Rebel Softball Opens 2-0 in Cali with Wins over UC Riverside & Cal Poly

Brittany Finney Registers a Win in the Circle, Two Home Runs on the Day

Rebel Softball Opens 2-0 in Cali with Wins over UC Riverside & Cal Poly

WESTWOOD, CALIF. (WLBT) - After having back-to-back games rained out, Ole Miss (5-1) finally got back out on the field on Friday at the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament, defeating UC Riverside (3-3) and Cal Poly (2-3) for the doubleheader sweep.

With 17 hits for the day, the Rebels had the offense working. Abbey Latham went 3-for-4 with a double, two walks, two runs scored and four RBIs, while Kylan Becker had a 4-for-6 day at the plate, scoring three runs and driving in another. Jessica Puk also had a strong day, batting 3-for-5 with three runs scored and her first-career home run.

Game One | Ole Miss 11, UC Riverside 3

After surrendering a pair of unearned runs in the opening frame, starting pitcher Brittany Finney settled in for a quality outing. The senior allowed six hits and a walk for three runs (one earned), striking out four in a five-inning complete game.

Facing an early deficit, Ole Miss responded with runs in the first and second to tie the game. Kylan Becker led off the home half of the first with a triple to dead center, coming home on a sacrifice fly by Kaylee Horton. Jessica Puk then deadlocked the score at two apiece in the second, leading off with a no-doubt blast to left.

The Highlanders responded with a run in the third but Ole Miss bounced right back with a crooked number in the bottom half to grab a lead they would not relinquish.

Becker led off with a walk and came around on an RBI single through the left side. On the very next pitch, Finney gave herself a lead with a mammoth shot to left field, plating a pair. Gabby Alvarez scored the brought in the final run of the inning, plating pinch runner Kelsha Loftin with a grounder to the pitcher.

After a quiet fourth, the Rebels put things to bed in the fifth, scoring five to secure the run-rule win. The inning started with a Latham double, followed up by Finney’s second big fly to left of the game. Autumn Gillespie then came home as the throw down on Puk’s steal attempt went awry and Puk scored on Tate Whitley’s RBI double. Whitley then ended things, racing home on Sydney Gutierrez’s sacrifice fly for the walk-off.

Game Two | Ole Miss 8, Cal Poly 0

Ava Tillmann and Molly Jacobsen teamed up in the second game of the day to hold the Cal Poly Mustangs at bay. Tillmann threw 4.0 innings, allowing two runs on five hits before yielding to Jacobsen. The lefty picked up her first-career save, throwing three perfect frames.

The Rebs got off to a fast start, with Horton lacing a triple to center field before being brought home on Latham’s single to left. The lead didn’t last long, though, as Cal Poly answered with three-straight two-out hits to plate a pair and go up 2-1 after one.

Ole Miss clapped right back, putting a deuce of its own on the board in the top of the second to re-secure the advantage. Puk got things started with a single through the right side, scoring two batters later on Ally Mena’s single through the left side. After taking third on a wild pitch, Mena came home on a Becker single to give the Rebs the lead.

After leaving a runner at third base in the third, fourth and sixth innings, Ole Miss finally broke through for some breathing space in the seventh. Mikayla Allee drew a leadoff walk, followed by a Becker bunt single. Latham brought in Allee with a sacrifice fly and Becker came around to score as well on the overthrow.

Jacobsen came on and induced three-straight groundouts to Puk at third as the Rebels wrapped up the doubleheader sweep.

Quick Hits

• The UC Riverside game was the first two-homer game of Brittany Finney’s career. The senior leads the team with three long balls for the season.

• Finney has now driven in five runs in games that she starts in the circle.

• In her 10.0 innings of work, Molly Jacobsen has allowed just four total hits.

• Ole Miss went 9-for-12 on steal attempts, including 3-for-3 days by Abbey Latham and Jessica Puk.

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