This evening, the Ole Miss softball team will take the diamond against the Long Beach State 49ers in the Tempe, Arizona Regional. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. on ESPN.
Ole Miss (30-23) ended the final week of the regular season by defeating then-No. 5 Georgia twice to earn the 12th and final spot in the SEC Tournament. It was the first SEC series loss of the season for the Bulldogs. The Rebels come into this regional as the No. 3 seed which is the lowest seeding Ole Miss has ever had in its three postseason appearances.
Rebel left fielder Elantra Cox talked about where the confidence level for the team is right now heading into the regional.
“I think we are pretty good we have had a couple of days of practice and reflect on what we really need to work on, ” Cox said. “Being able to move runners over and I think we had a lot of people in scoring position. Just doing our jobs and scoring those runs.”
Long Beach State closed out there regular season with a 42-12 overall record and a 16-5 mark in conference.
As a team, the 49ers are batting .308 with 307 runs scored and 277 RBIs. The calling card for The Beach has been two-baggers, ranking sixth in the nation with 1.65 doubles per game, good for 89 total. Outfielder Naomi Hernandez paces the 49ers with a .388 average, racking up a team-high 18 doubles with 47 runs and 36 RBIs. Infielder Nichole Fry is next up with a .372 average, leading LBSU with 51 runs, while adding 16 doubles, seven homers and 39 RBIs. Infielder Taylor Rowland leads the team with 58 RBIs to go with her .358 average, crushing a team-high 12 long balls. Infielder Julia Lombardi is the final 49er batting above .300, scoring 22 runs and driving in 19 more.
The 49ers have also been strong in the circle, posting a 2.27 ERA as a team with 327 strikeouts and 163 walks, holding opposing batters to a .213 average. Cielo Meza is the ace with 170 innings in the circle, registering a 22-4 record with a 1.48 ERA, striking out 217 batters to just 64 walks. Jessica Flores has pitched 107.2 frames, posting a 10-2 record with a 2.93 ERA, while Devyn Magnett holds a 10-6 record with a 3.02 ERA in 90.1 innings.
If the Rebels defeat Long Beach State tonight they will play the winner of Arizona State and New Mexico on Saturday at 4 p.m. or they will take the field at 6:30 in the losers bracket game.
All games of the regional will be broadcasted on the ESPN Family of Networks, with Tiffany Greene calling play-by-play, while Amanda Scarborough will serve as analyst for all games during the regional.
Adam Brown is the sports editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.HERE!