It’s time for Mississippi State’s SEC home opener and the Bulldogs will be facing off against an incredibly interesting team. Samantha Ricketts and her Mississippi State softball team are getting ready to host the Ole Miss Rebels in Nusz Park.
Ole Miss has been successful so far this year and the Rebels are a team that could be dangerous down the stretch of this season. While they are at the bottom of the SEC in hitting home runs, the Rebels are still a winning team and have a very respectable record of 21-4. Heading into the weekend, Mississippi State has a 16-10 record. The Bulldogs can’t exactly take this rivalry series for granted.
Here are three players the Bulldogs will need to account for this weekend:
Mississippi State softball: Bulldogs vs. Ole Miss Rebels – 3 opposing players to watch
Tate Whitley: The Ole Miss Rebels have an incredibly consistent batter in Tate Whitley. The senior from Angleton, Texas has a .506 batting average through the first 25 games she’s started in. In the 81 at bats that Whitley has this year, she has managed to get 41 hits and has only struck out a total of eight times this year. Whitley hasn’t been much of a power hitter throughout her career and she doesn’t have a home run so far this season, she’s someone that Mississippi State’s pitchers will need to keep an eye on.
Paige Smith: Even though the aforementioned Whitley isn’t a power hitter and the Rebels don’t currently have a standout slugger in their lineup the way some other teams might, the Rebels do have a very productive hitter in Paige Smith. Ole Miss doesn’t really hit many home runs, but Mississippi State can’t afford to overlook Paige Smith. Right now, Smith leads the Rebels with 21 RBIs. In her 72 at bats, Smith has a .264 batting average and has managed to hit five home runs so far this season. That’s not bad and is something that is worth paying attention to this weekend.
Savannah Diederich: While the Rebels like to utilize a number of different pitchers and have a ton of depth for players who can deliver strikeouts, Ole Miss has turned to Savannah Diederich more than any of its other pitchers so far this season. Diederich has made five starts and has appeared in 10 games. In the 38 innings she has pitched, Diederich has managed to strike out 51 batters. If she’s fully healthy and able to play at a high level, the Bulldogs might have a hard time getting some hits against her.
Categories: Mississippi State Softball