Ole Miss Softball Set to Host Back-to-Back Midweek Games
April 9, 2018

TUESDAY - 6 p.m. CT WEDNESDAY - 6 p.m. CT

Games 36-37
Date: Apr. 10-11-8, 2018
First Pitch:
Tue.: 6 p.m.; Wed.: 6 p.m.
Oxford, Miss.
Ole Miss Softball Complex
UCA Series: Ole Miss leads, 8-2
BU Series: Ole Miss leads, 12-0
Last UCA Meeting: Apr. 4, 2017
                                 Ole Miss won, 1-0 (12)
                                 Oxford, Miss.
Last BU Meeting:
Mar. 6, 2016
                              Ole Miss won, 8-0 (5)
                              Oxford, Miss.
SEC Network +
       Seth Austin (play-by-play)
       Missy Dickerson (analyst)
Live Stats:
Twitter Updates: @OleMissSoftball

- Following a four-game stint on the road, Ole Miss returns to Oxford for a six-game home stand at the Ole Miss Softball Complex, beginning with a pair of midweek games Tuesday and Wednesday against Central Arkansas and Belmont.

- Both games will be broadcasted on SEC Network +, with Seth Austin handling play-by-play duties and Missy Dickerson serving as Analyst.

- Ole Miss is 8-2 all-time against Central Arkansas, including a perfect 7-0 against the Bears in Oxford.

- Last season, the Rebels and UCA engaged in a 12-inning thriller, with Kaitlin Lee pitching all 12 frames in the 1-0 Ole Miss win.

- The Rebels have never lost to Belmont, coming out victorious in all 12 previous meetings.

- The last time the two sides met was in 2016, with Ole Miss winning both games by respective scores of 9-5 and 8-0 (five innings).

- In the third edition of the NCAA RPI report, Ole Miss slid up one spot to No. 34.

- Both Belmont and Central Arkansas sit outside the RPI top-100, with the Bruins coming in at No. 118 and the Bears being slotted 144th.

- Ole Miss is coming off of a 2-2 road trip last week, opening with a 5-2 win over Southern Miss on Wednesday before going 1-2 at No. 14 LSU on the weekend.

- In the series opener, the Rebels and Tigers engaged in a bout for the ages, going 19 innings strong until LSU won the game on a bloop single.

- The 19 innings is tied for the longest game in SEC history, matching a meeting between Arkansas and Alabama in 1999.

- Lee’s rubber arm was in full force again as she tossed all 18.2 innings for the Rebs, surrendering just a pair of runs on eight hits.

- Under ninth-season head coach David Kuhn, Central Arkansas sits at 20-17 on the season, including 9-6 in Southland Conference action. The Bears have played three common opponents with Ole Miss in UT Martin, LSU and SIUE, losing all three matchups. ACU has struggled away from home, registering a 3-8 record on the road in 2018. The Bears are coming off of a road series at Stephen F. Austin, losing two-of-three games in Nacogdoches, Louisiana.

- Batting .267 as a team, Central Arkansas is led offensively by junior Libby Morris at .353 with a team-high five home runs and 28 RBIs as well as 21 runs scored. Sophomore Kaylyn Shepherd isn’t far behind at .346, matching Morris with nine doubles and posting 14 RBIs and 12 runs. Brianna McArthur is another threat at the plate, registering a .338 average with 13 RBIs and eight runs scored.

- In the circle, four players have thrown over 45 innings on the year, spearheaded by freshman Rio Sanchez at 79.1 in 11 starts, posting a 2.38 ERA. Sophomore Kailla Searcy has started 10 games with a 3.67 ERA in 55.1 frames, while junior Ellie Reaves holds a 3.76 ERA in 54.0 innings. Junior Rachel Haberman has posted a 3.96 ERA in 46 innings, ranking second on the team with 18 appearances.

- Headed up by head coach Brian Levin in his second season, Belmont will play Middle Tennessee State Tuesday before making way for Oxford. The Bruins currently sit at 21-11 on the year, including 2-6 in Ohio Valley Conference action. Belmont is just 2-6 on the road, having lost four of their last five contests, all away from home.

