Senior Weekend Festivities Set for Series Against Georgia
May 3, 2018

FRIDAY - 6 p.m. CT SATURDAY - 4 p.m. CT SUNDAY - 1 p.m. CT

Games 50-52
Date: Apr. 28-30, 2018
First Pitch:
Fri.: 6 p.m. | Sat.: 4 p.m. | Sun.: 1 p.m.
Location:
Oxford, Miss.
Venue:
Ole Miss Softball Complex
Series: Georgia leads, 44-9
Last Series: Apr. 29 - May 1, 2016
                    Georgia won, 2-1
                    Athens, Ga.
Last Meeting:
May 11, 2016
                       Ole Miss won, 4-2
                       Starkville, Miss. (SEC Tournament)
TV: SEC Network +
      
Seth Austin (play-by-play)
       Missy Dickerson (analyst)
Live Stats:
OleMissSports.com
Twitter Updates: @OleMissSoftball

PROMOTIONS
-Friday will be Star Wars Night at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.

- Saturday will be senior night in Oxford, Ole Miss will honor its seven seniors playing in their final games at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.

- Sunday is Sandlot "Kids Take Over the Park" Day at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.

LEADING OFF
- Ole Miss wraps up the regular season with a three-game home series at the Ole Miss Softball Complex, welcoming the Bulldogs of Georgia to Oxford Friday through Sunday.

- All three games of the series will be broadcasted on SEC Network +, with Seth Austin and Missy Dickerson on the call. Friday's game will also be featured as part of the SEC Network's Bases Loaded coverage, featuring whip-around coverage of all the league's action on the final weekend of the season.

- As the final home series of the season, Ole Miss will honor its seven seniors prior to Saturday's game during Senior Day.

- The Bulldogs hold a commanding 44-9 record in the all-time series, thanks in large part to a 33-game winning run from 2004 to 2016. However, the last time the Rebels and Bulldogs faced off in 2016 the two teams split four meetings, including a 4-2 win in the opening round of the SEC Tournament in Starkville, Mississippi, the first tournament win in program-history.

- The Rebels are 14-8 on the season at the Ole Miss Softball complex and haven't lost in Oxford since a doubleheader sweep by Mississippi State on April 15.

- Ole Miss is coming off being swept in a three-game road series at Arkansas. The loses at Bogle Park snapped a six-game winning streak over the Razorbacks for the Rebels.         

- In the most recent NCAA RPI report, Ole Miss slid back a few spots from No. 35 the previous week to the 38th spot in the rankings.

- Georgia comes to Oxford ranked No. 5 in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll and No. 6 in the ESPN/USA Softball Poll. It will be the fourth matchup of the season for Ole Miss against a top-10 ranked team at the time of the meeting, joining Oregon (3), Texas A&M (7) and Auburn (10).

- The Bulldogs are ranked at No. 8 in the RPI this week. UGA is the second opponent this season for the Rebels inside the top-10, joining the top-ranked Ducks of Oregon.

- This weekend's series will be a matchup of a pair of skippers who hail from San Diego. The Rebels' Mike Smith and Georgia's Lu Harris-Champer were raised in the coastal California City.

SCOUTING REPORT
- Head Coach Lu Harris-Champer is in her 18th season at the helm of the softball program at Georgia and 22nd year as a Division I head coach overall. Harris-Champer is a member of the prestigious 1,000-win club, boasting a 1,063-380-1 record, including 854-316 at Georgia. During her stint, the Bulldogs have made 16-straight trips to the NCAA Tournament, captured a pair of SEC Regular Season Championships, one conference tournament championship, nine trips to super regionals and three appearances in the Women's College World Series. Prior to Georgia, Harris-Champer was the head coach at Southern Miss for three seasons, leading the Golden Eagles to the WCWS twice. She got her start in head coaching at Nicholls State, heading up the Colonels program in 1996 and 1997. Prior to taking over in Thibodeaux, Louisiana, Harris-Champer spent five seasons as an assistant coach at Western Illinois.

- The Bulldogs come into this weekend's series heralded as one of the top teams in the country, sitting at No. 5 at No. 5 in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll and No. 6 in the ESPN/USA Softball Poll. UGA ranks second in the SEC with a 15-6 conference record, maintaining a 42-8 overall record. The Bulldogs have played just 10 true road games in 2018, earning a 7-3 record. In its most recent action, Georgia tallied a 2-1 series victory over Alabama in Athens, claiming the first two games before suffering a 7-4 defeat to the Crimson Tide in the finale.

