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Softball has a huge weekend ahead

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The Rebels welcome the #9 Arkansas Razorbacks

Josh McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics

The Rebels (25-7, 3-3) play host to the #9 Arkansas Razorbacks (22-6, 4-2) with an opportunity to make some noise. Ole Miss was swept in Starkville to start the season but rebounded to sweep #19 Missouri at home last weekend. If they can somehow win this series, it will go a long way to setting their season straight. Things aren’t easy in SEC play, so it won’t really let up, but a top ten win would be tremendous.

Ole Miss hasn’t found consistent play on the mound or in the batters’ box this season, but it has come together enough so far to keep things interesting. They’ll, of course, have a tall task in both aspects as Arkansas comes to town. The Razorbacks feature two players (Danielle Gibson and Hannah Gammill) who have each hit eleven home runs on the season. To put that in context, Ole Miss has hit 21 as a team. The razorbacks are hitting over .330 as a team.

In case you haven’t caught much softball so far this year, here’s a brief synopsis of Ole Miss’ team.

Hitting

While she’s no power hitter, right fielder Tate Whitley lives on base, as she’s amassed a .513 on-base percentage. Yes, that means it’s more likely than not that she will get on base. She’s also a magnificent defender and easily the best player on the team.

Not far behind her is left fielder Bre Roper, with a .487 on-base. The senior Georgia Tech transfer has been a strong addition to the lineup, hitting second to Whitley’s leadoff. Freshman 2B Angelina Deleon is right there with them, with a .408 on-base. Beyond those three are a number of solid players but not much that just jumps off the page.

Pitching

So far, the pitching staff has been the ace up the sleeve of the Rebels, with the team ERA sitting at 2.48. Senior Savannah Diederich leads the way with a 1.54, while junior Brooke Vestal has also put up a solid 1.93 on the year. Among the pitchers who regularly pitch, there’s really not a bad ERA among them, with senior Anna Borgen in fifth with a 3.61.

This pitching staff is about to get tested in a big, big way. If they can keep it together, Ole Miss can stay in the series. If not, it could be rough.

How to watch

Where: Ole Miss Softball Complex, Oxford, Miss.

When: 5pm Friday, 12pm Saturday, and 1pm Sunday

Online streaming: WatchESPN