SB Preview: Billikens at Ole Miss Classic This Weekend

•Saint Louis competes in its final regular-season tournament of 2022, the Ole Miss Classic, Friday through Sunday, March 4-6.
•The Billikens (3-6) will play five games this weekend. Samford (8-6) is the first opponent Friday at 10:30 am, followed by Ole Miss (13-4) Friday at 3:30 pm The same opponents and same game times are scheduled for Saturday, and SLU concludes the tournament Sunday with a 10 am game vs. Western Kentucky (13-1).
Gabbie Kowalik continued her hot start at last week’s Michelle Short Memorial Classic, batting .385 (5-of-13). For the season, Kowalik leads Saint Louis in batting average (.464), hits (13), runs (five), doubles (three-tied), triples (two), slugging percentage (.714) and on-base percentage ( .484).
•Kowalik’s batting average leads the Atlantic 10 Conference and ranks 50th in the nation. She also tops the league in OPS (1.198), slugging percentage (.714), total bases (20), hits (13) and triples (two).
Kristi Stevenson The second ranks on the team and 12th in the A-10 with a .360 batting mark.
Sadie Wise was the Bills’ top hitter last week, going 6-for-12 (.500) with a home run, two doubles and five RBI. Wise lifted her average to .296 and tied Kowalik for the team lead in doubles with three.
Saint Louis leads the A-10 with a 3.86 ERA. Taylor Hochman’s 2.66 ERA is second in the league’s individual rankings.
Chloe Wendling is tied for fourth in the conference with two victories and carries a 3.59 ERA.
•SLU and Samford met twice in the season-opening tournament, Southern Mississippi’s Black & Gold Invitational. The Billikens won the first game 8-1, and the Bulldogs claimed the rematch 9-0. A member of the Southern Conference, Samford brings a three-game losing streak into the Ole Miss Classic.
•Ole Miss of the Southeastern Conference has won four straight and six of its last seven. The Rebels were an at-large selection for last year’s NCAA tournament, where they fell to Arizona in the Tucson Regional finals.
Western Kentucky also qualified for the 2021 NCAA Championship after winning the Conference USA tournament as the No. 4 seed. Among WKU’s 13 wins this season are two victories over A-10 member Dayton. The Hilltoppers’ only loss was a 2-0 setback to Texas A&M; since then, they have notched 11 straight wins.
•The Billikens host Northern Kentucky in the home opener Tuesday, March 8. Game time at the Billiken Sports Center is 2 pm

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