Monday, March 20, 2023

Ole Miss Softball Welcomes No. 9 Florida into Oxford for a Weekend Series

By Adam Brown
Sports Editor

Ole Miss softball returns to the diamond this weekend as they play host to the No. 9 Florida Gators. The first pitch is Thursday at 6 p.m. and can be streamed on SEC Network+.

Ole Miss (29-11, 5-7 SEC) is coming into the weekend after taking one game from No. 8 Kentucky last weekend on the road.

This season, outfielder Tate Whitley is tied for first in the nation with 59 hits and ranks 21st in the country with a .467 batting average.

Florida (31-9, 8-7 SEC) have had a tough stretch of their own, going 5-5 in their last 10 games, with a trio of top-5 losses to Alabama and Florida State. The Gator offense is loaded top-to-bottom. Six individuals are batting .333 or better, with Skylar Wallace leading the way with a .411 mark. Wallace also paces the team with 49 runs and ranks third in hits (44) and RBIs (37).

As a team, Florida is hitting .328 with a .479 slugging percentage and .411 on-base percentage. In the circle, the Florida pitching staff boasts a 2.32 ERA. Elizabeth Hightower and Lexie Delbrey have carried the workload, pitching a combined 167.2 innings and only allowing 61 earned runs. Both Gator pitchers have also reached the 10-win mark on the season.

Ole Miss has a pair of top-10 wins on the season already. They shut out No. 9 Arkansas in Oxford and took down No. 8 Kentucky in Lexington last weekend. Both victories came in the series opener.

Florida holds a 49-11 advantage in the all-time series. In the 2019 season, Ole Miss won the series over the Gators.

Game times for this weekend series are set for Thursday (6 p.m.), Friday (5 p.m.) and Saturday (noon) all games can be streamed on SEC Network+.