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Oklahoma Sooners unanimous No. 1 in ESPN/USA Softball preseason top 25

To the surprise of no one, the Oklahoma Sooners were unanimously voted the No. 1 team in the nation in the ESPN/USA Softball poll as voted on by coaches across the sport.

Oklahoma has now spent more than a year atop the rankings after being selected the preseason No. 1 team prior to 2022. The Sooners will open the year with No. 19 Duke and play No. 14 Stanford and No. 16 Washington in the Mark Campbell Invitational in Irvine, Calif. on February 9.

They’ll play a total of nine teams ranked in the preseason top 25, including No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 Oklahoma State, and No. 4 Florida State.

The two-time defending national champions are the prohibitive favorite despite losing all-time home run leader Jocelyn Alo. They boast an incredibly deep lineup, which includes the last two national freshmen of the year in Tiare Jennings and Cydney Sanders. Their pitching staff is deep with returning All-American Jordy Bahl and transfer addition Alex Storako, who logged 200 innings and 300 strikeouts in 2022.

Here’s a look at the ESPN.com/USA Softball preseason top 25.

Oklahoma Sooners

Jun 8, 2022; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; OklahomaÕs Rylie Boone (0) and head coach Patty Gasso smile during the sixth inning against Texas in game one of the 2022 Women’s College World Series finals at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium. Oklahoma won 16-1. Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

First Place Votes: 25

2022 Record: 59-3

2022 Postseason Rank: 1

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UCLA Bruins

Oklahoma and UCLA pray following the Women’s College World Series softball game between the Oklahoma Sooners and the UCLA Bruins at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Monday, June 6, 2022. OU won 15-0.

2022 Record: 51-10

2022 Postseason Rank: 3

Oklahoma State Cowgirls

Kelly Maxwell (28) pitches as the Oklahoma Sooners face the Oklahoma State Cowgirls in the Big 12 Softball Championship at USA Softball Hall of Fame Complex in Oklahoma City on Saturday, May 14, 2022.

2022 Record: 48-14

2022 Postseason Rank: 4

Florida State Seminoles

Jun 10, 2021; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Florida State Seminoles infielder Devyn Flaherty (9) hits the ball against the Oklahoma Sooners during the fifth inning during game three of the NCAA Womens College World Series Championship Series at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium. Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

2022 Record: 54-7

2022 Postseason Rank: 13

Florida Gators

Florida Gators’ first baseman and outfielder Avery Goelz (7) hits for the Gators as they play Florida Gulf Coast University on May 7, 2022 at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. Gabriella Whisler/Special to the Sun / USA TODAY NETWORK

2022 Record: 49-19

2022 Postseason Rank: 5

Arkansas Razorbacks

Arkansas player Linnie Malkin wears gloves on her head as tries to rally the Razorbacks as they play Tennessee during the SEC Tournament in Rhoads Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Thursday, May 13, 2021. Tennessee defeated Arkansas 1-0. [Pool Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]

2022 Record: 48-11

2022 Postseason Rank: 8

Alabama Crimson Tide

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA – JUNE 07: Montana Fouts #14 of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts from the dugout during the fifth inning of Game 14 of the Women’s College World Series against Florida St. on June 07, 2021 at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Florida St. won 8-5. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

2022 Record: 44-13

2022 Postseason Rank: 17

Northwestern Wildcats

June 2, 2022; Oklahoma City; Northwestern Wildcats utility Rachel Lewis (11) steps on home after a home run during the third inning of the NCAA Women’s College World Series game against the Oklahoma Sooners at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium. Oklahoma won 13-2. Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

2022 Record: 45-13

2022 Postseason Rank: 6

Texas Longhorns

Jun 9, 2022; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners left fielder Alyssa Brito (33) dives safely into home ahead of the tag by Texas Longhorns catcher Mary Iakopo (33) during the fourth inning in game two of the 2022 Women’s College World Series finals at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium. Oklahoma won 10-5 to win the National Championship. Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

2022 Record: 47-22-1

2022 Postseason Rank: 2

Clemson Tigers

Clemson players greet fans after the game with UNC Wilmington during the NCAA Clemson Softball Regional at McWhorter Stadium in Clemson Friday, May 20, 2022. Clemson won 9-0.
Ncaa Clemson Softball Regional Clemson University Tigers Vs Unc Wilmington. Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

