Texas’ softball team claimed the third place spot in the Big 12 Wednesday after the release of the Big 12 preseason coaches’ poll. Falling behind reigning conference champion Oklahoma and Baylor, the Longhorns were selected to a top three spot in the Big 12 for the sixth consecutive year. Texas received zero first place votes, with Oklahoma receiving five and Baylor receiving two.
The Longhorns finished the 2015 season at 38–17, good for third in the Big 12. A loss to San Diego State in the NCAA Regionals knocked Texas out of championship contention in mid-May.
The 2016 roster will look quite similar to the team that took the field last season. Texas returns eight of its nine positional starters, most notably senior outfielder Lindsey Stephens and senior catcher Erin Shireman. Both players hit for over a .300 average in 2015, while compiling 15 and 10 home runs, respectively.
Regular season play for the Longhorns will begin on Feb. 11 as they take on Arkansas in the Texas Classic in Austin. Conference play starts in late March as Texas takes on Baylor on March 25.