411OnTheForty: Softball schedule includes 7 teams on preseason top 25

Third baseman Mary Iakopo and the Texas Longhorns face a rigorous 2021 schedule, which features seven opponents ranked in the preseason top 25 (photo courtesy of texassports.com).

AUSTIN, Texas — Just 11 days prior to the season opener, the No. 9 Texas softball team announced its 2021 schedule, which features seven opponents ranked in the top 25 by D1Softball.

Texas will begin its season in Austin, hosting the Texas Classic Feb. 11-14. No. 4 Arizona will be the Horns' first opponent, followed by two duels Feb. 12 and 13 with No. 8 Alabama.

Two weeks later, the Horns will return home after a weekend road trip to Frisco for the Tracey Beard Invitational, and play four different opponents, including No. 15 Mississippi State at the Lone Star State Invitational.

The grueling non-conference slate continues, as Texas will travel out of state for a two-game set March 5-6 in Baton Rouge, La., against No. 5 LSU.

Another notable non-conference date will come March 17, when Texas travels to face No. 7 Louisiana in a doubleheader.

Kicking off the Big 12 slate will be a three-game set April 1-3 against Texas Tech. The most critical UT series this season will come in Norman, Okla., from April 16-18, when the Longhorns face Oklahoma, which starts the season ranked No. 2, in a series that could significantly impact the Big 12 regular season title. The conference schedule will conclude with three games March 7-9 against now-No. 19 Baylor; Baylor will travel to Austin Friday, before Texas heads to Waco for the final two games Saturday and Sunday.

Riley Zayas

Riley Zayas is a high school sophomore and freelance journalist from Round Rock, Texas. He began his journalism career as a Sports Illustrated Kids reporter and has since become a regular contributor to Horns Illustrated, covering Texas Longhorn sports. His work also includes Fellowship of Christian Athletes publications, College Baseball Nation and Sports Spectrum, a national christian sports website. He currently serves as the Managing Editor of True To The Cru, covering UMHB athletics. Twitter: @ZayasRiley

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