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Walk-Off Magic Continues; No. 20 Rebels Win Series Over No. 13 Alabama

There’s only one way to describe Ole Miss softball’s recent success at home: magical.

For the fifth time in the last two weeks, and the ninth time this season, the Rebels (34-17, 8-13 SEC) walked off, this time coming from behind in a wild, Monday night, nationally-televised game. The final four runs in the game – two from Alabama in the fifth, then two from Ole Miss in the seventh – were all unearned as an error by both defenses changed the game twice.
Not only that, Alabama had a run taken off the scoreboard in the third when Bailey Hemphill hit a home run, but never touched home plate, keeping the score at the time 3-2. But, at the end of it all, the Rebels came out on top for their first-ever series win over the Tide (39-13, 11-9 SEC), and third SEC series win of the year.
The Rebels recorded only three hits, but took advantage of six walks by Alabama starter Alexis Osorio. She settled in midway through the game to retire 14 Ole Miss hitters in a row, 10 via strikeout, but Ole Miss put that all aside in the seventh.
It was the second inning that gave Osorio (19-7) the most trouble as she walked three and allowed two hits. Sarah Van Schaik led off with a walk, before Dakota Matiko pinch ran and stole second. Dylinn Stancil then walked with one out, before Grayce Majam, on her birthday, fought off a nine pitch at-bat to also walk and load the bases. Paige McKinney then stepped in and delivered with a hard RBI single up the middle scoring Matiko to put Ole Miss in front 1-0.
All the runners held up on the single, allowing Courtney Syrett to also bat with the bases juiced. She came up a few inches shy of a grand slam as she smoked one off the left field wall, scoring Stancil and Majam, extending the lead to 3-0.
Alabama though responded in its next chance at the plate, with a 1-out bloop single into right, before Marisa Runyon cranked one to right that cut the lead to 3-2. That’s when Hemphill stepped in and blasted one over the fence in left, in what looked to tie the game up at 3-3. But, an appeal at home negated the run as the umpire declared she never touched home plate, resulting in a triple in the scorebook, but an out to end the inning.
The Tide threatened again in the fourth with a pair of singles, but Kaitlin Lee (15-9) worked a strikeout, one of her five, to end it and keep the game 3-2.
Alabama took its 4-3 lead in the fifth when they put two on after a HBP and single back to the circle, before Majam dropped a popup in shallow right which loaded the bases for the Tide. Lee got a line drive to Stancil at third for the second out, but Reagan Dykes singled to left and scored two putting the Tide in front for the first time all night.
After a quiet sixth on both sides, the Tide again were within striking distance in the seventh when Elissa Brown singled and made it all the way to third, but Lee again worked out of the jam to keep the Rebels within one.
Then in the seventh, after two pinch hitters were retired, Syrett walked to start the rally. Kaylee Horton pinch ran for her, before Elantra Cox stepped in and chopped a grounder to third, when the third baseman’s throw was off line and scored Horton, allowing Cox to advance all the way to third, tying it up 4-4. Then, for the second game in a row, Kylan Becker stepped in with the game on the line, and came through with an infield, RBI single to third, that scored Cox and gave Ole Miss the walk-off victory.
She, McKinney and Syrett finished with the Rebels’ three hits, and accounted for four RBI (one each from Becker/McKinney, two from Syrett). In the circle, Lee settled in after the third-inning home run and earned her team-leading 15th win of the season. She struck out five and gave up just two earned runs, while Osorio was handed the loss despite striking out 13 with just three hits allowed.


Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports
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