No. 13 Ole Miss Hosts NCAA Oxford Regional This Weekend
May 17, 2017


Ole Miss Notes - NCAA Regional Get Acrobat Reader

Tournament Central Page

NCAA TOURNAMENT OXFORD REGIONAL

Teams: No. 13 Ole Miss (40-18, 10-14 SEC), No. 22 Arizona State (30-20, 9-15 Pac-12), North Carolina (38-19, 14-9 ACC), Southern Illinois (33-22, 17-8 MVC)
Dates: May 19-21, 2017
Location: Oxford, Miss.
Venue: Ole Miss Softball Complex
TV: ESPN3 (Friday) | Saturday/Sunday: TBD
     Eric Collins, play-by-play
     Amanda Scarborough, analyst
     **Note: All regional games will be on the ESPN family of networks, but only the Friday network              designations are set in place.**
Mobile: ESPN App
Live stats: OleMissSports.com
Twitter Updates: @OleMissSoftball

TICKETS
- All tickets for the NCAA Oxford Regional are sold out as of 5/15. Tickets were at a high demand, and sold out in less than eight hours.
- Gates will open one hour prior to first game on each day, and the stadium will be cleared between games, regardless of ticket type.
- STUDENT tickets: The first 100 Ole Miss students to show up at the ticket booth located on the first base side of the stadium and show student ID will receive free admission (for Ole Miss games only).

PARKING
- Limited first come, first serve public parking will be available at Insight Park (located just past the softball stadium on the left on Hathorn Road). Parking is free, but spaces are limited.
- ADA/Handicap parking will be located in the lot directly behind center field.

NCAA OXFORD REGIONAL SCHEDULE
Friday, May 19
Game 1: North Carolina vs. No. 22 Arizona State – 6 p.m. (ESPN)
Game 2: Southern Illinois vs. No. 13 Ole Miss – 8:30 p.m. (ESPN3)

Saturday, May 20
Game 3: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 – 1:30 p.m. (TBD)
Game 4: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 – 4 p.m. (TBD)
Game 5: Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3 – 6:30 p.m. (TBD)

Sunday, May 21
Game 6: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5 – 1:30 p.m. (TBD)
Game 7 (if necessary): Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6 – 4 p.m. (TBD)

LEADING OFF

  • No. 13 Ole Miss is making its second-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, and hosting for the first time in school history.
  • The Rebels are coming off a remarkable run in last week’s SEC Tournament, where they claimed the tournament title after defeating Mississippi State, No. 1 Florida, No. 15 Alabama, and No. 21 LSU.
  • Ole Miss jumped to No. 13 in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches’ poll, and moved to No. 16 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25.
  • The Rebels welcome one automatic qualifier (Southern Illinois - MVC Tournament Champions), and two at-large teams (No. 22 Arizona State, North Carolina) to this weekend’s regional. The Salukis are the only team to previously play in Oxford, coming back in the 2004 season.
  • Ole Miss is 8-2 in its last 10 games, and has secured its second-straight 40-win season. One more victory would tie the program’s single-season win total, set just last year.
  • In last year’s NCAA Norman Regional, the Rebels went 2-2 with wins over Wichita State and Tulsa, and fell to No. 3 Oklahoma twice, the eventual Champions of the 2016 Women’s College World Series.
  • Ole Miss has played 25 games against top-25 RPI teams, fourth-most of any team. They won 11, T-7th most in the country.
  • The Rebels finished the regular season and SEC Tournament with an 18-17 record against top-50 RPI competition
  • Junior RHP Kaitlin Lee threw every pitch in the SEC Tournament earning MVP honors, and is only three wins off tying the single-season record. She’s thrown nine-straight CGs, and allowed no more than two earned runs each in her last nine starts (64.2 IP).

SCOUTING REPORT
Southern Illinois
Led by 18-year head coach Kerri Blaylock, the Salukis of Southern Illinois head into the postseason at 33-22 overall. They earned the automatic bid from the Missouri Valley Conference after topping No. 1 seed Northern Iowa in the MVC Tournament Championship game last Saturday. The Salukis have played well down the stretch going 9-1 in the last 10 games, and finished the MVC regular season with a 17-8 record. SIU did face both Mississippi State and Kentucky earlier this season, dropping all three contests.

