Elizabeth Hightower pitches the ball in her dominant performance against the LSU Tigers. Photo courtesy of @GatorsSB Twitter.

Series Preview: Softball Hits the Road to Take On Ole Miss

The No. 9 Gators softball team travels to Oxford, Mississippi, to face the Ole Miss Rebels in a three-game series beginning Thursday.

The Gators come off a tough week, facing the fourth ranked Florida State Seminoles and the second ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.  The team fell in extra innings to FSU and lost the series against Alabama. However, the team took the last game of the series against the Tide, allowing it to possibly build momentum for this weekend.


What to Watch for the Gators

The Gators have lost three out of their last four games partly due to offensive struggles. Moreover, the team hasn’t scored more than three runs in a game since its win against Auburn back on April 3. Though, the team has faced very impressive pitching lately. But if the team wants to succeed come postseason time the bats have to get hits with runners in scoring position.

The Gators have six players batting over .300 this season, with Skylar Wallace leading the team with a .411 batting average. Kendra Falby and Hannah Adams lead the team with 49 hits each, while Charla Echols and Reagan Walsh lead the team in RBI’s with 37 apiece.

On the mound, Elizabeth Hightower has continued her dominance this season. With a 10-3 record, the senior has appeared in 19 games and has a 2.54 ERA. She’s thrown five complete games and has struck out 87 opponents. Lexie Delbrey has also had a successful season in the circle, having 82 strikeouts and a 2.55 ERA.


Rebels to Watch

Ole Miss has held its own so far this season, coming in at 29-11 and 5-7 in the SEC. Tate Whitley has posted an impressive .447 average this season and has the most hits on the team with 59. Paige Smith is the RBI leader for Ole Miss with 29 and Abbey Lathan is not far behind with 28.

On the mound, Savannah Diederich has dominated with a 1.95 ERA this season and 70 strikeouts. Additionally, she has only given up 16 earned runs on the season and has posted a 1.19 WHIP. Aynslie Furbush and Brooke Vestal have also been solid in the circle, with each having an ERA under 2.15. Vestal also leads the Rebels staff with seven wins this season.

Game Times

Game one of the series is set to begin Thursday, with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. Then, the Friday game is set to start at 5 p.m. and the third will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday.


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