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.
The return of junior defensive end C.J. Johnson and additions of sophomore Fadol Brown and freshman Marquis Haynes have changed the face of the defensive line, but freshman All-American Robert Nkemdiche remains front and center. With a season of experience... read more
The dean of Southeastern Conferences quarterbacks and the league's leading returner in total offense, passing yards and passing touchdowns, senior Bo Wallace is as healthy and confident as ever, and he's also assumed a more vocal leadership role on the... read more
We Are Ole Miss from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.In case you missed it, "Forward Together: We Are Ole Miss" from earlier this year: Forward Together: We Are Ole Miss from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze confirmed that junior cornerback Carlos Davis suffered a torn ACL and will likely have surgery Monday. Davis joins sophomore cornerback Tee Shepard and junior safety Chief Brown on the list of players expected to miss... read more
The launch of the SEC Network shows the growth and vision of the 14 schools in the conference. #OleMiss-- Coach Alex (@apsimms2) August 15, 2014 That was fun! And the @SECNetwork is only getting started. #SECStoried finished strong. Great... read more
Tonight is the night!! #SECNetworkLaunch pic.twitter.com/73UYs8B0Hg-- SEC Network (@SECNetwork) August 14, 2014 Historic day for SEC & #OleMiss as we celebrate the launch of the @SECNetwork at 5pm CST! Congrats to everyone who made it happen!-- Ross Bjork (@RossBjorkAD) August... read more
The center and right tackle position battles have been two of the biggest story lines of fall camp, but as the Rebels prepped for their second preseason scrimmage Wednesday night, they are closer to solidifying the depth chart along the... read more
"Buy-in" is a common term thrown around by coaches. How will first-year Ole Miss head volleyball coach Steven McRoberts measure buy-in, as the team continues its preseason work for the upcoming season? Attitude and effort. "If we bring those two... read more
The Ole Miss men's basketball team wrapped up its Bahamian exhibition tour with a perfect 2-0 record. Head coach Andy Kennedy recapped the trip, talked about the chemistry, depth and experience of a new-look roster heading into the fall. The... read more
Sophomore defensive end Fadol Brown and sophomore cornerback Kailo Moore returned from their respective injuries, while sophomore Tee Shepard remains out with a toe injury. The results from Shepard's MRI performed on Saturday are being sent to Birmingham, head coach... read more
The SEC Network will debut on Thursday, August 14 with a three-hour SEC Now that will visit every SEC school and the 21 sports within the SEC. The first two weeks of the network will also feature customized programming to... read more
Ole Miss continues its preparations for the the 2014 season with the second full week of fall camp starting Monday. Here's a look back at the first full week of fall camp with some observations and takeaways, as well as... read more