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Rebels host Bulldogs in softball 'Egg Bowl'

 

OXFORD, Miss. — The Ole Miss softball team will welcome in-state rival Mississippi State to Oxford for a three-game Southeastern Conference series beginning Friday at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.

The series kicks off on Friday at 6 p.m., while Saturday’s game is set for 2 p.m. and Sunday’s series finale will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday’s game will be televised by Fox Sports Net South with Dave Baker handling the play-by-play duties and national pro fastpitch league commissioner Cheri Kempf serving as color analyst.

Admission to all Ole Miss softball games is free, and fans are encouraged to bring chairs and coolers for the outfield seating. Outside food or drink is not allowed inside the stadium area of the Ole Miss Softball Complex. Fans can also hear the game on Reb Sports Radio on 102.1 FM in Oxford, 101.3 FM in Grenada, 1240 AM in Jackson and online at RebSportsRadio.com. Live in-game stats will also be available on OleMissSports.com, and RebelVision will provide live video.

The Rebels will also host the third annual “Kids Take Over The Park Day” during Saturday’s game to support the Le Bonhuer Children’s Hospital in Memphis. Children aged 5-12 are encouraged to sign up for a variety of jobs at the ballpark and to bring donations for the children of Le Bonheur, aged infant to adolescent. Kids will fill several roles during the Rebels’ 2 p.m. game versus the Bulldogs. Positions include public address announcer, cheerleader, field crew, water manager and many more. Volunteers will be honored before the game and will join the Rebels on the field for the national anthem. There will also be an autograph session and a skills clinic following the game, so volunteers should bring a glove. Sunday’s game is also the Oxford Park Commission Season Kickoff, and a picnic will be held in the outfield for all OPC kids with a clinic following the game.

Ole Miss enters the weekend with a 16-21 overall mark and a 3-11 league record. Sophomore RT Cantillo leads the Rebels at the plate with a .374 batting average on the season and is hitting .533 over her last six games with eight hits in 15 at-bats. She has hit a double, two triples, a homer and four RBI in the six games for a 1.067 slugging percentage and a .563 on-base percentage. On the season, Cantillo ranks third in the SEC with a .533 on-base percentage and eighth with a .374 batting average.

Shortstop Allison Brown is tied for second in the SEC among freshmen with 30 RBI and is just one RBI shy of the Ole Miss freshman record of 31 RBI set by former All-American Lauren Grill in 2007. The Los Alamitos, Calif., native leads the team with seven doubles and 30 RBI and ranks second on the squad with four home runs. Senior Kendall Bruning leads the team with a 12-11 record and a 4.07 ERA with 105 strikeouts in 137.2 innings pitched. She ranks fifth in the SEC in innings pitched, sixth in appearances and wins and ninth in Ks.

MSU comes to Oxford with a 22-19 overall record and a 5-14 mark in SEC play. The Bulldogs are led at the plate by Jessica Cooley, who has a .353 batting average and a team-best 13 home runs and 34 RBI. Stephanie Becker leads Mississippi State in the circle with an 11-10 record, 2.91 ERA and 123 strikeouts in 137.0 innings.

The Bulldogs own a 31-20 advantage in the all-time series over Ole Miss, but the series is tied at five games apiece over the last 10 meetings. MSU leads the series 12-10 in games played in Oxford, but the Rebels won 2-of-3 over their in-state rival in the last home meeting in 2010.