The landscape of Ole Miss women’s athletics has been ever-shifting, ever-evolving, and constantly updating this Spring.
We all expected this team to regress a little bit after last season’s Cinderella run to an SEC Tournament title, regional win, and pushing UCLA to the brink in super regionals, but I don’t think we expected this team to be at the bottom of the SEC standings. Yet, that’s where the Rebels are, sitting at 4-11 through five weeks of play.
The main problem has been an incredibly lackluster offense. The Rebels are last in the conference in most offensive categories, including batting average (.249), on-base percentage (.317), slugging percentage (.342), runs scored (142), and home runs (13, LSU, who is next to last, has twice as many).
The pitching hasn’t been as bad, but in a conference as tough as the SEC, a team ERA of 2.71 is the second-worst, with more than half of the teams having an ERA under 2.
After a 9-3 comeback win over Central Arkansas on Tuesday and a home matchup against Belmont tonight (Wednesday), the Rebels will look to pick up their first series win of the year as they host Mississippi State Saturday through Monday.
The Rebel netters keep on rolling, and they’re up to no. 6 in the ITA rankings this week after wins over no. 7 Georgia and Tennessee.
Moving ⬆️ after a 2-0 weekend! #OracleITARankings #HottyToddy pic.twitter.com/eLBIDZGT7D— Ole Miss Women's Tennis (@OleMissWTennis) April 10, 2018
Sabina Machalova was named Co-SEC Freshman of the Week after she went 3-0 against the Bulldogs and Volunteers. They’re 17-5 on the year and have won six in a row. Senior Arianne Hartono is ranked no. 11 in the country in singles, and she and sophomore Alexa Bortles (Colby and Blake’s cousin) are ranked no. 5 in doubles.
The Rebels will complete regular season play as they travel to Starkville on Friday to take on the Dawgs, then the SEC Tournament begins next Wednesday in Knoxville, Tenn.
The ladies’ golf squad finished second at the Henssler Financial Intercollegiate tournament in Kennesaw, Ga. back on March 26-27, putting up a fight but eventually finishing seven strokes behind no. 18 Kent State. Senior Katy Harris finished tied for second, Julia Johnson finished seventh, earning her an SEC Freshman of the Week nod, and fellow freshman Conner Beth Ball was tied for eighth. Johnson became the first Rebel golfer to earn both Freshman of the Week and Golfer of the Week honors.
✅ Freshman of the Week— Ole Miss Women’s Golf (@OleMissWGolf) March 31, 2018
✅ Golfer of the Week last month
✅ First Rebel to win both
https://t.co/dlnRHu7gIa#HottyToddy #Team32 pic.twitter.com/eH3AV3276P
Next up for the Rebels is the Liz Murphey College Classic in Athens, Ga. this weekend. Then, the SEC Championships begin next Wednesday in Hoover, Ala.
I know, the season doesn’t start until August, but a short recruiting update. Head coach Matt Mott has picked up commitments from a couple of talented ladies recently. Oxford High sophomore Morgan O’Connor, a three-star recruit who won the Gatorade State Player of the Year award last year as a freshman and is a top contender for it again this year, will graduate a year early to play down the road for the Rebs.
Thankful for the schools who recruited me and gave me a opportunity to see other places, but more than grateful I have the opportunity to be close by to my mom. With that being said i’ve verbally committed to Ole Miss and have decided to graduate with the class of 2019. #GoRebs pic.twitter.com/jhfHPcRGhJ— Morgan O'Connor (@morganoo11) April 6, 2018
Also committing to Ole Miss recently is Germantown, Tenn. All-American Jenna Kemp.
Blessed to announce that I have verbally committed to play D1 soccer at the University of Mississippi! #HottyToddy ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/rvF4trwLnE— Jenna Kemp (@jennakemp_) March 9, 2018
Our own Zach Berry wrote a post on Kemp, which you can read here in case you missed it.
Lady Reblandsharks are still getting after it this Spring and into the Summer. Get out to these athletic events and cheer on our young women in their respective competitive fields. And don’t forget, the LB’s Meat Market Food Truck is usually somewhere to be found around these.
Get out, enjoy the weather, eat a nice sandwich, and cheer on our Rebs.