For the third consecutive season, the Missouri softball team has been voted as the No. 2 team in the Big 12 Conference, with Oklahoma picked as No. 1 in the Preseason Poll.
Missouri closed out 2010 with their second straight Women’s College World Series berth, and finished eighth in the final polls. For the second year in a row, the Tigers passed the 50-win barrier, collecting a school-record 51 last year.
The Tigers return three of their four pitchers from last year, including junior Kristin Nottelmann and redshirt sophomore Chelsea Thomas, who received a medical hardship waiver after suffering a season-ending wrist injury at the end of March. Joining the Tiger hurlers are eight of last year’s starters in the lineup, including two-time All American Rhea Taylor and 2010 First Team All-Big 12 Selections Jenna Marston and Ashley Fleming.
Mizzou opens the 2011 season against Fresno State at the San Diego Classic in San Diego, Calif., on Feb. 18. Prior to the season opener, the Tigers will hold their annual Black and Gold exhibition game on Feb. 12 at 3 p.m. CT.