Monday, August 15, 2022

Ole Miss Falls to No. 14 Georgia Bulldogs in SEC Softball Tourney

Photo courtesy Joshua McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics
Photo courtesy Joshua McCoy, Ole Miss Athletics

The Rebels got runners in scoring position in each of the first four innings, but couldn’t come up with the timely hit to drive them home as Ole Miss (30-25) fell to No. 14 Georgia (40-13) by a score of 11-0 in the opening round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament on Wednesday afternoon.

Madi Osias (12-16) suffered the loss for the Rebels, allowing six runs on five hits with a walk in 2.0 innings of work in the start.

Chelsea Wilkinson (25-8) picked up the win for the Bulldogs as she held the Rebels to two hits with three walks and three strikeouts in the complete-game effort.

“I want to congratulate Georgia, that’s a great hitting team,” said Ole Miss head coach Mike Smith. “Allison Brown has really been a rock and a foundation in our senior class this year and we’ll miss her. It’s been an incredible year and I can’t ask for a better year in my first year of head coach. We’ve broken almost every offensive record. But it’s about the staff and these 19 players who put in the work and effort. It’s about our three seniors setting the example and laying a foundation, otherwise I don’t think we’d be sitting here in this press conference at this tournament this year.”

“It’s been a tremendous change just to see the different level we’ve been able to achieve after four years in this program,” Brown said. “Coach Smith has brought such a great atmosphere to our program and really changed the dynamic of this team. We never quit and always keep fighting. That’s been the philosophy all year. I’m so thankful for this coaching staff to bring this program to where it is this year.”

Georgia got on the board in the second inning, using an Anna Swafford double to spark the scoring rally for the Bulldogs. With two outs on the board, Kaylee Puailoa hit a single to right center to bring Swafford home and put Georgia up 1-0.

Katie Brown then hit a two-run shot to right field and the Bulldogs moved out to a three-run lead on the Rebels before Ole Miss would get out of the inning.

The scoring continued for the Bulldogs in the third inning when Tina Iosefa hit a two-RBI double to right center. The Iosefa hit came following a Sydni Emmanuel single and an Alex Hugo walk to start the inning. Georgia led 5-0 following the hit from the Bulldog first baseman and the Rebels went to the bullpen for senior Lauren Lindsey.

A double steal with one out put two more runners in scoring position before a sac fly to left brought a sixth run home for the Bulldogs. The trailing runner tagged up and advanced to third on the play as the play took the Rebels’ Elantra Cox toward the wall for the catch. A diving snag by Grayce Majam on a line drive up the middle ended the inning with Ole Miss trailing 6-0.

Georgia added to the lead in the fourth inning when Sydni Emmanuel hit a double to left field with two runners on base. Niaja Griffin scored from second on the play after reaching when she was hit by a pitch to open the inning, while Cortni Emmanuel went from first to third after reaching on a failed putout on a fielder’s choice.

Alex Huge then hit a sac fly to left to bring home the elder Emmanuel sister as Georgia took the lead out to 8-0 on the Rebels. Swafford then hit a three-run home run to continue the scoring for the Bulldogs and put the score at 11-0 before Ole Miss would get out of the inning.

The Rebels weren’t able to mount an answering rally to keep things going in the fifth inning as Georgia grabbed the win and eliminated Ole Miss from the SEC Tournament.

Courtesy Ole Miss Athletics

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