OXFORD, Miss. – After playing 10 consecutive games on the road over the last two weeks, the Ole Miss softball team (18-12, 1-2 Southeastern Conference) returns home to face No. 8 Missouri (12-2, 1-1 SEC) in the Rebels’ SEC home opener Friday at 6 p.m. CT.
“We’re excited to be back home and face a really good Missouri team, a top-10 opponent, and try to take the next step as a program,” Ole Miss softball head coach Windy Thees said.
It will be the first time Ole Miss and Missouri have gotten together since Feb. 16, 1997, the Rebels’ third game in program history. In fact, Ole Miss’ first game in program history was one day earlier against the Tigers. Missouri leads the series 2-0, winning each of those two games by four runs.
Friday’s game will be the Rebels’ first game at the Ole Miss Softball Complex since a doubleheader against Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Feb. 27 in which the Rebels won 4-0 and 16-0 (5). Overall, Ole Miss is 8-2 at home this season.
The first 200 fans at Friday’s game will receive a free pair of sunglasses. On Saturday, fans will be able to enter a raffle to win a digital camera. On Sunday, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, fans will get green eye black, and a ‘Kiss Me I’m a Rebel’ button.
Saturday will also be the first Crawfish Saturday of the season, and Sunday will be the first Sundae Sunday. One hundred pounds of crawfish will be available for fans in the outfield free of charge Saturday. Sundaes will be free at the concession stand Sunday while supplies last.
The Rebels are coming off a seven-day road trip in which they played three games in Lexington, Ky., against then-No. 15 Kentucky, one game in Nashville, Tenn., against Belmont, and one game in Martin, Tenn., against Tennessee-Martin. Ole Miss went 2-3 during the five-game stretch, defeating Kentucky 3-1 on March 8 and Belmont 10-2 on Tuesday.
Junior center fielder RT Cantillo continues to lead Ole Miss at the plate with a team-best .405 batting average. Cantillo has scored 25 runs this season and also has 22 RBI. Sophomore third baseman Allison Brown leads the Rebels and the SEC with 13 doubles, including a career-high three doubles against Belmont on Tuesday. Brown also leads Ole Miss with a team-high 24 RBI.
In the circle, junior pitchers Carly Hummel and Shelby Jo Fenter have started 25 games this season and lead the Rebels with 62 and 67 strikeouts, respectively. Hummel is 7-6 on the year with a 3.18 ERA, while Fenter has an ERA of 3.00 and a record of 6-6.
Mizzou, which has advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals in each of the last five years, enters Friday’s series opener with a No. 8 national ranking in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches top 25 and ESPN.com/USA Softball top 25 polls.
Senior third baseman Nicole Hudson leads Missouri with a .472 batting average, recording 17 hits and 17 RBI in 36 at bats. Senior Chelsea Thomas paces the Tigers in the circle with a 0.89 ERA in 47.0 innings of work, striking out 65 and allowing just six earned runs. Hudson was named SEC Player of the Week on Feb. 18, and Thomas has twice been named SEC Pitcher of the Week (Feb. 18 and Feb. 25).
Game two of the Rebels and Tigers’ three-game series begins Saturday at 2 p.m. CT, and Sunday’s series finale is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. CT.
For all Ole Miss softball news and information, including live stats and recaps of all three of the Rebels’ games vs. Missouri, go to OleMissSports.com. Fans can follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissSoftball and on Facebook at Ole Miss Softball.
The goal from day one for head coach Steven McRoberts was to lead Ole Miss to its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance and its first since 2010. Entering the team's final two matches, McRoberts said he felt as though they were... read more
Battling injury, junior quarterback Dak Prescott came off the bench and helped rally Mississippi State to a come-from-behind 17-10 win in last year's Egg Bowl. He led a drive that ended with the game-tying field goal at 10-10 and then... read more
Head coach Hugh Freeze called the Egg Bowl the most prized possession of this university's football program, and getting the Egg Bowl back should be enough motivation for his team entering Saturday's game against Mississippi State. An Independence, Mississippi, native,... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 17-23, 2014Men's Basketball- Ole Miss posted a 2-0 mark last week with wins over Southern University and Northern Arizona as part of the Emerald Coast Classic, improving to 3-1 on the season.- Ole Miss... read more
Senior cornerback Senquez Golson, one of five finalists for the Bronco Nagurski Award, which honors the national defensive player of the year, will represent Ole Miss as one of 10 finalists for the C Spire Conerly Trophy, which honors the... read more
It's that busy time of the year with the Ole Miss football, volleyball, men's and women's basketball teams all in action. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was in Ole Miss sports:- A slow start (17-0... read more
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Arkansas jumped out to a 17-0 in the first quarter and took advantage of six Ole Miss turnovers on the way to a 30-0 shutout win Saturday in Fayetteville."I was concerned all week, for whatever reason, that... read more
Three areas to watch as No. 8 Ole Miss travels to Arkansas in its final road game of the regular season Saturday. Slowing the Hogs' Ground Attack The extra week of preparation, defensive coordinator Dave Wommack said, should prove beneficial... read more
It's sometimes easy to forget where the Ole Miss football program was just three short years ago, when Hugh Freeze was interviewing for the head coaching position. The Rebels had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 10-16, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team opened up the 2014-15 season with two wins over the weekend. The Rebels took down Grambling 92-67 in the season opener on Friday and followed... read more
The Ole Miss football team was off, but it was a busy week in Ole Miss athletics nevertheless, as the men's and women's basketball teams opened their respective seasons. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was:-... read more
No. 10 Ole Miss was without several starters and regular contributors against Presbyterian, and many others were limited. But given an extra week of rest, head coach Hugh Freeze said he expects everyone, with the exception of the players out... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 3-9, 2014Football- Ole Miss took a break from the rugged Southeastern Conference and earned a 48-0 shutout win over Presbyterian on Saturday.- It was the Rebels' first shutout since beating Tulane 39-0 in 2012.-... read more