After a very good season opening road trip Ole Miss softball stays on the road but head out west to face some of the nations best teams.
After a successful season opening road tourney which happened to be without coach Mike Smith Ole Miss softball (3-1) will be back in action this week. The Rebels weekend in Orlando was enough to see them jump to No.24 in the national rankings. The No.24 Rebels stay on the road but now they put some west coast swing into the new season as they play six games in California beginning Thursday.
With a wild schedule which sees 16 scheduled road games before seeing a game in Oxford the Rebels may have their toughest test ahead of them this weekend. The Rebels will be playing Thursday in Los Angeles as they face Loyola Marymount before heading to Westwood, California to begin the Stacey Winsberg Memorial Tournament where they will face some of the west coasts toughest teams.
Over the weekend the Rebels will have two games Friday against UC Riverside and Cal Poly followed by two games Saturday against Oregon State and UCLA. The Rebels will finish the tourney Sunday as they face Boise State in Long Beach. Naturally this will be an opportunity for the Rebels to showcase against some great teams. We take a closer look at the competition.
Thursday, Loyola Marymount
Ole Miss Rebels
The Loyola Marymount Lions are currently 4-0 on the season after sweeping the Cal State Fullerton Titan Classic. The Lions picked up wins over Utah State, Idaho State, Northwestern and Buffalo. This will be a tough road test for the Rebels before heading into the Stacey Winsberg Memorial Tourney beginning Friday.
Friday, UC Riverside
UC Riverside enters the Stacey Winsberg Memorial Tourney with a 3-2 record and is coming off a loss to San Diego this past Sunday. Last weekend UC Riverside split games with Marshall and San Diego and a win over Portland State.
Friday, Cal Poly
Cal Poly enters Westwood and the Stacey Winsberg Memorial Tourney with a 2-2 record and a 7-3 win over San Diego. In their first weekend of action the Mustangs began with two losses to Portland State and Marshall but finished the weekend with wins over Portland State and San Diego.
Saturday, Oregon State
Oregon State enters the weekend with a 5-0 record after their first weekend of action. The Beavers picked up wins over CSUN, Weber State, Seattle, Missouri and Western Michigan. Out of the Pac12 Oregon State softball is usually tough.
UCLA also enters the weekend with a 5-0 record after sweeping the Hawaii Paradise Classic this past weekend. The Bruins picked up wins over UT Arlington, Fresno State, Hawaii, Georgia State and Saint Mary’s.
Sunday, Boise State
Boise State enters the Stacey Winsberg Memorial Tourney with a 2-2 record after a weekend in the Texas Classic. The Broncos picked up a win over Boston College then split games with Northwestern State and picked up a loss to No.16 Texas.
The most important observation is now head coach Mike Smith has served his suspension and will be back with the team beginning Thursday. According to Smith the entire incident is behind him and he is moving forward with business as usual. This is great new for Ole Miss softball and the fans who appreciate all he has done for the program.
As stated before this will be a tough six-game stretch for the Rebels but should the Rebels start strong they should finish strong. From what we saw from the Rebels in their opening weekend we know the Rebels have very good pitching and base-running. Should the Rebels have a good weekend at the plate they should do very well.
Naturally we excited to see coach Mike Smith and Ole Miss softball back in action and this weekend should be a good one for the No.24 ranked Rebels. First pitch from Los Angeles against Loyola Marymount is set for Thursday at 4pm CT. Good luck to the Rebels on the West Coast! Hotty Toddy!