After a big sweep of #21 Georgia in Athens, the Crimson Tide is looking to finish the season strong against the Rebels. Alabama was eliminated from the SEC title when Arkansas beat LSU on Monday night. The Hogs have clinched at least a tie for the regular season championship. Florida can tie them with a likely home sweep of TAMU this weekend.
Standing in third place is Alabama. Behind the Tide are a host of teams looking to leapfrog, making this series with Ole Miss just as important as any other this season. Bama does not want to drop out of the top four and miss out on a first round bye of the SEC Tournament - not to mention how it would look in the NCAA Tournament seedings.
Arkansas 19-5 - regular season over
Florida 16-5 - one loss eliminates them from a share of the title (GO TAMU!)
Alabama 15-6 - can still get the two seed, but could also end up fifth
Missouri 13-8 - plays at Tennessee this weekend
Ole Miss 12-9 - still in the running for a top 4 seed
Tennessee 11-9 - OUCH! lost a doubleheader to Missy State on Wednesday.
Ole Miss has been a bit of a surprise this season and holds a solid 34-16 (12-9 SEC) record. They are fortunate enough to be carrying nine fifth year players who bring a great deal of experience to the team. The Black Bear Sharks currently stand in fifth place in the SEC and also have a great deal to play for in future seedings. This past weekend, they took two of three from a strong #21/24/24/25 UCF team.
A classy move by UGA:
Savannah Woodard was named SEC Newcomer of the Week, which is this year’s version of Freshman of the Week. Lexi Kilfoyl has previously won this award on tow occasions.
Alabama is unanimously ranked No. 3.
Ole Miss is at 27/24/22/25.
OLE MISS PITCHING
The Rebs have six pitchers but mainly employ Anna Borgen (11-4, 1.71 ERA), Ava Tillmann (8-3, 1.93 ERA), and Savannah Diederich (12-8, 2.44 ERA). Borgen is probably the Game 1 pitcher. As a team, they have only 70 walks, best in the conference, but seventh in strikeouts. They have allowed the third most hits, yet ninth most runs allowed. THat sounds like a lot of stranded base runners.
The most impressive stat is that this staff has only allowed 17 home runs. That is tops in the SEC over Florida (20) and Alabama (21).
OLE MISS BATTING
Paige Smith is batting .315 with ten round-trippers and 34 RBI, both tops on the team. Tate Whitley has a .380 average and a .472 on-base percentage. Jessica Puk is hitting .256 but has walked a team-leading 27 times. She also leads OM in runs scored at 31. Sydney Gutierrez (.316, 23 RBI) and Blaise Biringer (.339, 21 RBI) are also ones to watch.
As a team, they are tenth in the SEC in doubles and home runs. Mississippi scores only 5.0 runs per game. Only Auburn has a lower average in the conference.
OLE MISS FIELDING
The Rebs are one of the better fielding teams in the league with a .978 fielding percentage on 30 errors - both third best in the SEC. The FP is eighth best among NCAA Power teams. They have also turned 18 double plays.
OM has had an unusually low number of base stealing attempts against them this season. Opponents are only 11 of 16 in swipes. They are in for a culture shock since Alabama averages 1.8 steal attempts per game. The Crimson Tide is 70-81 on the season.
OLE MISS COACH
Ole Miss has an SEC rookie at the helm in Jamie Trachsel. She previously led Minnesota to the 2019 Women’s College World Series
Will Lexi Kilfoyl be back in the circle this weekend? One unconfirmed report has said she is healing from a back injury. She was briefly seen throwing in the bullpen Sunday when Montana Fouts showed a little struggle. Krystal Goodman has been solid as the No. 2 starter but has not been asked to go deep into games much this season. This Tide team needs Kilfoyl pitching.
Much like last weekend, Alabama cannot get complacent and look past the Rebels. Ole Miss has a good record but they were blessed with a schedule that missed Florida, Mizzou, and Tennessee (they were swept by Arky). Alabama really needs to hammer this team to build confidence as they head into the postseason.
If none of that was motivation enough, it’s the Senior weekend for many of the Tide players.
- Thursday, May 6, 6pm vs Ole Miss - SECN+
- Friday, May 7, 6pm vs Ole Miss - SECN+ - Power of Pink Game
- Saturday, May 8, 11 am vs Ole Miss - SECN - Senior Day