2024 Big 12 Softball Week 3 Schedule and Preview

Heartland College Sports – An Independent Big 12 Today Blog

We’re headed into the third weekend of the 2024 college softball season and we appear to have a very interesting Big 12 race coming up later in the year.

Oklahoma and Texas are the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country heading into Week 3, with Oklahoma State checking in at No. 8, Baylor at No. 22, and both Texas Tech and UCF receiving votes in the latest poll.

Last weekend, the Clearwater Invitational was cut in half due to games being canceled by inclement weather, but there’s another top-tier tournament this week that should provide some more answers about the teams in this conference.

The eyes of the softball world will shift to Cathedral City, California, at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, where Oklahoma, Baylor, BYU, and UCF will all be in action.

 

Here’s a look at the Big 12 softball schedule and preview for Week 3.

Oklahoma’s pitching staff has been the team’s strength early on, ranking third nationally in ERA (.50) through two weekends of action. The Sooners’ bats are still doing damage, but perhaps not to the level that they’ve grown used to over the past several seasons. It’s time for Jayda Coleman to heat up at the plate, and this weekend could provide that opportunity. OU will face a good Mississippi State team on Friday, but otherwise, should have fairly manageable matchups the rest of the weekend at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.

OPPONENT DATE TIME LOCATION NETWORK
#20 Mississippi State Feb 23 (Fri) 7:30 pm. CT Cathedral City, CA FloSoftball
Wisconsin Feb 23 (Fri) 10:00 p.m. CT Cathedral City, CA FloSoftball
(RV) San Deigo State Feb 24 (Sat) 2:30 p.m. CT Cathedral City, CA FloSoftball
Seattle Feb 25 (Sun) 11:00 a.m. CT Cathedral City, CA FloSoftball
Loyola Marymount Feb 18 (Sun) 11:00 a.m. CT Cathedral City, CA FloSoftball

After spending Week 1 in California and last week in Florida, Texas will finally get to stay home in Austin and play in front of their home crowd. The stands should be packed at McCombs Field, too, as the Longhorns will return home as the No. 2 team in the nation after an impressive 7-0 start. Texas’ bats have been white-hot to begin the year, ranking fifth nationally with a .415 team batting average, third nationally with a .500 on-base percentage, and second with 10.71 runs per game through two weeks. After a solo game against Houston Christian on Wednesday, UT will host Louisiana, Colorado State, and Stanford at the Lone Star State Invitational.

OPPONENT DATE TIME LOCATION NETWORK
Houston Christian Feb 21 (Wed) 5:00 p.m. CT Austin, TX LHN
(RV) Louisiana Feb 23 (Fri) 4:00 p.m. CT Austin, TX LHN
Colorado State Feb 23 (Fri) 6:30 p.m. CT Austin, TX LHN
Colorado State Feb 24 (Sat) 4:30 p.m. CT Austin, TX LHN
#12 Stanford Feb 24 (Sat) 7:00 p.m. CT Austin, TX LHN
(RV) Louisiana Feb 25 (Sun) 12:30 p.m. CT Austin, TX LHN

 

Oklahoma State will continue its journey through the State of Florida after playing in the Clearwater Invitational before picking up a win over No. 16 Florida in Gainesville on Monday night. The Cowgirls will get things kicked off on Wednesday against Stetson in a solo game before heading to Tampa for the South Florida Showdown. There, they’ll find some pretty serious competition with No. 4 Washington also in town. OSU will play six games between now and Sunday afternoon, so we will learn a ton about the resolve of this team early on.

OPPONENT DATE TIME LOCATION NETWORK
Stetson Feb 21 (Wed) 10:30 a.m. CT DeLand, FL ESPN+
#4 Washington Feb 22 (Thu) 12:30 p.m. CT Tampa, FL
USF Feb 22 (Thu) 5:30 p.m. CT Tampa, FL ESPN+
Yale Feb 23 (Fri) 3:30 p.m. CT Tampa, FL
Pittsburgh Feb 24 (Sat) 8:00 a.m. CT Tampa, FL ESPN+
Loyola (Chicago) Feb 25 (Sun) 10:30 a.m. CT Tampa, FL

Baylor has played one of the toughest schedules in the country through the first two weeks and finds itself sitting at 3-3 through six games. They’ll nearly double that total before Sunday, and once again, they’ll be facing stiff competition at the Mary Nutter Classic. A game against No. 25 Oregon will kick things off on Thursday, but No. 19 UCLA and No. 13 Missouri are also waiting later in the weekend. Luckily for the Bears, they’ll have an entire week off afterward.

OPPONENT DATE TIME LOCATION NETWORK
#25 Oregon Feb 22 (Thu) 7:00 pm. CT Palm Springs, CA FloSoftball
Notre Dame Feb 22 (Thu) 9:30 p.m. CT Palm Springs, CA FloSoftball
UC Riverside Feb 23 (Fri) 10:30 p.m. CT Palm Springs, CA FloSoftball
#19 UCLA Feb 24 (Sat) 7:30 p.m. CT Palm Springs, CA FloSoftball
#13 Missouri Feb 24 (Sat) 10:00 p.m. CT Palm Springs, CA FloSoftball

 

Texas Tech started their weekend in San Marcos (Tex.) off with a bang, winning each of their first four games before dropping Sunday’s contest to Texas State, 1-8. However, the Red Raiders can put that behind them now with the North Texas Tournament picking up on Friday. While in Denton (Tex.), TTU will face Stephen F. Austin, Minnesota (2x), and North Texas (2x). It should be a great weekend for Craig Snider to figure out the pitching rotation.

