Freshman Jalia Lassiter shined in her collegiate debut as No. 25 Ole Miss softball defeated North Carolina 6-1 to open its 2023 season at Nancy Almaraz Field Friday night.
The Rebels (1-0, 0-0 SEC) looked sharp in their season opener against the Tar Heels (2-1, 0-0 ACC). Lassiter and Keila Kamoku led the offense with two hits each, while Aynslie Furbush and Catelyn Riley were dominant in the circle, only surrendering three hits.
North Carolina jumped out to an early lead with a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning, but the Rebels punched back, answering in the next frame as Furbush came around to even the game on an RBI single up the middle by Kamoku.
The Rebel pitching staff was lights out the rest of the way, only allowing four baserunners in the final six innings. Furbush and Riley took over the game,
Tied at one, Lassiter sparked the offense in the top of the fourth with her first career hit, a bunt single. She then flashed her speed, swiping second and third and scoring on a throwing error as the ball sailed into left field to give the Rebels a 2-1 lead. The following inning, Savana Sikes reached on an error and came around to increase the lead to two after Mya Stevenson drove her in with her first hit in an Ole Miss uniform.
Ole Miss broke things wide open in the sixth with a three spot. Mikayla Allee singled, Kamoku doubled and Lassiter tripled to turn the lineup over to Tate Whitley, who knocked in another run with the Rebels’ ninth hit of the night. Makenna Kliethermes came in to record the final two outs of the contest making her Rebel debut along with catcher Jamie Mackay.
The Rebels look to build on their season-opening victory Saturday, February 11, when they take on No. 24 Oregon and Wisconsin at the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge. Both games will be available to stream on FloSoftball.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports