The Daily Gamecock

Gamecocks hope to carry good play over into series against Ole Miss

With the postseason right around the corner, the South Carolina softball team is trying to capitalize on every remaining opportunity in the regular season, and that starts with this weekend’s upcoming series on the road against Ole Miss.

South Carolina has won four of its last six SEC contests, and the Gamecocks are hoping that their good play will continue against the Rebels.

“We’re rolling out of Kentucky on a good note and did the same with Georgia State Tuesday night,” redshirt senior pitcher Julie Sarratt said. “We’re on a high right now, and we need to go into this weekend on that high and continue to accelerate from there.”

Although the Rebels have struggled in their most recent games, South Carolina head coach Beverly Smith stressed the importance of taking Ole Miss seriously.

At this point in the season, she believes South Carolina can’t take any opponent for granted, even though Ole Miss has gotten swept in consecutive SEC series.

“It’s important that all aspects are good,” Smith said. “Ole Miss has good offense, so we need to make sure our pitching and defense is good.”

As always, the Gamecocks are searching for consistent play in all aspects of the game. South Carolina has proved at various points in the season that it can both hit and pitch well. The trick is putting both together.

With only six games remaining in the regular season, South Carolina is hoping to enter the postseason on a strong note. A good showing against Ole Miss would certainly help give South Carolina some momentum as the year begins to wind down.

“We want to get as many wins as possible to set us up in a good place in the SEC tournament,” junior outfielder Alaynie Page said. “Getting to the tournament is definitely a motivating factor for us, so we hope we can sweep this weekend to put ourselves in the best position.”

The end of the regular season is a crucial time for any team, and the Gamecocks know this applies to them. With a 6-12 SEC record, a good outcome this weekend would be extremely beneficial. Where the Gamecocks finish in the conference will be a big factor in how the postseason will play out for the team.

“Our goal is to play our best softball at the end of the season,” Smith said. “We’re on an upswing right now and looking forward to how we will continue to play and finish out the year.”

But before South Carolina can focus on the postseason, they need to get Ole Miss out of the way. They know what they have to do this weekend in order to be satisfied.

“We’ve been working on our base running and fine tuning some things around the bases,” Smith said. “We have our strategies against Ole Miss, but we just want to keep improving.”

After facing Ole Miss, South Carolina will take on Mississippi State the following weekend to end the regular season before heading off to the SEC tournament.