and 7 points, respectively.

Baylor softball looks forward to a veteran team this season, returning seven starters from last year’s squad, which made it to the Regional final in 2015.

Returning for the Lady Bears is NFCA All-American infielder Shelby Friudenberg and Big 12 strikeout leader, Heather Stearns.

The Bears open the 2016 season against McNeese State on Feb. 12-14 at Getterman Stadium.