KU Picked Eighth in Big 12 Softball Preseason Coaches Poll

Jan. 26, 2005

DALLAS – The Kansas softball team was picked to finish eighth in the Big 12 Conference this season, the league office announced Wednesday. Texas is the Big 12 softball coaches’ preseason favorite to win the league title in 2005, while Oklahoma trailed by just two first-place votes in the annual poll.

Texas A&M (61 points) ranked third followed by Baylor (fourth – 58 points), Nebraska (fifth – 48 points), Missouri (sixth – 43 points), Oklahoma State (seventh – 32 points), Kansas (eighth – 24 points), Texas Tech (ninth – 20 points), and Iowa State (10th -12 points).

Kansas returns 10 letterwinners to its 2005 roster including right-handed pitchers Serena Settlemier and Kassie Humphreys. Freshman lefty Christina Ross will also add a big boost to the Jayhawks’ pitching staff. The Jayhawks also return four starters from the infield and one in the outfield.

The Longhorns return 2004 Olympian and 2003 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year in junior pitcher Cat Osterman, in addition to the returning six of eight starting position players and a pitching staff of six. The 2002-03 Big 12 Pitcher of the Year missed all of the 2004 season training with the gold-medal winning U.S. Olympic team.

The Big 12 softball season gets underway Feb. 4, with Baylor, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Texas Tech competing. The Jayhawks will face the Cowgirls (2 p.m.) in non-conference action and No. 2 Arizona (6 p.m) in the Pepsi Classic Feb. 4 in Tucson, Ariz.

2005 Big 12 CONFERENCE Softball Preseason Coaches Poll

Team (first-place votes) Points
1. Texas (6) 77
2. Oklahoma (4) 75
3. Texas A&M 61
4. Baylor 58
5. Nebraska 48
6. Missouri 43
7. Oklahoma State 32
8. Kansas 24
9. Texas Tech 20
10. Iowa State 12