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Softball Gaining Recognition Midway Through Season
The Lady Choctaws are ranked 23rd in the nation and have had multiple players recognized by the Gulf South Conference.
Around the halfway mark of their season, Mississippi College softball is beginning to gain recognition for its hot start. Sitting at 22-4 thus far on the season, the Lady Choctaws entered the NFCA Top 25 last week before they completed a weekend sweep of UWF, which boosted them to 23rd in the nation. The Lady Choctaws have been running through their Gulf South Conference schedule with a conference record of 10-2.
They began their season with a string of non-conference victories, winning 10 games in a row before conference play. This included several high-scoring efforts, especially during a three-game stretch where they won 36-1 over Kentucky State, 23-1 against Miles, and 14-0 against Young Harris. The month of March has been particularly good for the team as they have yet to suffer a loss, with their last loss coming on February 19, against 11th-ranked Valdosta State, meaning they have won 15 games in a row.
The Lady Choctaws have continued to be hot in both major areas of the game, leading the GSC with a team batting average of .388 and having the second-best team ERA in the conference at 2.82. Several Lady Choctaws are leading the conference in individual statistics as well. McCall Lee boasts the third-best batting average in the conference, hitting .471 on the season with five home runs, and is at or near the top of the conference in several other hitting statistics. Camryn Bailey has the second-best individual ERA in the conference at 1.26 and has the second-most wins with 15.
Multiple Lady Choctaws have received individual accolades for their early success, with Shelby Samples and Camryn Bailey both being named GSC freshman of the week in the month of February.
“The team has really bought into what we’re trying to do,” said Head Coach Brooke O’Hair. “This sport is a team sport, but it can become very individualized, and so far this season everything has been about doing what’s best for the team and running the system how the team is expected to have things run.”
Last season ended in disappointment for the Lady Choctaws as they finished the season needing just one win in their final series of the season against Union to advance to the GSC tournament. However, the Choctaws were swept, losing by just one run in each of the final two games. However, O’Hair says that the team is not dwelling on last season, but rather is focused on this one.
“Honestly, we don’t talk about it a whole lot,” said O’Hair. “We brought in some new players, and we’ve got a lot of returners with some experience. If anything, I would say that this team has something to prove, and that's something that we’ve talked about some. But we really try to focus on what we're doing right now instead of focusing on the past, because the past you can’t do anything about, and the future you can, so that’s what we've been trying to do.”
The Lady Choctaws currently sit third in the GSC standings with 24 games left on their schedule. They will look to return to the GSC tournament for the first time since 2021, also the last time they qualified for an NCAA regional. On the road at Lee this weekend, the Lady Choctaws will return home on April 1 to take on Auburn Montgomery.
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