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Big 12, SEC flex their softball muscles early | Bohls

You think the SEC and Big 12 are strong in college softball?

If you didn’t, you might be convinced by their teams’ opening games in the NCAA Tournament.

No fewer than 10 of the SEC’s 13 entries posted wins on Friday while all five of the Big 12 clubs in the field took victories, including top-seeded Texas, which blanked Siena 5-0 behind Mac Morgan’s no-hitter and near perfect game.

Besides the Longhorns, No. 2 seed and defending national champion Oklahoma pounded Cleveland State 9-0, No. 5 Oklahoma State whipped Northern Colorado 6-0 to give the three seeded Big 12 teams shutout victories.

Baylor and UCF also advanced into the winner’s bracket and took the measure of SEC teams. The Bears knocked off Ole Miss 3-1 and the Knights trounced Auburn 11-6. The only other SEC team to fall was Missouri, which fell 3-1 in nine innings to Omaha.

Of the other 10 SEC teams in the field, six won by shutouts. They are No. 3 Tennessee, No. 4 Florida, No. 9 LSU, No. 11 Georgia, No. 14 Alabama and Mississippi State. No. 16 Texas A&M, which would face Texas in next week’s super regional if both teams survive their regionals, won 6-2 and No. 12 Arkansas won 3-2. Kentucky and South Carolina won their openers too.

But the Aggies have to first get past Texas State (46-13), which rode ace Jessica Mullins' complete-game four-hitter and the hitting of Hannah Earls and Sara Vanderford for a 4-2 come-from-behind win over Penn State.

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Big 12, SEC win 15 NCAA softball openers