Texas infielder Janae Jefferson led the Longhorns in batting average and runs scored during the 2018 season. NICK WAGNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

BEVO BEAT Softball

Big 12 coaches set a high bar for Texas ahead of the 2019 softball season

Posted January 10th, 2019

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With the countdown to the start of the 2019 softball season underway, the Big 12’s coaches are seeing silver in Texas’ future.

Texas was ranked second in the Big 12’s preseason poll on Thursday. The Longhorns trailed only Oklahoma, which has won the conference’s last seven regular-season championships, in a ranking voted on by the Big 12 coaches. Texas tallied 29 points to earn a three-point edge over Baylor, which was the only team aside from Oklahoma to earn a first-place vote.

UT finished in fourth place in last year’s Big 12 standings. The Longhorns went onto win a bronze medal at the conference’s tournament.

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Texas will open its season on Feb. 8 with a home game against Northwestern State. The Longhorns won’t begin conference play until Iowa State arrived in Austin on March 22.

This season will be the Longhorns’ first with former Oregon head coach Mike White in the dugout. Nine players who recorded at least 80 at-bats last year, all-conference pitcher Brooke Bolinger and outfielder Reagan Hathaway, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, are among the team’s retuners. Texas will also welcome five freshmen and a quartet of transfers from a Duck program that White led from 2010-18. Infielder Macy Smith, who transferred to UT from Seminole State College this off-season, recently left the program.

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