OXFORD, Miss. – Coming off the sixth no-hitter in Ole Miss softball history Wednesday, and the first combined no-hitter in program history, Ole Miss will now play host to Southeastern Conference foe Arkansas in a three-game series beginning Friday.
The Rebels (17-13, 1-5 SEC) and Razorbacks (21-8, 1-2 SEC) will play at 6 p.m. CT on Friday, followed by a 2 p.m. first pitch Saturday. Sunday’s game will air on Fox Sports South and will begin at 3:05 p.m. CT.
“Arkansas has a bunch of big hitters,” Ole Miss head coach Windy Thees said. “They swing it really, really well and they pitch by staff a little bit too (like we do). They have an ace, and then the other kids they kind of combine them. They’re very aggressive. Hopefully our pitchers can be on, because when they’re on they’re very tough for anybody. It’s going to be a pretty good matchup.”
On Friday there will be free inflatable bats for fans in attendance. The Ole Miss Softball Complex will be hosting Crawfish Saturday the next day with 100 pounds of crawfish available for fans in the outfield free of charge. Sunday will be Sundae Sunday at the park, where fans can get free ice cream sundaes while supplies last.
On Wednesday vs. Louisiana Tech, Carly Hummel, who had two no-hitters at Ole Miss entering the game, including the first perfect game in school history, pitched the opening four innings, striking out five and allowing zero walks. Shelby Jo Fenter then pitched the next two innings with one strikeout and no walks before Madi Osias came in to pick up the save, striking out one and walking one in the seventh. In all, Ole Miss retired the first 19 batters of the game in order.
The Rebel pitching staff has been much improved this season, recording 23 games in which they have allowed three or fewer runs, a mark the Rebels didn’t reach until their 44th game last year. The staff has been led by Hummel, a fifth-year senior from Bakersfield, Calif., who holds a 7-5 record with a 2.47 ERA in 73.2 innings and a team-high 77 strikeouts.
At the plate, Ole Miss senior outfielder RT Cantillo has a team-high batting average of .500, while junior third baseman Allison Brown has a team-high 18 runs scored, as well as seven doubles and three home runs. Senior first baseman Londen Ladner has knocked in a team-high 20 runs, and has belted out four home runs.
Arkansas head coach Mike Larabee is in his fifth year leading the Razorbacks’ softball program. Larabee has led the Razorbacks to back-to-back appearances in the NCAA Regional finals the past two seasons.
Razorback senior Clarisa Navarro has a team-high batting average of .408 and a team-high eight doubles, while junior Devon Wallace has hit a team-high seven home runs. As a team, Arkansas ranks in the top three of the SEC in batting average, on base percentage, runs and RBIs, and is fourth in slugging percentage and hits.
In the circle, Arkansas freshman pitcher Grace Moll (8-3) has thrown a team-high 67.0 innings and 50 strikeouts. Arkansas has a 3.16 team ERA this season.
For all Ole Miss softball news and information, including live stats and recaps after each game of the three-game series, go to OleMissSports.com and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissSoftball and on Facebook at Ole Miss Softball.
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