Tulsa Golden Hurricane

2019 record: 37-20 (NCAA Regional)

Looking ahead: Tulsa opens the season with five games at the Mercer Invitational in Macon, Georgia. TU begins with Friday games against Tennessee Tech (9 a.m.) and Eastern Kentucky (11:15). The Hurricane also will play weekend games against Mercer, Eastern Kentucky and Dayton.

Players to watch: RHP Chenise Delce (15-6, 1.63 ERA, 141⅔ IP, 124 Ks, .282 BA, 22 RBIs), RHP Samantha Pochop (12-8, 118 IP, 2.91 ERA), CF Mikayla Whitten (.243, 16 RBIs).

Notable: Longtime assistant coach Crissy Strimple takes over as Tulsa’s head coach. … TU was picked to finish third behind USF and Wichita State in the American Athletic Conference preseason poll. … The Hurricane returns three starters (3B Alexis Perry, SS Sarah Briers and CF Mikayla Whitten) and designated player Chenise Delce.

Oklahoma Sooners

2019 record: 57-6 (Women’s College World Series, national runner-up)

Looking ahead: The Sooners will play four games in the Puerto Vallarta (Mexico) College Challenge. OU opened against Nevada on Thursday, will face Long Beach State on Friday and play George Washington and BYU on Saturday.

Players to watch: LHP Giselle Juarez (28-4, 1.39 ERA, 186⅓ IP, 269 Ks, .151 OBA); DP Jocelyn Alo (.379 BA, 16 HR, 56 RBIs); IF Grace Green (.359 BA, 17 HR, 54 RBIs, 10 SB)

Notable: The Sooners enter the season ranked No. 3 in both major preseason polls. … Giselle Juarez, Jocelyn Alo and Grace Green have been named to a player of the year watch list. … OU is the preseason favorite to win its ninth consecutive Big 12 league title. … Oklahoma’s home opener is Feb. 28 against Northwestern.

Oklahoma State Cowgirls

2019 record: 45-17 (Women’s College World Series)

Looking ahead: Oklahoma State begins the 2020 campaign at the LSU Tiger Classic. Game 1 is against LSU on Friday, followed by games Saturday against Florida A&M and LSU and one Sunday against Florida A&M.

Players to watch: P Carrie Eberle (at Virginia Tech, 12-5, 2.24 ERA, 103⅓ IP, 75 Ks); UT Hayley Busby (at Virginia, .388 BA, 66 H, 17 2B, 11 HR); OF Chyenne Factor (.338 BA, 45 H, 6 2B, 9 HR).

Notable: The Cowgirls are No. 13 in the preseason polls and kickstart the season at the Tiger Classic. … OSU finished No. 6 in both polls last season after a WCWS run. … OSU’s home opener is Feb. 28 against UI Chicago and kicks off a 16-game homestand.

Eric Bailey



Twitter: @ericbaileyTW

Sports Writer

Eric covers the University of Oklahoma football and men’s basketball teams. A Haskell Indian Nations University graduate, he has been a member of the Tulsa World sports staff for 12 years. Phone: 918-581-8391