The Ole Miss softball team still hasn’t lost an SEC series with just two series remaining.
Yes, knock on wood or do some other superstitious ritual to stave off the wrath of the sports gods.
But what has been the key to the consistent success this season? The combination of Brittany Finney and Molly Jacobsen in the pitching circle has proved to be fairly dominant in conference play, and the offense is performing better than expected.
The No. 17 Rebels (34-12, 11-6 SEC) are doing so well, in fact, that they’ve already tied the program record for SEC wins in a season(!). With six regular season games remaining, it’s preeeeetty likely that this team will break the record. The Rebels sport a 2.02 ERA on the season and are hitting .281 (up from .258 a year ago). Things are just working for them so far. Plus, they benefit from not having LSU or Alabama (both ranked in the top ten) on the schedule.
But the schedule isn’t easy, and that brings us to this weekend. The Rebels will face No. 10 Tennessee in Oxford this weekend in a pivotal match-up that could determine whether there’s postseason softball in Oxford or the Rebels have to take to the road. Additionally, it is senior weekend for the softball team, and there will be FREE CRAWFISH IN THE OUTFIELD ON SATURDAY.
The Lady Vols are 36-10 this season thanks primarily to a lineup that has managed to hit .320 on the season, led by DP Kaitlin Parsons and 2B Aubrey Leach. Parsons is hitting .429 in her freshman season and just managed an inside the park home run against Tennessee State. Leach is hitting .417 as a senior and is a spectacular slapper who hits for contact.
The Vols have two strong home run threats as well in senior RF Haley Bearden (14) and freshman 3B Kaili Phillips (10). Overall, they’re just a solid team offensively. There’s not much they don’t do well.
On top of that, the Lady Vols pitching staff is holding opponents to a .197 batting average. Another stellar freshman, Ashley Rogers, leads the way with a 1.80 ERA and 11 complete games on her resumé.
It’s going to be a really tough series, but the Rebels can win this one, especially at home. They just need to play excellent, fundamental softball. The Vols are a talented and accomplished team, and this is the opportunity for Ole Miss softball to show that the Florida series win wasn’t a fluke.