Tigers Return to University Field for Ole Miss Series



April 17, 2014

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Ole Miss Columbia, Mo. Fri./5 p.m. Twitter | StatsMizzou Network
Ole Miss Columbia, Mo. Fri./7 p.m. Twitter | StatsMizzou Network
Ole Miss Columbia, Mo. Sat./2 p.m. Twitter | StatsMizzou Network

Game Notes: Mizzou PDF | Fan Guide | Fan Promotions

TIGER TALES - No. 13 Mizzou Softball (32-12, 9-6 SEC) continues Southeastern Conference action at home with Ole Miss (April 18-19), with the Tigers riding a streak of three-straight league series wins. In recent conference action, Mizzou picked up all three possible wins at No. 20 Auburn (April 11-13). The sweep of the ranked AU squad brought Mizzou’s season total for wins over ranked opponents to eight. Dating back to the series-opening, 8-6 win over No. 13 Georgia (March 28), the Tigers have won seven of nine SEC contests.

• Head coach Ehren Earleywine’s squad will look to right the ship vs. Ole Miss after a tough set of games at Iowa on Wednesday, April 16. The Tigers were handed setbacks in the doubleheader (3-1, 13-9), although standout days were had by redshirt sophomore OF Taylor Gadbois and redshirt sophomore SS Sami Fagan. The duo batted 5-for-8 (.625) and 4-for-6 (.667), respectively, with the normally infield-playing Fagan making her first two starts of the season at catcher. Gadbois stole four bases, two in each game.

• Stop, thief! Gadbois leads the SEC in stolen bases with her 38 swipes in 2014. Her 0.85 stolen bases per game (heading into the week) ranked seventh in the nation. Her success on the base paths this season now ranks in Mizzou’s single-season Top 10 for stolen bases at seventh.

• Just a freshman? Mizzou freshman P Tori Finucane was recognized for her first-year exploits on April 17, as the Tiger hurler was named a Top 25 Finalist for the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s inaugural Division I National Freshman of the Year trophy. Finucane has been impressive in 2014, compiling a 1.86 ERA in 127.2 innings of work for a 14-5 record.

• Several Tigers stood out in the sweep at Auburn (April 11-April 13). The initial, 4-2 win of the series saw junior 3B/C Angela Randazzo’s two-run home run prove to be the difference in the win. Fagan recorded two RBI in the victory. Finucane did not allow an earned run in her win (6.0 IP) in the circle. Freshman P/1B/OF Casey Stangel earned the Tigers’ first save of the season to close out the game.

• April 12 belonged to Mizzou’s seniors. Senior OF Mackenzie Sykes set career highs in home runs (2) and RBI (6) in a 3-for-4 batting day to power Mizzou to an 8-7 win. Fellow senior P Alora Marble entered in relief, throwing 3.2 innings and shutting down Auburn over the final two innings with zero hits allowed and a game-ending strikeout. The win was Marble’s first career SEC win, but not her last of the weekend.

• A group effort of home runs sealed the sweep for Mizzou on April 13, a 7-6 Tiger win over Auburn. Junior 1B Kelsea Roth got Mizzou out to a 4-0 lead with one swing, her first grand slam of 2014 and fourth of her career. The game tightened, but the bats remained hot, as both junior IF Corrin Genovese and freshman IF/OF Kelli Schkade hit solo home runs in the top of the seventh to help the Tigers maintain their advantage. Marble appeared in relief for a second consecutive day to earn the win (5-0), pitching 3.0 innings with just one earned run allowed.

• Calling Mizzou a hot-hitting squad is an understatement. Three Tigers are currently having seasons at the plate that rank among the best in program history. The team leader in batting average, Gadbois has compiled a .451 mark, which currently ranks second only to former Mizzou star and three-time All-American Rhea Taylor’s .452 average from 2010. Sophomore 2B/OF Emily Crane has stood with a .411 batting average since being sidelined with her leg injury.

• Genovese continued her top-notch conference hitting into a third league series, batting 7-for-11 (.636) in Mizzou’s three wins at Auburn, including a 3-for-3 game to start the series. The Tiger infielder, once known exclusively for her glove, sits atop the conference with a .462 batting average in SEC games.

• Schkade was named SEC Freshman of the Week (April 14), showing a clutch bat for Mizzou in the sweep-clinching, 7-6 win at No. 20 Auburn (April 13), as she launched a solo home run to left center field with two outs in the top of the seventh inning to put her squad up 7-5. The home run was just one swing of an overall 6-for-16 (.375) week to help Mizzou record a perfect 5-0 record. The midweek doubleheader vs. WIU (April 9) included a superb performance by Schkade, as she went 3-for-4 at the plate with a single, double and triple in the 5-0 nightcap win.

THE OPPOSITION - OLE MISS  - Ole Miss (22-22, 3-12 SEC) was swept at home by Mizzou last season in the two programs’ first series meeting as Southeastern Conference foes. The Tigers won the three games (March 15-17, 2013) in Oxford, Miss., by scores of 11-0 (5), 6-1 and 12-0 (5).

• The Rebels are led in batting by one of just two players in the SEC with a higher batting average than Mizzou’s Gadbous. RT Cantillo has built a .467 batting average and leads Ole Miss with 57 hits.

• Six different pitchers have seen time in the circle for Ole Miss in 2014, but just three with the majority. Carly Hummel (3.07 ERA) leads the way with 111.2 innings, while Shelby Jo Fenter (3.27 ERA) and Emily Gaitan (3.90 ERA) follow with 60.0 and 55.2 innings pitched.

• In SEC action, opponents have outscored the Rebels by a 109-62 margin, while also being out-hit, 127-100. Only Hummel (10 appearances) and Gaitan (eight appearances) have pitched during conference action for Ole Miss.

SEC CHAMPIONSHIP TICKETS  - Tiger fans! Tickets for the 2014 Southeastern Conference Softball Tournament (May 7-10) in Columbia, S.C., are on sale through host school, South Carolina.

• On sale are all-session booklets covering the four-day tournament. Reserved chairback seats are $60 per all-session booklet, while standing-room only passes are $40. Broken down by session, each ticket covers Wednesday's opening-round games, the midday and evening quarterfinal sessions on Thursday, Friday's semifinals and Saturday's finals.

• Fans may purchase tickets online at gamecocksonline.com/tickets, or by calling the South Carolina Athletic Ticket Office at 1-800-4SC-FANS (1-800-472-3267).



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