OXFORD, Miss. - After playing six straight games on the road, the Ole Miss softball team finally returns to the friendly confines of the Ole Miss Softball Complex to host No. 11 Kentucky in a three-game series beginning Friday.
The Rebels (20-19, 3-9 Southeastern Conference) and Wildcats (32-8, 7-5 SEC) open play at 6 p.m. CT Friday, followed by game two Saturday at 2 p.m. and the series finale Sunday at 1 p.m.
"We haven't played at home since March 23 and that's the last time we played an SEC opponent at home as well, so we're really excited about this weekend, playing in front of our fans again and facing Kentucky," Ole Miss head coach Windy Thees said. "We had a really tight series with UK last year in Lexington. They've pitched really well this season so our bats are going to need to be sharp all three games as they were in our last SEC home series versus Arkansas."
In that series against the Razorbacks, Ole Miss plated 31 runs in the three games combined. The Rebels have won three of their past four games at home, including two games against Arkansas, and a combined no-hitter over Louisiana Tech on March 19.
There will be free tumblers for fans Friday, hair ribbons Saturday and sweatbands Sunday. The Ole Miss Softball Complex will be hosting Crawfish Saturday for game two of the series, with 100 pounds of crawfish available for fans in the outfield free of charge. Saturday is also OPC Day, as Ole Miss softball players and coaches will host a clinic for kids in attendance following the conclusion of the game. Sunday will be Sundae Sunday at the park, where fans can get free ice cream sundaes while supplies last.
On March 31, Ole Miss senior outfielder RT Cantillo was selected by the Chicago Bandits in the fifth round of the National Pro Fastpitch College Draft. At the plate, the Santa Ana, Calif., native has the second highest batting average in the SEC (.486) and the third best on-base percentage (.559) in the league. She also leads the team in runs scored (23). She is currently in the midst of a career-long 10-game hitting streak.
Senior first baseman Londen Ladner has knocked in a team-high 27 runs for the Rebels, and has belted out a team-high six home runs.
The Rebel pitching staff has been much improved this season, recording 26 games in which they have allowed three or fewer earned runs, equaling their season total from a year ago. The staff has been led by Carly Hummel, a fifth-year senior from Bakersfield, Calif., who holds a 9-7 record with a 3.17 ERA in 95.0 innings, and a team-high 90 strikeouts.
Kentucky head coach Rachel Lawson is in her seventh year leading the Wildcats. The winningest head coach in program history, Lawson has led UK to two NCAA Super Regionals in the last three seasons, including a program-best 41 wins last year.
Sophomore pitcher Kelsey Nunley (15-4), who was a Freshman All-SEC selection last year, leads Kentucky in the circle with a 1.96 ERA in 128.2 innings of work, striking out a team-high 110 batters. Senior Lauren Cumbess (8-0) has a team-best ERA of 1.61 in 74.0 innings of work.
Junior catcher Griffin Joiner has hit a team-high eight home runs, while sophomore infielder Nikki Sagermann leads the team with 31 RBIs, and sophomore outfielder Sylver Samuel has the highest batting average (.374) among those with at least two at bats per game.
On the transition as new hitting coach: The transition has been really good. The coaching staff has made it a lot easier on me than what it could be. It's definitely been a whirlwind. On what he knew about Ole... read more
UPDATE: Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.Here are more of Coach Freeze's interviews in Bristol. Scroll down to the earlier post to hear him on Ivan Maisel's podcast. Listen: Freeze on the Paul Finebaum Show Listen: Freeze on the Freddie Coleman ShowListen:... read more
All 14 Southeastern Conference football coaches will travel to ESPN's annual mid-summer football coaches "car wash" - in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day - at ESPN's Bristol, Conn., headquarters on Monday and Tuesday. Ole... read more
Ole Miss took its turn at the annual SEC Media Days on Thursday. Joining head coach Hugh Freeze was senior quarterback Bo Wallace, junior defensive end C.J. Johnson and senior safety Cody Prewitt. Here are a few related SEC Media... read more
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze said on day one that his expectations were to make the program relevant in the Southeastern Conference Western Division. With a full allotment of 85 scholarship players and more depth of both sides of... read more
Once overshadowed, Wallace now finds himself more firmly in the spotlight after the departure of seven of the league's eight top passers. The dean of SEC quarterbacks, Wallace is the league's leading returner in total offense, passing yards and passing... read more
Before taking his turn at the podium in the main room at SEC Media Days on Thursday, head coach Hugh Freeze met with members of the Ole Miss local media and addressed a wide variety of topics. Here are some... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day Three of SEC Media Days, which featured Steve Shaw (SEC), Justin Connolly (ESPN),... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day Two of SEC Media Days, which featured South Carolina, Mississippi State, Texas A&M... read more
NFL.com CFB 24/7 has counted down the 14 college football players to watch -- and some other college football topics -- in varying categories in 2014. Below are the highlights for Ole Miss and the link to the complete 14... read more
Ole Miss will take its turn at SEC Media Days on Thursday. Here are a few links to stories of interest for Ole Miss fans from Day 1 of SEC Media Days, which featured SEC commissioner Mike Slive, Auburn, Florida... read more
Former Ole Miss player Zack Cozart, now a member of the Cincinnati Reds, was named the best defensive shortstop in baseball for the first half of the 2014 season. ESPN Insider Scott Spratt selected one player from either league at... read more
The Season: Ole Miss Baseball: Omaha Bound from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 1: Regionals from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 2: Super Regionals from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo. Chapter 3: CWS Games 1 & 2... read more
Three student-athletes and the head coach of each of the 14 Southeastern Conference football programs will participate in SEC Football Media Days, July 14-17, at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham - The Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Ala.Ole Miss will take its... read more