Ole Miss welcomes No. 9 Lady Vols for final series in Oxford

Posted on Apr 26 2019 - 5:00am by Jade Richardson

This weekend, the Ole Miss softball team will host the Tennessee Volunteers for a three-game series starting Friday at 6 p.m.

On Wednesday, the Rebels faced the Southern Miss Golden Eagles, who came into the midweek matchup on an 11-game win streak. Thanks to timely hitting and phenomenal pitching, the Rebels were able to shut out the Golden Eagles 3-0.

The Rebels used a two-out rally in the second to earn an early lead over the Golden Eagles.

Gabby Alvarez prepares to swing the bat during the series against Florida earlier this season. The Rebels will play Tennessee in a series at home this weekend. File photo by Katherine Butler

Freshmen Tate Whitley and Mikayla Allee rose to the occasion in the midweek matchup. Whitley hit a rocket into the right-center field gap to plate two runners and Allee followed with a single to score Whitley.

That was all the Rebel offense was able to produce, but thanks to Molly Jacobsen and Ava Tillmann in the circle, it was all they needed to come out on top. Jacobsen started out in the circle for the Rebels, tossing three innings and striking out four batters. Tillmann picked up the win with four innings in relief, allowing only four hits and striking out a pair.

Now, the Rebels look to defeat the Vols, who are currently 36-10 on the season. This weekend’s series is bound to be a nail-biter. The Rebels are currently ranked No. 9 in the Softball America poll, and the Vols sit one below at No. 10. Prior to this week, their rankings were reversed.

Last weekend, the Vols dropped two out of three games against the Georgia Bulldogs, marking the second SEC series that the Vols have lost, while the Rebels have yet to lose a conference series.

Offensively, the Vols have a .313 team batting average and 44 home runs on the season. They are led by Kaitlin Parsons and Aubrey Leach, who are both hitting over .400.

In the circle, the Vols are led by Ashley Rogers, who is currently ranked in the SEC Top 10 in wins and ERA with 1.80. Rogers has struck out 164 batters, while only walking 34in 136.1 innings of work.

The freshman from Athens, Tennessee, was a standout in high school, earning several pitching honors. She was ranked No. 12 in FloSoftball’s Hot 100 2018 Recruiting Class and is a two-time Gatorade Tennessee State Player of the Year in 2017 and 2018.

As a senior at Meigs County High School, Rogers posted a 0.20 ERA and fired 398 strikeouts through 173 innings of work, while batting .463 with 37 RBIs and eight home runs.

The first matchup between the Rebels and the Vols is tonight at 6 p.m. The two remaining games of the series will be played at 4 p.m. on Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday.