Ole Miss softball came out on top in Sunday’s rematch with the Troy, fending off a late rally to secure an 8-7 win. The Rebels closed out the weekend with a 4-1 record at the Troy Invitational.
Tate Whitley, Sydney Gutierrez and KK Esparza each drove in a pair of runs as Ole Miss moved to 8-3 on the season. Whitely also recorded three hits, her third straight game with multiple hits and multiple runs. Savannah Diederich, Landyn Bruce and Anna Borgen combined in the circle to get the job done, with Diederich earning her second win of the season.
Ole Miss set the tone early, striking first. Whitley led off with a single and came around to score the game’s first run on a bloop RBI single from Gutierrez.
Meanwhile, in the circle, Diederich picked up right where she left off from her 14-strikeout game against EKU. The righty punched out five of the first seven batters she faced and cruised through the first three innings.
At the plate, Ole Miss broke the game open with a four-run third. Bre Roper started the rally, drawing a four-pitch walk. The Rebels proceeded to load the bases with no outs as Abbey Latham reached on an error, and Paige Smith was hit by a pitch. Gutierrez walked in a run, and Esparza brought in another on a fielder’s choice. The next batter, Angelina DeLeon, drove in a run with an infield single, and Whitley walked in another run after Ole Miss reloaded the bases. Troy was finally able to escape the inning, leaving the bases full.
The Rebels continued to produce runs as the game moved along. Latham added a run in the fourth after wearing a pitch. She stole second and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Esparza. Whitley also crossed the plate in the fifth on a Smith RBI single.
But Troy wouldn’t go away, plating one run in the bottom of the fourth before mounting a comeback attempt in the fifth inning. The Trojans utilized the long ball with a solo shot and a three-run homer to cut the lead to two at 7-5.
In the sixth, Whitley drove a two-out double into the gap to score DeLeon in what proved to be the game-winning run. Troy continued to rally, adding two in the bottom half of the inning, but Borgen was able to slam the door for good, throwing the final two innings and earning her first save of the season.
Ole Miss returns to Oxford, where it will host its home opener against Southern Miss on Tuesday at 1 p.m. CT. For fans who can’t make it out to the ballpark, the game will be streamed on SECN+.
Courtesy of Ole Miss