The Ole Miss softball team heads to Rocky Top to take on the Tennessee Volunteers in a three-game SEC series tilt this weekend.
No. 23 Ole Miss (22-6, 0-3 SEC) is coming into this weekend after shutting out Mississippi State 2-0 on Wednesday in the Pink/Strikeout Cancer game. Four Mississippi girls shined against their in-state rival. Junior RHP Kaitlin Lee threw a 4-hit shutout, Paige McKinney and Ashton Lampton both had an RBI, and Sarah Van Schaik added a hit in the 6th inning to began a late rally.
The Rebels still maintain the nation’s fourth-best scoring offense at 7.36 runs per game, first in the SEC.
With a 23-5 overall mark, No. 19 Tennessee heads into its third weekend of SEC play at 3-3 . Led by the 16-year head coaching duo, Ralph and Karen Weekly, the Vols took their opening SEC series over South Carolina, before dropping two of three to Arkansas last weekend. Much like Ole Miss, Tennessee spent its first three weeks on the road, starting off 13-0. The Vols went 5-0 in Georgia Southern’s tournament in an opening weekend, before taking five more games at the Troy Cox Classic in New Mexico a week later. Week three saw UT win three contests at the Mary Nutter Classic, including a 2-1 win over then No. 4 Oklahoma. The Vols returned home to host the Tennessee Invitational and went 5-0 before beginning league action two weeks ago.
The Vols have maintained a balanced approach thus far, ranking 26th nationally in ERA (1.82) and eighth in the NCAA in scoring (7.0 runs/game). Seven players are hitting above .300 for UT, led by the duo of Megan Geer (.441) and Meghan Gregg (.415). Gregg leads the SEC and is second in the country with 41 RBIs, as she’s tallied 16 extra-base hits already (9 2B, 7 HR). Brooke Vines is next in run production with 22 RBIs, as six players are in double digits in RBI. The Vols are also sixth in the nation in on-base percentage (.443), as seven players are at double digit walks already led by 26 from Aubrey Leach. On the base paths, Tennessee is 54 of 62 with a team-high 11 steals from Leach, and nine from CJ McClain.
This weekend, Ole Miss will meet the Vols in Knoxville for the first time since 2014. In one of the most played series of all time for Ole Miss, the Vols have a 44-8 advantage, including a 21-1 mark in Knoxville.
Game times are slated for Friday and Saturday at 5 p.m.(CT). Sunday, the first pitch will take place at 12:30 p.m. (CT). Friday and Sunday’s games will be on SECN+ and Saturday’s game will be on SEC Network.
By Adam Brown, sports editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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