SIU has four hitters at a .300 clip or better, led by Shaye Harre’s .348 average and team-high 40 RBI. She also leads the team with 26 extra-base hits, 18 of which are doubles. She’s also drawn 56 walks and leads the team with a .652 slugging mark. Behind her, Eyrika Brandenburg is hitting .312 with 24 RBI and 49 hits, while Susie Baranski leads the club with 54 hits and a .305 average. The pitching staff has been anchored mainly by Brianna Jones, a sophomore right-hander with an 18-12 record an 2.14 ERA. She’s thrown 209 of the innings and struck out 128 with only 33 walks issued. She’s gone the distance in 21 of her 25 starts, tallying five shutouts with a .242 average against. Savanna Dover is 7-3 with a 2.87 ERA in 90.1 innings, while Nicole Doyle rounds out the staff with a 3.72 ERA and 8-7 record.

Arizona State
Led by first year head coach Trisha Ford, the Sun Devils of Arizona State earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament from the Pac-12 conference. ASU, ranked No. 22 in both polls and the updated RPI, is 30-20 on the year with a 9-15 mark in conference action. The Sun Devils finished 3-7 in their last 10 games with four final tough series against Utah, Arizona, California and UCLA, rounding out the regular season (the Pac-12 does not have a conference tournament). ASU faced two SEC teams early on in the season, falling to Texas A&M, 2-1, before going on to defeat South Carolina, 4-3.

The Sun Devils have a .276 average as a team, led by four hitters at .300 or better. ASU has 58 home runs as a team, including three players in double-digit HR totals, with a .467 slugging mark as a club. Chelsea Gonzales leads the way with her .348 average and team-high 45 RBI, while Taylor Becerra is not far behind with a .338 clip. Ulufa Leilua leads the club with 13 long balls, and has a .726 slugging mark which also leads the team. In the circle, Breanna Macha has the most innings pitched (113.1) with 18 starts and 26 appearances. She leads the team with a 12-8 record and 2.22 ERA, while recording 10 complete games and three shutouts. Behind her, Dale Ryndak (8-4, 2.37 ERA) and Giselle Juarez (6-6, 2.84 ERA) both have just under 90 innings each, and have nearly identical stat lines. Alyssa Loza is 4-2 in limited action with a 1.36 ERA.

North Carolina
Led by 32-year head coach Donna Papa, the Tar Heels head into the postseason with a 38-19 overall record after going 14-9 in the ACC, earning an at-large big. No. 34 in the latest RPI, UNC finished 3-7 in its final 10 outings, falling to No. 1 Florida State in the ACC Championship game last Saturday. The Tar Heels faced one SEC team earlier this season, South Carolina, and claimed a 7-3 win in that game.

The Tar Heels have a .290 team average led by four players with a clip of .300 or better. Kendra Lynch leads the club with a .378 mark and 65 hits, and has driven in 65 runs thi syear of 21 home runs. Leah Murray also has 65 hits and is hitting .349, while Katie Baliff ranks second on the team with 46 RBI off 20 extra-base hits. Taylor Wike has 42 RBI and a team-high 47 runs scored, while the Tar Heels as a team have stolen 99 bases, led by 35 from Murray. In the circle, Brittany Pickett is the ace for the Tar Heels with a 21-8 record and 2.63 ERA, with 207.2 innings pitched and 47 appearances. Behind her, Lynch is 11-4 with a 5.17 ERA in 24 appearances, while three other pitchers have combined for the remaining six wins, led by three from Sydney Matzko, and three from Hannah Nommensen.

REBELS MOVE UP TO NO. 18 IN RPI
Coming off its first ever SEC Tournament title, Ole Miss moved up to No. 18 in the NCAA’s RPI, which the committee revealed following Sunday’s selection show. The Rebels finished the regular season and SEC Tournament with 11 wins against top-25 RPI teams, including five in the last 10 games alone. Ole Miss’ overall strength of schedule went up to fifth, and 18 of the wins total came against top-50 RPI programs.