2022 Record: 42-17

2022 Postseason Rank: 14

Virginia Tech Hokies

April 21, 2007; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Players on the Virginia Tech Hokies softball team huddle together before the start of the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Tech Softball Park in Blacksburg, VA. This was the first home softball game for Virginia Tech since the since the shootings occurred on April 16, 2007, which claimed the lives of 32 victims. Virginia Tech defeated Maryland 5-4 in the first game of a doubleheader. James Lang-USA TODAY Sports Copyright

2022 Record: 46-10

2022 Postseason Rank: 9

Tennessee Volunteers

The Tennessee Volunteers during the second NCAA Regional Softball game against Oregon State at the Sherri Parker Lee Stadium in Knoxville, TN on Sunday, May 22, 2022. Randy Sartin/Special to the News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

2022 Record: 41-18

2022 Postseason Rank: 19

Georgia Bulldogs

Georgia infielder Ellie Armistead (24) throws a fielded ball to first during an NCAA softball game against Florida on Friday, May 28, 2021 in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

2022 Record: 43-18

2022 Postseason Rank: 23

Stanford Cardinal

May 22, 2022; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; The Stanford Cardinal defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide 6-0 to claim the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional title Sunday. Teammate mob Stanford pitcher Alana Vawter (15) who pitched a complete game shutout. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-The Tuscaloosa News
Ncaa Softball Ncaa Tuscaloosa Region Final Stanford Cardinal At Alabama Crimson Tide. Gary Cosby Jr. / USA TODAY NETWORK

2022 Record: 39-22

2022 Postseason Rank: T15

Arizona Wildcats

Jun 3, 2022; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Arizona Wildcats fans cheer during the sixth inning of the NCAA Women’s College World Series game against the Oregon State Beavers at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium. Arizona won 3-1. Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

2022 Record: 39-22

2022 Postseason Rank: 7

Washington Huskies

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

2022 Record: 38-17

2022 Postseason Rank: 18

Kentucky Wildcats

Fans watch the Crimson Tide take on the Kentucky Wildcats with a colorful sunset behind them at Rhoads Stadium Friday, March 18, 2022. Alabama won the game 4-2, beginning the weekend series with the Wildcats. Gary Cosby Jr. / USA TODAY NETWORK

2022 Record: 37-19

2022 Postseason Rank: 21

UCF Golden Knights

Oklahoma’s Jayda Coleman (24) slides into second base as UCF’s Micaela Macario (28) tries to catch the throw during the softball game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and University of Central Florida (UCF)in the NCAA Norman Super Regional at Marita Hynes Field in Norman, Okla., Friday, May, 27, 2022

2022 Record: 49-14

2022 Postseason Rank: T15

Duke Blue Devils

Duke starting pitcher/relief pitcher Peyton St. George #10 in action during an NCAA softball game on Friday, May 20, 2022, in Durham, N.C. (AP Photo/Kara Durrette)

2022 Record: 44-11

2022 Postseason Rank: 12

LSU Tigers

Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

2022 Record: 34-23

2022 Postseason Rank: Unranked

Auburn Tigers

Auburn fans cheer on their team as Auburn Tigers take on Georgia Bulldogs at Auburn Arena in Auburn, Ala., on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022. Jake Crandall / USA TODAY NETWORK

2022 Record: 40-17

2022 Postseason Rank: Unranked

Oregon Ducks

Oregon pitcher Makenna Kliethermes (15) throws against Arkansas during an NCAA softball game on Sunday, May 22, 2022, in Fayetteville, Ark. (AP Photo/Michael Woods).

2022 Record: 33-19

2022 Postseason Rank: 25

Missouri Tigers

Missouri celebrates its 3-0 win over Tennessee in the semifinal game of the SEC Tournament, Friday, May 13, 2022, at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium in Gainesville, Florida. The Tigers move on to the finals. [Cyndi Chambers/ Special to the Sun] 2022

2022 Record: 38-22

2022 Postseason Rank: 22

Lousiana Ragin Cajuns

Louisiana Lafayette’s Melissa Mayeux stands on the infield during an NCAA softball game against Auburn on Friday, May 20, 2022, in Clemson, S.C. Auburn won 4-3. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

2022 Record: 47-13

2022 Postseason Rank: Unranked

Oregon State Beavers

Jun 3, 2022; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Oregon State Beavers catcher Des Rivera (2) makes contact during the seventh inning of the NCAA Women’s College World Series game against the Arizona Wildcats at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium. Arizona won 3-1. Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

2022 Record: 39-22

2022 Postseason Rank: 10

Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire