COLUMBIA, Mo. - Coming off an emphatic doubleheader sweep of Alcorn State in which it outscored the Lady Braves 31-6, the Ole Miss softball team now heads north to Columbia, Mo., for the first time in program history to take on No. 13 Missouri in a three-game series.
With Easter being Sunday, the two schools will play a doubleheader Friday at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. CT, followed by the series finale Saturday at 2 p.m.
"We're back to .500 now, we control our own destiny and what we want to do is finish over .500 the rest of the way," Ole Miss head coach Windy Thees said. "We're going to go into Missouri and battle and try to take one from a ranked team, maybe two, or even three. Because why not? We have nothing to lose. We're facing really good teams the rest of the way, and we're a really good team."
Ole Miss (22-22, 3-12 Southeastern Conference) and Missouri (32-12, 9-6 SEC) have faced each other five times in program history, including last year's three-game series which was their first as SEC foes.
The Rebels have been led at the plate all year by senior outfielder RT Cantillo. The 20th overall selection in the National Pro Fastpitch College Draft by the Chicago Bandits, Cantillo is No. 2 in the SEC with a team-high .467 batting average. Her 57 hits this year are tied for the sixth most in program history, and she ranks fifth in the SEC with an on-base percentage of .544.
Senior first baseman Londen Ladner has batted in a team-high 34 RBIs, the seventh most in program history, and has hit a team-high seven home runs. Junior third baseman Allison Brown is second on the team in batting average (.351), runs (26) and RBIs (27).
In the circle, senior Carly Hummel (10-9) enters the three-game series against Missouri with 111.2 innings under her belt, 107 strikeouts and a team-best opposing batting average of .217. Fellow senior Shelby Jo Fenter (5-4) and freshman Emily Gaitan (4-6) have each thrown more than 55 innings this season.
Senior outfielder Mackenzie Sykes leads Missouri with eight home runs, and is third in the SEC with a team-high 47 RBIs. Sophomore outfielder Taylor Gadbois enters the series batting .451, which is also third in the league.
Freshmen pitchers Tori Finucane (14-5) and Casey Stangel (13-7) are the Tigers' two primary pitchers. Finucane has thrown a team-high 127.2 innings with a team-high 115 strikeouts and a team-best 1.86 ERA. Stangel has thrown 124.0 innings and has struck out 64 batters.
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
Here are more of Coach Freeze's interviews in Bristol. Scroll down to the earlier post to hear him on Ivan Maisel's podcast. Watch: Freeze on CFB Live Watch: Freeze on the Paul Finebaum Show Listen: Freeze on the Freddie Coleman... 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