OLE MISS CONTINUES HISTORIC CLIMB IN NATIONAL POLLS
Ole Miss continued its rise in the two major national polls, moving up to No. 13 in this week’s USA Today/NFCA Coaches’ Poll, and No. 16 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Poll. The Rebels have 13 wins against top-25 teams this year, 11 of which came against SEC competition.

TRIO OF REBELS LAND ALL-SEC HONORS
For the first time in school history, Ole Miss landed three players on the All-SEC postseason awards list, as sophomore Kylan Becker, junior Kaitlin Lee, and freshman Morgan Bruce earned All-SEC accolades. Becker becomes the first All-SEC First Team selection in school history. Lee, the SEC leader in innings pitched, earned All-SEC Second Team honors, while Bruce landed on the All-Freshman team. Becker becomes Ole Miss’ first All-SEC First Team selection in school history, as five players earned second team honors a total of nine times previously. It also marks the first time in program history with three Rebels on the SEC postseason awards, as Bruce becomes the third-straight All-Freshman SEC selection, and 10th in school history. She is also the first All-Freshman pitcher in school history.

TEAM OF DESTINY CAPS CINDERELLA RUN WITH SEC TOURNAMENT TITLE
Ole Miss completed its Cinderella run in the 2017 SEC Softball Tournament last Saturday, opping No. 21 LSU, 5-1, in the SEC Tournament Championship game. All week the Rebels showed up and showed out with a fun and exciting style of play, and it all culminated Saturday night on Rocky Top when the Rebels hoisted the trophy. As the week progressed through the first round, all the way to the championship, Ole Miss won over the hearts of not only fans in Tennessee, but across the country.

This team of destiny made history time and time again, knocking off Mississippi State in the opening
round, taking down No. 1 Florida in the quarterfinals, a game no one gave the Rebels a chance to win, before going on to beat No. 15 Alabama Saturday morning for the third time this year, then a few hours later complete the four-game sweep over the Tigers. The Rebels were already the lowest seed to ever make the title game, and become the lowest seed to ever win it.

LEE BECOMES INSTANT SUPERSTAR, ONE OF FOUR REBELS NAMED TO SEC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Junior RHP Kaitlin Lee became an instant superstar in Knoxville last week, as she threw every single pitch for the Rebels en route to SEC All-Tournament MVP honors. She allowed only three runs, walked just one, and struck out 12 across her 28 innings of work. Behind her, the defense shined all week, committing only one error, and the three outfielders -- Elantra Cox, Miranda Strother and Kylan Becker -- all earned All-SEC Tournament honors as well. Becker finished with five hits and two RBI in the tournament, while Cox was 6-for-15 with two RBI, and Strother also drove in two off four hits.

BECKER NAMED SECOND TEAM ALL-AMERICAN BY COLLEGE SPORTS MADNESS
Following an impressive sophomore campaign that’s not complete just yet, right fielder Kylan Becker earned Second Team All-America honors from College Sports Madness, it was announced Wednesday. Including the SEC Tournament, Becker is batting .372 on the year with 68 hits and 31 runs scored, while driving in 25 runs from mainly the No. 2 spot in the order all year long. She’s stole 16 bases and drawn 12 walks, and is second on the team in multi-hit games behind only Elantra Cox, who has 25. She’s been just as effective in the outfield, with nine outfield assists, and was the only regular player on the team, and one of the few in the SEC, to finish the year without an error.

REBELS IN NCAA TOURNAMENT FOR SECOND-STRAIGHT YEAR
Last season Ole Miss made history by advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. Not only did they do that, they made it all the way to Championship Sunday against Oklahoma, the team who ultimately won the WCWS Championship. This year, the Rebels made history yet again, this time hosting an NCAA Regional as the No. 12 national seed.  

Date

Opponent

Result

Location

5-22-16

No. 3 Oklahoma

L, 3-0

Norman, Okla.

5-21-16

Wichita State

W, 4-0

Norman, Okla.

5-21-16

No. 3 Oklahoma

L, 9-1 (5)

Norman, Okla.

5-20-16

Tulsa

W, 5-1

Norman, Okla.


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 Athletics on Snapchat under the handle, @WeAreOleMiss.


 

 

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