Texas softball players Erica Wright (left) and Taylor Ellsworth speak during a softball game at McCombs Field on April 2, 2017. (Stephen Spillman / for AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

BEVO BEAT Softball

Texas returns to its preseason placement among the Big 12’s best softball teams

Posted January 25th, 2018

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This spring, Texas will be searching for gold on the softball diamond. The Big 12’s coaches, however, are predicting that the Longhorns will unearth some bronze.

Texas was listed third in the Big 12’s preseason poll, which was released on Thursday morning. UT did not receive any first-place votes from the conference’s coaches, and the team’s score of 24 edged Oklahoma State by a point. Texas last won a Big 12 championship in 2010, but the program has earned a top-three spot in its conference’s preseason poll in eight straight seasons.

Oklahoma, which has won the last two NCAA titles, topped the preseason poll for the ninth time in the past decade. Baylor finished second.

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Texas went 33-26 in 2017, and the Longhorns’ season ended after playing four games at a regional hosted by Texas A&M. The Longhorns also finished fourth in the Big 12 standings.

Catcher Taylor Ellsworth, outfielder Reagan Hathaway and pitcher Erica Wright are among the returnees that UT will lean on. For the 22nd season, the Longhorns will be coached by Connie Clark.

UT’s season opener against Incarnate Word is scheduled for Feb. 9.

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