COLUMBIA, S.C. - Coming off a series victory over Arkansas, the Ole Miss softball team will now hit the road for its second Southeastern Conference road series of the year. The Rebels will face the South Carolina Gamecocks in a three-game series in Columbia, S.C., at Carolina Softball Stadium at Beckham Field.
Ole Miss (19-15, 3-6 SEC) and South Carolina (19-12, 2-7 SEC) will begin their series Friday at 5 p.m. CT, followed by game two Saturday at 1 p.m. CT, and the series finale Sunday at 12 p.m. CT.
The Rebel pitching staff has been much improved this season, recording 24 games in which they have allowed three or fewer runs, a mark the Rebels didn't reach until their 48th game last year. The staff has been led by Hummel, a fifth-year senior from Bakersfield, Calif., who holds an 8-6 record with a 2.96 ERA in 82.2 innings and a team-high 80 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 20 runs scored, as well as seven doubles and for home runs. Senior first baseman Londen Ladner has knocked in a team-high 22 runs, and has belted out five home runs.
Ole Miss showed its power in its last SEC series, hitting four home runs in game one, including scoring 10 runs off two-out rallies, to win 11-4. In game two, Ole Miss rallied out of a 5-0 hole to score 13 runs in four innings and win 13-6.
South Carolina's Beverly Smith is in her fourth year as the head coach of the Gamecocks' softball program. Smith led the Gamecocks to postseason play last year for the first time in her tenure, earning spots in both the SEC and NCAA tournaments.
Senior utility player Ashlyn Masters has a team-high batting average of .385, highlighted by a team-high 13 doubles, which is tied for the second most in the SEC this season. Junior catcher Sarah Mooney has knocked out a team-high eight home runs.
In the circle, South Carolina has been led by junior Julie Sarratt (8-7) and freshman Nickie Blue (11-5), who have combined to pitch nearly 92 percent of the Gamecocks' innings this season. Sarratt has a 2.13 ERA in 92.0 innings with 93 strikeouts. Blue has posted a 3.15 ERA in 86.2 innings of action with 57 strikeouts.
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