Oklahoma’s softball team is ranked second in the preseason poll released by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.
The Sooners won last year’s national championship, and received the most first place votes in the poll, 17, but were second in the overall points behind Tennessee, which lost to OU in the national finals last season.
Tennessee had 729 points to OU’s 720.
The Lady Vols received seven first place votes.
The rest of the top five is Washington, Florida, and Michigan.
OU’s #2 ranking matches their highest preseason ranking ever.
The Sooners were second in 2001 after winning the national title the previous season, and were second in last year’s preseason poll as well.
In the preseason Big 12 coaches poll released on Wednesday, OU is picked to win the conference, getting six of seven first place votes.
Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team.
Baylor is second, followed by Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and Iowa State.
It’s the fifth time in the last six years OU has been picked to win the Big 12.
The Sooners have won each of the last two Big 12 regular season titles and three of the last five.
OU returns seven starters from last year’s national title team, including national player of the year finalist Lauren Chamberlain and All-American Shelby Pendley.
The Sooners open the 2014 season against 12th-ranked Kentucky on February 7 in a tournament in Fullerton, California.