Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Ole Miss Softball Closes Out Regular Season by Taking Series from No. 16 Georgia

Anna Borgen tossed her second complete game against an SEC foe in seven days, helping lead Ole Miss softball past No. 16 Georgia 4-2 to take the series and close out the regular season with a victory Sunday afternoon at Jack Turner Stadium.

Ole Miss (38-16, 12-12 SEC) picked up its 38th victory, tied for the most in a regular season in school history. Mikayla Allee had a big day at the plate, hitting her sixth home run of the season, and Bre Roper had a career day, going 4-for-4 with one run scored and another driven in. Anna Borgen was masterful in the circle, going the distance and striking out a season-high six batters.

The Rebels threatened in each of the first three innings, moving Roper and Latham into scoring position in the top of the first, but each time they were unable to capitalize. Borgen retired the first six batters she faced heading into the bottom of the third, but Georgia took a 2-0 lead using back-to-back doubles and an RBI single to strike first.

Down two runs, Ole Miss responded immediately. Paige Smith led off the fourth with a base hit and scored the very next pitch as Allee blasted a two-run shot over the scoreboard and into the trees to tie things up. The Rebels went on to take the lead in the inning as KK Esparza reached on a hit by a pitch and scored on Roper’s third hit of the day.

With a one-run lead, Borgen settled in. She induced a double-play ground ball as part of a one-two-three fourth and worked around a hit batter in the fifth. The Bulldogs tried to make some noise in the bottom of the sixth, following a two-out walk and a single, but a great defensive relay from Nyomi Jones to Allee to Sydney Gutierrez caught the Georgia runner diving back into the bag at first.

Roper led off the seventh inning with a bloop double that dropped into no-man’s land. Latham then doubled to left, putting a pair in scoring position with no outs as Roper wisely help up at third. For the second straight day, Gutierrez tacked on an all-important insurance run as Roper slid in safe on a groundout.

Needing three more outs to secure the series, Borgen trotted back out to the circle. Georgia didn’t go down without a fight, putting the tying runs on with no outs, but Borgen and the defense closed it out. Smith fielded a sacrifice bunt attempt and threw out the lead runner at third for a big first out. Borgen then got a huge strikeout looking and handled the check-swing tapper and tagged out the runner herself for the final out.

The Rebels will now travel to Gainesville, Florida, for the SEC Tournament, where they earned the No. 8 overall seed. They will match up with No. 9 seed Georgia on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. CT on SEC Network.


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