Softball Preview: #4/7 Tennessee Opens SEC Play Against Ole Miss

Softball Preview: #4/7 Tennessee Opens SEC Play Against Ole Miss

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Conference play begins in earnest for the fourth-ranked Lady Vols softball team as they are set to play host to Ole Miss Friday through Sunday at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium.
 
Tennessee (17-1) enters the weekend on a 12-game win streak – its longest since winning 12 in a row between Feb. 22-March 7, 2021. In their last time out, the Lady Vols trounced Tennessee Tech, 19-0.
 
FOLLOW LIVE
Friday and Saturday’s games will be available to stream on SEC Network+ or through the WatchESPN app. Zack Nelson (play-by-play) and Jill Jelnick (analyst) will call the action for games 1 and 2. Sunday’s series finale will air on SEC Network with Eric Frede (play-by-play) and Madison Shipman (analyst) describing the action.
 
Voice of the Lady Vols softball team Brian Rice will host an audio broadcast for all three games, available for listening on UTSports.com. Links for the audio broadcast can be found on the Tennessee softball schedule page and will be shared on @Vol_Softball social media accounts.
 
DOMINATION IN THE CIRCLE
Tennessee’s pitching staff has been among the nation’s best this season. After 18 games, the staff ERA is tops in the country at 0.58 with only eight extra bases hits allowed. The group has totaled 139 strikeouts over 108 innings pitched.
 
CROOKED NUMBERS
Tennessee’s offense has proven it can strike for a big inning at any time. Over the last six games, the Lady Vols have scored four-plus runs in an inning on nine occasions.
 
Additionally, UT leads the nation and the SEC in scoring, averaging 9.33 runs per game and has scored six or more runs 13 times this season.
 
Through 18 games, Tennessee is out-scoring its opponents 168-10.
 
THE BIG DOUBLE MACHINE
Tennessee is one of the top teams in the nation when it comes to hitting doubles. The Lady Vols average 2.17 doubles per game – ranking third in the nation and first in the SEC through the first month of the season. In total doubles, UT has knocked 39 in 18 games which is the fourth-most in the country.
 
The program record for doubles in a season stands at 142 – set in 1996 – the first season in team history.
 
GOTTA EARN IT
UT notched nine consecutive shutouts during its current win streak – Feb. 24 – March 5 – and it has not allowed an earned run in 64 straight innings and counting.
 
SCOUTING OLE MISS
Last year, Ole Miss and Tennessee faced off in Oxford, where the Rebels took the series two games to one. They are also coming off a 4-2 weekend at the Ole Miss Classic, tossing three shutouts and scoring 23 runs.
 
Head Coach (Record at OM): Jamie Trachsel (90-49)
 
2023 Record: 13-8
 
Series Record: Tennessee leads 49-12
 
Last Meeting: L, 1-3 on 5/2/23 in Oxford, Mississippi
 
Key Stat: The Rebel defense is among the best in the SEC and the nation as they lead the league in fielding percentage at .981 – ranking 11th-best nationally. Ole Miss is also averaging 0.62 double plays per game, tops in the conference and sixth-most in the country.
 
UP NEXT: The Lady Vols head out for an extended spring break road trip, making a stop in Columbia, Tennessee, for the Mid-State Classic against Austin Peay on March 15. Tennessee then visits Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for a three-game set at LSU March 17-19.

-UT Athletics

Lady Vols Softball / Credit: UT Athletics

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