- Georgia boasts one of the most dangerous lineups in not just the SEC but across the country, ranking fourth in the nation with a .339 team batting average, also ranking fourth nationally in slugging percentage at .533. The Bulldogs also lead the conference with 1.10 home runs per game, going yard 55 times. UGA's 6.30 runs per game is good for the second highest total in the SEC, 10th in the country. Senior slapper Cortni Emanuel gets things started with a .451 average, second highest in the league, including .425 in conference play, Emaneul has scored 57 runs on the year, ranking fourth in the country at 1.14 runs per game. The league's top base-stealer, Emanuel has swiped 46 bags on the year, being caught just four times. Sophomore Alysen Febrey is also above .400 at .408, leading the team with 17 doubles and chipping in seven home runs. Febrey has driven in 44 runs and scored 33 more. In a lineup full of home run power, junior Alyssa DiCarlo and sophomore Justice Milz lead the way with 16 and 12 homers, ranking first and sixth in the SEC, respectively. DiCarlo also ranks third in the league with 57 RBIs, registering a .375 batting average to rank third on the team.

- Despite losing SEC ERA leader Brittany Gray for the season due to injury, the Bulldogs nonetheless pose a dangerous 1-2 threat in the circle with sophomore Mary Wilson Avant and junior Kylie Bass. Sophomore Avant holds an 8-2 record in 12 starts, maintaining a 1.19 ERA in 76.2 innings, striking out 64 batters to 24 walks. Bass has gone 13-2 on the year with a 1.73 ERA in 85 frames, racking up 76 strikeouts to 16 walks and holding opponents to a 1.70 average.

YEAR OF THE SLAPPER
In a 2016 season in which Ole Miss split its four games against Georgia, including the school's first-ever SEC Tournament win, it was the speed of slappers Elantra Cox and Kylan Becker that pushed the Rebels. A freshman at the time, Becker was in particularly fine form, going 6-for-9 with a double, a pair of RBIs and a run scored. Becker also drew a pair of walks against UGA, posting an on-base percentage of .727 and a slugging percentage of .779. Batting from the top of the lineup, Cox also torched the Bulldogs with a .462 average on 6-of-13 at the plate, driving in four runs and scoring one of her own.

LUCK WITH LEFTIES
Facing off this weekend against one of the stingier left-handed pitchers in the SEC this weekend in Georgia' Kylie Bass, it is important to note that the Rebels have had quite a bit of success against lefties this season. The Rebels are batting .381 against left-handed hurlers, more than 120 points higher than against righties. Players batting above .300 against lefties this season are Elantra Cox (.818), Kaylee Horton (.636), Autumn Gillespie (.500), Kylan Becker (.455), Paige McKinney (.364) and Dylinn Stancil (.333).

STARTING OUT STRONG
One of the keys to a big inning is to get off to a strong start, an area that Ole Miss has exceled at. The Rebels are batting .364 as a team when leading off an inning, with six players batting over .400 to start a frame. Brittany Finney leads the way at .517 and is followed by Celeste Wood (.467), Elantra Cox (.448), Alex Schneider (.435), Paige McKinney (.400) and Izzy Werdann (.400).

COX ON FIRE
Heading down the stretch of her final season in Oxford, Rebel outfielder Elantra Cox has been nothing short of outstanding. The Henderson, Tennessee native has reached base in 18 of her last 19 games, batting .446 over that time with 19 runs scored and seven RBIs in addition to stealing successfully on 18-of-19 attempts. The senior has been even hotter recently, registering a .541 average over her last 10 games, scoring 14 runs and driving in five more.

FINNEY OWNS APRIL
After struggling through the first half of the season, junior Brittany Finney has become one of Ole Miss' most dangerous bats in the lineup. Starting all 19 games during April, Finney posted a .328 average during the month with a three home runs, three doubles, 12 RBIs and five runs. The Wichita, Kansas native has also shown a tremendous eye, drawing eight walks for a .408 on-base percentage. If you add in the final game of March, the junior reached base in 18-of-20 contests, batting .359 with a .563 slugging percentage.

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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