OPPONENT DATE TIME LOCATION NETWORK
Stephen F. Austin Feb 23 (Fri) 9:00 a.m. CT Denton, TX
Minnesota Feb 23 (Fri) 2:00 p.m. CT Denton, TX
Minnesota Feb 24 (Sat) 11:30 a.m. CT Denton, TX
North Texas Feb 24 (Sat) 7:00 p.m. CT Denton, TX
North Texas Feb 25 (Sun) 11:30 a.m. CT Denton, TX

The last time we saw UCF on the field, they were setting offensive records with a 25-hit, 21-run performance against Wisconsin. They’ll need to keep the offense rolling this weekend as well, as the Knights face the most difficult schedule of anyone in the conference at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. There, they’ll face No. 20 Mississippi State, No. 25 Oregon, No. 13 Missouri, and No. 5 Tennessee with two more contests packed in. We will learn a lot about UCF this weekend.

OPPONENT DATE TIME LOCATION NETWORK
#20 Mississippi State Feb 22 (Thu) 2:00 p.m. ET Cathedral City, CA FloSoftball
#25 Oregon Feb 22 (Thu) 5:30 p.m. ET Cathedral City, CA FloSoftball
#13 Missouri Feb 23 (Fri) 8:30 p.m. ET Cathedral City, CA FloSoftball
Oregon State Feb 23 (Fri) 11:30 p.m. ET Cathedral City, CA FloSoftball
#5 Tennessee Feb 24 (Sat) 8:00 p.m. ET Cathedral City, CA FloSoftball
San Diego Feb 24 (Sat) 10:30 p.m. ET Cathedral City, CA FloSoftball

BYU will also be in action at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, but won’t face near the gauntlet that fellow Big 12 newcomer UCF is set to run. The Cougars dropped a couple of games against quality opponents last weekend and will have a chance to start stacking wins again this week in Cathedral City. With nearly 30 innings of work through 10 games, Chloe Temples will need someone else to step in and help manage the workload with Big 12 play just two weeks away.

OPPONENT DATE TIME LOCATION NETWORK
Bethune-Cookman Feb 22 (Thu) 1:00 p.m. MST Cathedral City, CA FloSoftball
UC Riverside Feb 22 (Thu) 8:00 p.m. MST Cathedral City, CA FloSoftball
Long Beach State Feb 23 (Fri) 4:30 p.m. MST Cathedral City, CA FloSoftball
Cal Poly Feb 24 (Sat) 6:00 p.m. MST Cathedral City, CA FloSoftball
Rutgers Feb 24 (Sat) 9:00 p.m. MST Cathedral City, CA FloSoftball

Houston has had a great start to the season, already sitting at 10-1 heading into the third weekend. They haven’t had much competition to this point, but that will change in a hurry at the Tiger Classic in Baton Rouge (La.). There, Houston will face No. 7 LSU not once but twice and will also play Boise State, who is receiving votes in the latest polls. If Houston can come out of this weekend, 13-3 or better, it would be a huge statement for the program in a transition year.

OPPONENT DATE TIME LOCATION NETWORK
Austin Peay Feb 23 (Fri) 1:30 p.m. CT Baton Rouge. LA
#7 LSU Feb 23 (Fri) 6:30 p.m. CT Baton Rouge. LA
(RV) Boise State Feb 24 (Sat) 11:00 a.m. CT Baton Rouge. LA
#7 LSU Feb 24 (Sat) 4:00 p.m. CT Baton Rouge. LA
Austin Peay Feb 25 (Sun) 11:00 a.m. CT Baton Rouge. LA

Iowa State will leave Las Vegas (Nev.) behind and head across the country to Charlottesville (Vir.) for the Rawlings Classic this weekend. Winners in five of their last six games, Iowa State will have a good chance to add to their winning streak with games against Delaware, Lehigh, and Virginia on the docket. After that, a trip to the Colorado Classic and then ISU opens up Big 12 play against No. 1 Oklahoma in Norman.

OPPONENT DATE TIME LOCATION NETWORK
Delaware Feb 23 (Fri) 9:00 a.m. CT Charlottesville, VA
Lehigh Feb 23 (Fri) 11:30 a.m. CT Charlottesville, VA
Delaware Feb 24 (Sat) 9:00 a.m. CT Charlottesville, VA
Virginia Feb 24 (Sat) 2:30 p.m. CT Charlottesville, VA ACCN
Lehigh Feb 25 (Sun) 9:00 a.m. CT Charlottesville, VA

Kansas’ trip to The Spring Games in Florida last weekend ended in a wash, with the Jayhawks going 2-2 and having their last two games canceled. This week, KU will head to the Texas A&M Classic in College Station, where they’ll face UTSA (2x), North Dakota State (2x), and the 18th-ranked Texas A&M Aggies. The Jayhawks desperately need someone other than Katie Brooks to find success in the circle. She’s been fantastic, going 4-0 with a 1.11 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 25.1 IP. However, the leading pitcher, Kasey Hamilton, has struggled in tough games, going 0-4 with a 4.61 ERA and 18 earned runs in 27.1 IP

OPPONENT DATE TIME LOCATION NETWORK
UTSA Feb 22 (Thu) 2:30 p.m. CT College Station, TX
UTSA Feb 23 (Fri) 9:00 a.m. CT College Station, TX
North Dakota State Feb 24 (Sat) 2:00 p.m. CT College Station, TX
#18 Texas A&M Feb 24 (Sat) 4:30 a.m. CT College Station, TX ESPN+
North Dakota State Feb 25 (Sun) 9:00 a.m. CT College Station, TX