- The Bruins have posted a .282 team batting average, with four players batting over .300. Senior Lexi Rouse is tops on the team with a .371 average, also ranking first on the Bruins with nine doubles, one triple, eight home runs, 24 RBIs, a .764 slugging percentage and a .481 OBP. Senior Jess Andree has registered a .323 average with six home runs, 19 RBIs and a team-high 18 runs scored, while Junior Taylor Hargrove is batting .321 with all 17 hits being singles.

- On the rubber, Sophomore Brooklin Lee has seen the bulk of the action with 123.1 innings pitched, posting an 11-5 record with a 1.48 ERA, striking out 152 and issuing just 44 walks. Rouse and freshman Alicia Veltri have nearly split the rest of the innings at 42.2 and 49.2, respectively. Rouse has a 2.79 ERA with a 6-1 record, while Veltri sits at 4-5 with a 2.96 ERA.

Several Rebels have had quite a lot of success in previous meetings with Central Arkansas. Elantra Cox has hit safely in 6-of-9 at-bats against the Bears, scoring three runs. Cox broke the Ole Miss record for hits in a game in last season’s meeting, going 5-for-6 at the dish. Alex Schneider is 2-for-2 with a run at the plate against UCA, while Brittany Finney is 1-for-1 and Kaylee Horton went 2-for-3 in her only action against the Bears last season. Kaitlin Lee dominated the Bears in 2017, throwing a 12-inning complete-game shutout, allowing just six hits and a walk and striking out five.

In the only two previous meetings against Belmont for the current group of Rebels, Ole Miss has plenty of success against the Bruins to look back on. Elantra Cox went 3-for-4 in the pair of games in 2016, collecting two RBIs and scoring two runs. Paige McKinney batted 2-for-3 with a run and a run driven in, while Kylan Becker went 1-ofr-1 with two runs, an RBI and a walk. In the circle, Elisha Jahnke threw seven innings over two appearances, surrendering just one earned run on three hits and two walks.

Kylan Becker and Kaylee Horton have both had solid seasons at the plate but the pair of slappers have been even more impressive with two outs in an inning. In that scenario, Becker is batting .429 (12-for-28), while Horton is hitting at a clip of .462 (12-of-26). As a team, 41 of Ole Miss’ 113 total RBIs have come with two down in the frame.

After a slow start to the season, junior Brittany Finney has been one of the most consistent bats in the Ole Miss lineup as of late. In her last six games, Finney is batting .348 (8-for-23) with two doubles, a walk and a pair of RBIs, reaching base in each contest. That .348 average is tops on the team over those six games, two points ahead of Kylan Becker at .346.

Ole Miss and LSU played deep into the night in Friday’s series opener, tying the record for the longest game in Southeastern Conference history at 19 innings. Kaitlin Lee and Tiger pitcher Ally Walljasper combined for one of the most epic pitching duels in NCAA history, with both going the distance on a windy night in Baton Rouge. The numbers from the 2-1 LSU win are pretty staggering. Over the course of her school-record 18.2 innings, Lee threw 256 pitches, while Walljasper tossed 237 of her own. Of those 493 pitches, only 15 of them went for a hit. The Rebels were hitless in 17 opportunities with runners on, while Lee held the Tigers to just 3-for-21 in the same situation. Despite the loss, it will go down as a game no one involved will ever forget.

After the pair of midweek games, Ole Miss will host an SEC series against bitter rival Mississippi State at the Ole Miss Softball Complex. The series will be played Saturday through Sunday, with Friday’s game being broadcasted on SEC Network +, Sunday’s affair being aired on national TV on ESPN2 and Monday’s game serving as the SEC Network Game of the Week.

For all Ole Miss softball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissSoftball, on Facebook at Ole Miss Softball and on Instagram at Instagram.com/olemisssoftball. Fans can also follow head coach Mike Smith on Twitter at @msmithsb16. Additionally, fans can get a behind the scenes look at Ole Miss softball and all of Ole Miss athletics on Snapchat under the handle, @WeAreOleMiss.






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