Softball heads to College Station to face Texas A&M

Posted on May 1 2015 - 2:13pm by Natalie Rae Allen
Natalie Martinez bats in the game against Georgia on April 12.

Natalie Martinez bats in the game against Georgia on April 12.

After snagging a 9-0 win from Mississippi Valley State (13-31) on Wednesday night, the Rebels officially tied the school record for wins in a single season with 30. The last time Ole Miss won 30 games in a season was in 2005.

With this weekend’s upcoming three-game series against No. 25 ranked Texas A&M, head coach Mike Smith has the chance to break this record in just his first season at Ole Miss.

“This is a great thing for our program,” Smith said. “Being in the first year, you really want to do some special things. My hat is off to these ladies for putting in the time and work to get one percent better every day. I’m happy for the team, our fans and the Ole Miss community. This is a total team effort. Our job is not done yet, though, and hope to go on the road and add to that win total in this last series and the SEC Tournament.”

Highlights from Wednesday night’s game include a two-run bomb from junior catcher Natalie Martinez in the second inning to start things off, followed later by hits from sophomore second baseman Alyssa Invergo, sophomore centerfielder Miranda Strother and freshman infielder Alex Schneider to give Ole Miss their nine runs of the evening.

Junior pitcher Madi Osias led the Rebels on the mound, allowing only two hits with two walks and four strikeouts through her 5.0 innings of work. Osias is 12-13 on the season.

“Madi was great tonight in the circle,” Smith said. “Natalie (Martinez) started things off for us getting the big two-run home run. We got people on base, stole some bases, got some hits and played solid defense all the way around. Now we’re looking forward to going on the road to play at Texas A&M.”

As the Rebels head to College Station to take on the Aggies, they need to be in complete attack mode. Texas A&M is 35-17 on the season and have defeated top-ranked opponents such as UCLA, Auburn and Kentucky.

Key players for the Aggies are junior outfielder Cali Lanphear and senior pitcher Rachel Fox.

Landphear has eight home runs on the season with 38 hits. She was also on the 2014 USA Softball Player of the Year Top 50 Watch List.

Since transferring from Texas, Fox has tossed 123 strikeouts in 158.1 innings of work as the Aggies’ Friday and Sunday starter. She will likely be taking the mound against Ole Miss this weekend.

Heading into postseason play, these next three games are key for both the Rebels’ standings in the rankings and their mental game. Securing these wins will give Ole Miss a positive mindset heading into the SEC tournament beginning May 6 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The first pitch of the series is set for 6:30 p.m. on Friday.

Natalie Rae Allen