After splitting a series with the No. 25 South Carolina Gamecocks, the Rebels, currently 22-8 on the season, will face the No. 7 Florida Gators this weekend in Oxford.
Over the past three years, Rebel softball has lost seven of its eight matchups with the Gators.
The Gators, sitting 27-6 on the season, are on a four-game win streak after shutting out the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats 15-0 in just 5.0 innings on Wednesday. However, the Gators have yet to win an SEC series this season.
Senior Amanda Lorenz has been a standout at the plate this season with a .419 batting average. Lorenz is ranked in the top 10 for on-base percentage, runs scored, hits, walks, and sac flies.
Junior Kendyl Lindaman is another key offensive player for the Gators. Lindaman is currently ranked in the top 10 for RBIs and home runs, with 10 long balls on the season.
This weekend’s series is bound to be a showdown in the circle with both squads possessing powerful pitchers. The Rebel squad is ranked first in the SEC with a 1.79 ERA, and the Gators are third with a 1.80 ERA.
Senior Brittany Finney had a strong outing last weekend against the Gamecocks despite the team’s lost. Finney retired the first five batters of the game before surrendering back-to-back solo home runs.
In the second and final game of the series, junior Molly Jacobsen had another standout performance in the circle. Jacobsen struck out 10 batters, which was just one strikeout shy of her career-high of 11. The Des Moines Area Community College transfer leads the SEC with a 1.04 ERA.
Offensively, the Rebels put runners on base in every inning during the second game, but they were unable to bring them home to get on the board. After seven scoreless innings, the Rebels went into extra innings for the first time this season.
In extras, sophomore Jessica Puk hit a solo home run before junior Autumn Gillespie hit her second triple of the season. Junior Kelsha Loftin came in to run for Gillespie and was easily driven in by a sacrifice fly off the bat of Finney.
Puk’s home run was her seventh of the season, putting her in the sole possession of the team lead.
The first matchup between the Rebels and the Gators is scheduled for tonight at 6 p.m. The two remaining games of the series will be played at 4 p.m. Saturday and noon on Sunday. The series will be aired on the SEC Network+.