By Adam Brown
The Ole Miss Rebels softball team returns to action this evening as they play host to the UT Martin Skyhawks at the Ole Miss Softball Complex. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m. on the SEC Network+.
Ole Miss comes into the matchup after taking the series from the Missouri Tigers on Friday.
Head Coach Mike Smith’s club has been on a roll through the second half of the season by winning 22 of their last 27 games.
UT Martin comes to Oxford with a 25-19 overall record, including a 7-7 mark in Ohio Valley Conference play. The Skyhawks have played fairly well away from home, sporting an 8-6 record, but have fallen recently with four-straight losses. Ole Miss and UT Martin have played three common opponents in Sam Houston State, Memphis and Belmont. The Rebels won all four games against those teams, while UTM posted a 1-3 record.
The Skyhawks are led offensively by sophomore outfielder Paige Clark, who ranks second on the OVC with a .422 batting average. Junior outfielder Haylee Short is batting .325 with 27 runs scored and 23 RBIs, pacing the Skyhawks with eight doubles. The Skyhawks pride themselves on taking extra bases, ranking seventh in the nation in steals with 101.
UTM has used four pitchers this season. Despite only making nine starts, freshman Erin Gallagher leads the team with 76.2 innings in 22 appearances, posting a 6-2 record with a 2.37 ERA. Junior Hannah Ridolfi has made a team-high 14 starts, tossing 75.2 frames in 18 appearances with a 7-7 record and a 3.61 ERA. Freshman Lexi Ray has garnered a 3.31 ERA and a 6-6 record in 67.2 innings and sophomore Caitlin Karo has posted a 6-4 record and a 3.28 ERA in 64 complete frames.
Ole Miss and UT Martin are no strangers to one another on the diamond. They have met 16 times previously, including at least once every season since 2013. Ole Miss has dominated the series with a 12-4 record, including 9-1 in Oxford.