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Ole Miss Softball To Host Louisiana Tech For Home Opener Tonight

Ole Miss Softball defeats Colgate University 8-2 in the second day of the Hatter Invitational
in DeLand, FL.
Photo by Madi Osias/Ole Miss Athletics

No. 23 Ole Miss softball welcomes Louisiana Tech to Oxford this evening for the home opener of the 2017 season. For the first time in school history, Ole Miss is ranked in both the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll, and ESPN.com/USA Softball poll.
Tonight’s game opens a 14 game home slate for the Rebels.
The Rebels spent 14 of the last 19 days on the road across three different states and came away successful with a 12-2 record. This past weekend, Ole Miss went 5-0 at the Hatter Invitational in DeLand, Florida, picking up a pair of wins over then No. 23 USF, two over Colgate and a shutout over the host Hatters.
Through 14 contests, Ole Miss has run-ruled eight opponents, already topping last year’s season total of six. At the plate, Ole Miss has put up staggering numbers thus far, ranking third nationally in scoring (9.0 runs/game), ninth in average (.368), fifth in on-base percentage (.468) and 14th in slugging (.557).
Louisiana Tech heads into Wednesday’s midweek tilt at 11-5 overall, winners of five of its last six contests. The Lady Techsters have competed in two home tournaments thus far, and also traveled west to Texas for a weekend. In opening weekend at the LA Tech Invitational, the team went 5-0, picking up wins over North Dakota (10-2), Incarnate Word (1-0), UAPB (10-0), Missouri State (5-4) and Samford (9-3). Their first loss came at the hands of No. 7 LSU in a midweek affair, before they went on to drop 3-of-5 at the Texas Longhorn Tournament in Austin.
Led by fifth-year head coach Mark Montgomery, LA Tech finished 32-22 in 2016. In 2017, Morgan Turkoly leads the team in average (.421), while Taria Page has driven in 13 runs, a team high. Offensively, the Lady Techsters have tallied 34 extra-base hits already, led by eight from Jazlyn Crowder and six from Marilyn Rizzato. The team has been successful thus far on the base paths, going 29-of-33 in stolen bases, led by eight from Tori Charters. The offensive unit has drawn 70 walks compared to 57 strikeouts thus far, with an OBP of .403. Defensively, seven different players have committed an error, as the team has 15 in total for a .967 fielding percentage.
Tonight’s probable pitching matchup in the circle the Rebels will call on the arm of freshman Morgan Bruce who has been dominant with a 3-0 record and a 0.98 ERA. For LA Tech four different pitchers have contributed to the team’s 2.90 ERA. Through 16 contests, the Lady Techsters have given up 43 earned runs, while striking out 63 with just 29 walks allowed.
Ole Miss and Louisiana Tech have met on the diamond 11 times prior to tonight with the Rebels leading the all-time series 7-4. Last season, Ole Miss won the game 3-1 on the road. The Lady Techsters have not beaten the Rebels since 2011.
First pitch is set for 6 p.m. and can be seen on SECNetwork +.

Adam Brown is the sports editor of HottyToddy.com. he can be reached at adam.brown@hottytoddy.com.
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