Jayhawks Tabbed Fourth in Big 12 Preseason Poll
IRVING, Texas – Kansas softball was picked to finish fourth in 2014 by the Big 12 coaches as announced by the league office on Wednesday afternoon.
“The Big 12, once again, is going to be one of the top conferences in the country,” said head coach Megan Smith. “Iit’s a big honor for us to be fourth. It is still preseason rankings, so we need to go out there work hard and prove that we should be there.”
The fourth-place tab marks Kansas’ highest preseason conference ranking since the 2002 season when the Jayhawks were also slated fourth. Additionally, KU’s 18 points in Wednesday’s poll is the best preseason point total since garnering 25 points prior to the 2009 season.
Defending National Champion Oklahoma was selected to finish first after receiving 6-of-7 first-place votes and a total of 36 points. Baylor received 31 points, coming in second behind the Sooners. Texas claimed third with 26 points, while Kansas (18) landed in fourth. Oklahoma State (16), Texas Tech (13), and Iowa State (7) rounded out this year’s preseason poll.
Kansas finished in fourth place in the Big 12 Conference in 2013, its highest since the 2001 season, and an impressive jump from finishing eighth in the league the year prior. The Jayhawks return 10 veterans and eight welcomes newcomers to the diamond in 2014. Among the returners are 2013 All-Big 12 Second Team selections Kelsey Kessler and Chaley Brickey.
KU softball opens the 2014 season on Feb. 7 at Central Florida and will spend the first five weeks of the season on the road before hosting the Jayhawk Invitational March 14-16 at Arrocha Ballpark.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.