Texas softball passes OU for No. 1 in latest D1Softball poll

A 5-0 stretch for Texas softball last week combined with a shocking OU loss to Louisiana moved the Longhorns up to the No. 1 spot in the latest D1Softball poll.

Reese Atwood, Texas softball
Reese Atwood, Texas softball / Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman /

Texas softball has completely dominated its competition in the last couple of weeks, winning six consecutive games dating back to the end of the Lone Star State Invitational in Austin last weekend. Over the weekend, Texas and head coach Mike White won their first four games, all by decisive margins.

Three of the four wins for the Longhorns over the weekend were run-ruled in five innings. Sophomore Reese Atwood and the Texas bats heated up to put up double-digit runs in its first three games of the Longhorn Invitational last weekend.

OU's loss to UL moves Texas softball into D1Softball's No. 1 spot

After the first month of the 2024 regular season, the Longhorns' resume is nearly spotless. Texas sits with a record of 17-1 (0-0 Big 12) entering a key contest against the Penn State Nittany Lions to round out the Longhorn Invitational on March 4.

Texas has as good of a resume as it gets in college softball early this season. The only blemish on the Longhorns' resume to date this season is a one-run loss to the No. 13 Stanford Cardinal in extra innings on Feb. 24.

Atwood and the Longhorns boast four wins over top 10 ranked opponents this season. Texas has defeated the No. 10 UCLA Bruins twice, No. 9 Stanford, and No. 2 Tennessee Lady Vols. No other team has as many top-10 wins as the Longhorns so far this season.

The great early-season results from the Longhorns were rewarded thanks to a big upset win by Louisiana in extra innings in Norman, OK, over the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners last weekend. Louisiana snapped Oklahoma's 71-game winning streak with a 7-5 win in eight innings in the OU Tournament on March 3.

That was Oklahoma's first loss since Feb. 19, 2023.

Oklahoma's loss to Louisiana slid the Sooners down in this week's D1Softball top 25 poll. That means the Longhorns moved up one spot to claim the No. 1 ranking. Here's a complete look at this week's top 25 D1Softball poll.

1. Texas

2. Oklahoma

3. LSU

4. Oklahoma State

5. Duke

6. Stanford

7. Washington

8. Georgia

9. Tennessee

10. Baylor

11. Clemson

12. Alabama

13. Missouri

14. Florida

15. Virginia Tech

16. Florida State

17. Mississippi State

18. UCLA

19. California

20. South Carolina

21. Arizona

22. Arkansas

23. Texas A&M

24. Boston University

25. Kentucky

Three of the top four teams in this week's D1Softball poll are from the Big 12. Texas, Oklahoma, and the No. 4 Oklahoma State Cowgirls will all challenge for the Big 12 Championship in what looks like the best conference in college softball in 2024.

Atwood leads Texas into Big 12 play this week

After the finale of the Longhorn Invitational on March 4 against Penn State and one more tune-up game against UT-Arlington on March 6, Texas will open Big 12 play on March 8 on the road against the Houston Cougars.

Atwood leads the red-hot Texas bats into the first and only weekend series as Big 12 foes against Houston before the Longhorns leave for the SEC next year. Texas has scored double-digit runs in three of the last four contests, including a combined 30 runs in shutout wins over Tarleton State and Hofstra in the Longhorn Invitational last weekend.

Freshman Katie Stewart and Atwood have set the tone for the Texas offense this season, registering a combined 47 runs batted in over 18 games. Atwood leads the nation with 10 home runs and 37 RBIs. Stewart has three home runs and 20 RBIs this season.

Both Atwood and Stewart are batting well over .400. Atwood ranks second nationally with a sparkling .527 average and a 1.720 OPS.

Texas begins its quest of defending the No. 1 ranking against Penn State at Red & Charline McCombs Field in Austin in the finale of the Longhorn Invitational on March 4 at 5 p.m. CT.

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