Rebels Aiming to Re-Capture May Magic as SEC Tournament Opens
May 8, 2018
- The opening round of the SEC Tournament will be televised on the SEC Network, with Beth Mowins and Michele Smith on the call.
- Wednesday’s game will be a rematch of the 2017 SEC Tournament Championship Game, in which the Rebels defeated the Tigers 5-1 to capture their first-ever conference crown.
- The Rebels are making their seventh trip all-time to the conference championship and have earned a bid in a record four-straight seasons.
- Ole Miss and LSU faced off in a three-game series earlier in the year in Baton Rouge, with LSU winning the first two games of the series before the Rebels salvaged game three.
- In the first game of the series, the Rebs and Tigers went toe-to-toe for 19 innings before LSU walked off on an RBI bloop single to right field, tying the record for the longest game in SEC history.
- Kaitlin Lee and LSU’s Allie Walljasper threw every pitch for their respective teams, with Lee tossing a program-record 256 total pitches.
- While LSU leads the all-time series 52-12, the Rebels have won five of the last seven matchups.
- In the most recent NCAA RPI report, Ole Miss moved to the No. 34 spot after earning a pair of wins over No. 5 Georgia.
- The Tigers are ranked No. 13 in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll, while taking the 14th spot in the ESPN/USA Softball Poll.
- LSU is ranked No. 9 in the latest RPI report, making Wednesday’s meeting the seventh-straight game against a top-20 team for the Rebels, including four-consecutive against RPI top-10 teams.
- The Tigers posted a 40-13 overall record, including 13-10 in conference play to earn the No. 5 seed in this year’s SEC Tournament. The Tigers are coming off of a three-game sweep of Arkansas in Baton Rouge, outscoring the Razorbacks 17-3 in the series. The Tigers hold a 43-21 SEC Tournament record all-time, having been bounced in the first round just once, and have captured the conference crown five times.
- LSU is batting .266 as a team, posting a .389 slugging percentage with 60 doubles and 35 home runs. The Tigers have shown a good eye at the plate, collectively drawing 180 walks, but have also struck out 241 times. LSU runs a decent amount and is effective when doing so, going 64-for-70 on stolen base attempts, with Aliyah Andrews swiping safely in 37-of-38 attempts. Andrews leads the Tigers with a .339 average, scoring a team-high 31 runs on the year. Sophomore infielder Amanda Doyle isn’t far behind at .335, ranking first on the team with 14 doubles, seven home runs and 44 RBIs. Emily Griggs is the only other every-day starter batting over .300 at .310, scoring 26 runs and driving in 22 more.
- LSU boasts a tough pitching staff, registering a 1.43 ERA as a unit. Senior Allie Walljasper has thrown a team-high 147.2 innings, posting a 1.00 ERA with 119 strikeouts to just 30 walks. Opponents are batting just .175 on the season against Walljasper. Senior Carley Hoover is right behind Walljasper with 144.1 frames in the circle, posting a 1.26 ERA with a 16-6 record. Hoover has struck out a team-high 174 batters and has issued just 44 free passes in 2018. The senior’s lone weakness is a tendency to get wild, surrendering 11 wild pitches and plunking 11 batters so far. Both Hoover and Walljasper joined Rebel pitcher Kaitlin Lee in being selected in the recently completed NPF Draft.
REBELS AND TIGERS MAKE SEC HISTORY WITH MARATHON CONTEST
IT’S SIMPLE, MORE HITS = MORE WINS
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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