April 17, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - It's back to the grind in the rugged Southeastern Conference for No. 12 Tennessee (34-9-1, 10-6-1 SEC) as the Lady Vols travel down to "The Magnolia State" for a three-game series in Oxford, Miss., over April 18-19 versus Ole Miss (18-24, 5-17 SEC). First pitch for both Saturday and Sunday is slated for 1 p.m. CT, with live stats available through utladyvols.com.
The Big Orange holds a 27-5 advantage in the all-time series with the Rebels, but are just 3-2 in the last five meetings with UM. In fact, four of Tennessee's five losses to Ole Miss have occurred on the road in Oxford as UT maintains an 11-4 record at the Rebels' home facility. After winning a rare early-season, non-league match-up with Ole Miss (2-0) on Feb. 17, 2008, at the USF Best Western Tournament in Tampa, Fla., UT split last year's regular-season doubleheader on April 16th with the Rebels in Knoxville (0-1, 6-2).
In its most recent action, the Orange & White managed a 5-0 shutout victory in a hard-fought match-up against ETSU. With the triumph, the Lady Vols stretched their winning streak over in-state opponents to 62 straight dating back to a loss against MTSU on March 22, 2000. Junior second baseman Nicole Kajitani continued her recent offensive surge by knocking in two runs via a double as part of a 1-for-3 effort. Fellow junior Tiffany Huff broke her own career-high in RBIs by driving her 59th run of the season on a base hit during a two-run third inning. Sophomore center fielder Kelly Grieve delivered two hits in three at-bats with a runs scored, a RBI and three steals to give her a squad-best 32 on the season. Freshman pitcher Cat Hosfield nabbed victory No. 25 of her young career by firing a complete-game, four-hit shutout.
Under the guidance of head coach Missy Dickerson, Ole Miss enters this weekend's series at 18-24 overall and 5-17 in league play. There are several impressive victories on UM's season resume as the Rebels took two of three games at nationally-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette to open their campaign, have beaten rated LSU, and also downed BYU and Cal State Fullerton. Ole Miss also suffered razor-thin, one-run losses to national stalwarts California and Baylor.
The Rebels are hitting .241 as a team, guided by junior infielder Lauren Grill. The Tualatin, Ore., native has tallied a .308 average over 42 contests with team-highs in doubles (eight), home runs (10) and RBIs (32). Freshman Corrine Doornberg leads the squad in batting average with a .320 mark (31-of-97) and has posted five stolen bases in six attempts. Junior Ashley Dowdy (.222) rates second on the team in HR's with five to go along with 17 RBIs, while senior Lisa Conchos has recorded a .270 average with 16 RBIs.
A three-member pitching staff possesses a 3.22 team ERA with 24 complete games and five shutouts, while limiting the opposition to a .253 batting average. Junior Becky Nye has served as the ace, firing 194.1 innings with a 13-16 record, a 2.70 ERA and 120 strikeouts. Sophomore Lindsey Perry has provided 78.0 frames of support with a 4.49 ERA and a 4-7 record. Freshman Kelly Chandler has worked 23.1 innings in her inaugural campaign, posting a 1-1 record with a 3.30 ERA.