Rebel softball remains perfect at home with twin bill sweep

Rebel softball remains perfect at home with twin bill sweep

OXFORD, MS (WLBT) - Ole Miss (13-6) moved to 4-0 as host of this weekend's Ole Miss Classic on Saturday, defeating Pittsburgh (3-15) in a 4-3 thriller before setting down Nicholls (10-11) 2-0 at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.

Game One | Ole Miss 4, Pittsburgh 3

After starter Ava Tillmann had trouble finding her form through the game’s first few batters, Brittany Finney came on in relief and immediately provided a calming influence. Finney finished the game with one run earned on three hits, striking out six in 7.0 innings.

Things got off to a rocky start for the Rebels, with Pitt jumping out quickly after back-to-back home runs to leadoff the game. However, after a walk, Finney came on out of the bullpen to retire three batters in a row, getting the Rebs out of the frame without any further damage.

Kylan Becker got the comeback going right away, lacing a triple to left-center out of the leadoff role to give the Rebels a spark. Abbey Latham followed by reaching on a fielder’s choice before Jessica Puk scored Becker with a sacrifice fly. Finney then tied the game with a grounder to second, allowing Latham to come home.

From there, both offenses were stymied until the fifth, when the Panthers regained the lead on Alexis Solak’s solo shot to left. However, the Rebels had some dramatics left in them.

With just three outs standing between Ole Miss and the first home loss of the season, Autumn Gillespie got a rally started with a leadoff double to shallow right field. Kelsha Loftin came in to run, Kaylee Horton moved the runner over with a grounder and Taylor Watford reached on a fielder’s choice to put runners at the corners with one out. After Katelin Cooper came in to pinch run for Watford, a passed ball was issued, allowing the freshman to move up to second before Tate Whitley followed with a clutch RBI single to tie the game. With speed on the bases, head coach Mike Smith put the squeeze play on and Mikayla Allee got the job done, perfectly executing to score Cooper and give Ole Miss the walk-off win.

Game Two | Ole Miss 2, Nicholls 0

In the second game of the twin billing for Ole Miss, Molly Jacobsen moved to 5-1 in her Rebel career, pitching a complete game shutout against Nicholls with just four hits allowed over seven complete, striking out seven Colonels along the way.

After starting out with a couple of scoreless innings, the Rebels struck first in the third frame. Allee and Becker notched back-to-back singles to get things going, moving up a base on Latham’s sacrifice bunt. Puk followed with a bunt of her own, reaching on a fielder’s choice as the throw went home and pinch runner Loftin beat the tag home.

The Rebels utilized the speed of fleet footed Becker to extend their lead in the fifth. After leading off with a sharp single through the right side, the Miami native stole second and moved up to third on a wild pitch, setting herself up to come home on Latham’s sacrifice fly to center field.

That would be more than enough help for Jacobsen, who had all of her stuff working in the circle. The lefty out of Iowa picked up five strikeouts through the final nine outs of the contest, collecting her second complete game shutout in a Rebel uni. T

he Rebels will look to close out a perfect weekend as host of the Ole Miss Classic on Sunday, taking on Pitt at 11 a.m. The game will not be broadcasted but a link to live stats is available at OleMissSports.com.

Quick Hits

Kylan Becker smacked her third triple of the season, already tying herself for the fourth most triple-baggers in a single season in school-history just 19 games into the 2019 campaign.

• Becker also extended her team-high reached base streak to 18 games, going 4-for-6 on the day. The senior has posted a hit in 7-for-12 at-bats (.583) at the Ole Miss Classic, driving in three runs and scoring three more.

• Coming into the tournament in a bit of a slump, Autumn Gillespie has been red hot at the Ole Miss Classic. The Rebel backstop is batting .417 in the four games, registering three extra-base hits and knocking in three runs.

• Entering the day with just one hit to her credit, Mikayla Allee went 2-for-4 on the day, including a game-winning RBI.

• With the shutout performance, Molly Jacobsen lowered her team-best ERA to 1.01 for the year. The junior has gone the distance in four of her six starts this season.

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