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No. 18 Ole Miss begins SEC play on the road at No. 7 Texas A&M

No. 18 Ole Miss begins SEC play on the road at No. 7 Texas A&M

COLLEGE STATION, TX – Ole Miss begins conference play this weekend in College Station as the No. 18 Rebels take on No. 7 Texas A&M.

Photo: Cameron Brooks, OM Athletics

The first game, which can be seen via the WatchESPN app on SECN+, begins at 6:00 p.m. Friday, while Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. contest and Sunday’s 1:00 p.m. game will each be televised on the SEC Network.

The No. 18 Rebels look to right the ship, so to speak, as they enter the series on a two-game losing streak. Defeating the Aggies (19-3), who have won six of their last seven, would be a great way to get back on track.

The Rebels’ will go with ace Kaitlin Lee (8-1), who is no stranger to defeating a top-ranked team. Lee and the Rebels won a 1-0 game from then-No. 3 Oregon earlier this season, with Lee pitching an eight-inning, complete game in the victory.

Scouting the Aggies

Hitting: The Aggies’ offense is powerful, boasting a .317 team batting average and a .408 on-base percentage.

A&M is led by Sarah Hudek with a .414 average, followed by Ashley Walters at .383. Walters also ranks second on the team with 17 RBIs. Keeli Milligan is hitting at a .358 pace and has notched 15 steals in 16 attempts this season. Tori Vidales, who owns a team-best five home runs, leads the team with 28 RBI and is batting .344 on the season.

Pitching: The A&M pitching staff is formidable, as well. As a unit, they bring a 1.64 ERA into the series, holding the opposition to a .220 average.

Three Aggies are shouldering much of the load, as Samantha Show has pitched 51.1 innings, going 6-2 with a 2.59 ERA. Show has struck out 28 and walked 19. Trinity Harrington has notched 36.1 innings in the circle, going 5-1 with a 1.16 ERA and a 25-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Maddie MacGrandle is 4-0 with a 1.24 ERA in 28.1 innings pitched. Lexi Smith has tallied 18.1 innings and is 3-0, holding a 1.53 ERA.

Ole Miss’ projected starting lineup

Here is head coach Mike Smith’s projected starting lineup for the Rebels:

1. Elantra Cox | LF | .373, 19 hits
2. Kylan Becker | CF | .288, 15 hits
3. Celeste Wood | RF | .265, 5 RBIs
4. Autumn Gillespie | C | .341, 11 RBIs
5. Alex Schneider | 1B | .278, 8 RBIs
6. Amanda Roth | 3B | .208, 2 HRs
7. Abbey Latham | DP | .208, 4 RBIs
8. Ally Mena | 2B | .233, 7 RBIs
9. Paige McKinney | SS | .282, 11 hits
Pitcher | Kaitlin Lee | 8-1, 1.45 ERA

Series history

A&M and Ole Miss have only met 14 times, with the Aggies leading the all-time series at 12-2. However, four of the last five times the two teams have played, the games were decided by three runs or less.

Game info:

Date: March 9-11, 2018
First Pitch: Friday – 6 p.m.; Saturday – 2:30 p.m.; Sunday – 1 p.m.
Location: College Station, Texas
Venue: Aggie Softball Complex
Series: Texas A&M leads, 12-2
Last Series: March 17-19, 2017 – No. 7 Texas A&M swept, 3-0, in Oxford
Ways to watch: Game 1: SECN+ | Games 2 and 3: SEC Network

Evelyn Van Pelt
Evelyn Van Pelt

Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn’s love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.

About The Author

Evelyn Van Pelt

Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn's love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.

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