Friday, December 4, 2020

Ole Miss Softball Opens Conference Slate at No. 4 Alabama

Photo courtesy Joshua McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics
Photo courtesy Joshua McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics

Off to the best start since the 2008 season and with only one home game in the books, Ole Miss (13-5) returns to the road this weekend to open Southeastern Conference play with a three-game series at No. 4 Alabama (15-4).

Friday’s series opener has been moved to a 5 p.m. start due to expected inclement weather moving into the area. The series will continue at 2 p.m. on Saturday and conclude at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. All three games can be viewed online through the SEC Network+ digital platform.

Ole Miss is coming off a midweek win over the Memphis Tigers, the first home game of the season for the Rebels because of inclement weather, in which sophomore Emily Gaitan tossed a complete-game shutout in 5.0 innings. The Rebels run-ruled the Tigers, 8-0, to notch their third shutout of the season.

Ole Miss has won 10 of its last 11 games.

Sophomore outfielder Miranda Strother and freshman outfielder Elantra Cox pace the Rebels’ offense at the top of the order with a dangerous combination of hitting for average and speed. Strother ranks in the top five in the SEC with a .518 batting average and leads the Rebels with 29 hits and is fourth on the team with 14 RBI this season. Cox is ninth in the SEC in batting at .490 clip and is third in the league in steals at 16-of-19 on the year.

Freshman 1B Alex Schneider leads the team in home runs, hitting four on the season, and is one of eight different Rebels to hit a round-tripper this season. She is also one of three Rebels with multiple home runs as Allison Brown and Madi Osias have also both hit three home runs each.

Gaitan leads the Rebel pitching staff, posting an 8-1 record on the season with a 1.40 ERA through her nine starts and 15 appearances. She has turned in the three complete-game shutouts and struck out a team-leading 54 batters through 60.0 innings of work.

Alabama enters the weekend with a 15-4 overall record and is coming off a 2-1 series win over the past weekend against Louisiana-Lafayette. The Crimson Tide is led at the plate by Haylie McClenny who is hitting .518 on the year with 22 runs scored and 17 RBI.

Sydney Littlejohn leads the Crimson Tide in the circle, posting a 7-0 record with a 1.03 ERA to go along with 35 strikeouts while walking only 10 batters.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics