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Ole Miss Softball Sweeps North Dakota State

 Mya Stevenson’s two home runs powered Ole Miss softball past North Dakota State as the Rebels swept the Bison Monday afternoon at Nancy Almaraz Field.

Brooke Vestal was lights out in the circle, tossing a complete game one-hit shutout of the Bison as the Rebels cruised to an 8-0 victory in five innings. 

Ole Miss jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first after Jalia Lassiter was hit by a pitch and Stevenson went yard two batters later. The Rebels added to the lead the following inning as Furbush cranked her first home run of the season, to make it a 3-0 ballgame. They continued to threaten, loading the bases with two outs and tacked on a fourth run on a fielding error.

Another two-out rally in the third helped Ole Miss put up a three-spot. Jenna Lord and Mikayla Allee singled, bringing Jamie Mackay to the plate. The freshman catcher delivered, knocking the first run of her collegiate career and turning things over to the top of the order. Batting in the leadoff spot, Lassiter singled and drove in a pair to push the lead to 7-0.

The Bison kept Ole Miss off the board in the fourth, but Lexie Brady walked to lead off the fifth and worked her way around the base path to score on a sacrifice fly as her foot slid in just under the tag. With the run rule in effect, Vestal retired the final three in order to secure the first victory on the afternoon.

Trailing by three runs, Ole Miss softball scored five unanswered to secure the come-from-behind victory and cap off the doubleheader sweep of North Dakota State. 

Both pitchers were locked in early, keeping the opposing offense off the board until the fifth inning. Makenna Kliethermes was strong in the circle, going 4.1 innings. Her defense had her back, even with runners on base, but the Bison finally caught a break in the fifth, taking a 3-0 lead.

Ole Miss answered in the bottom half of the inning as Stevenson blasted her second homer of the day, this time a solo shot. Two outs later, Allee singled, and Keila Kamoku walked to put the tying runs on base. Head coach Jamie Tracshel turned to freshman Natalie Ray as a pinch hitter, and the Covington, Georgia, native delivered in a big way. Ray singled to left and took two extra bases on Bison miscues to tie the game up at three apiece.

The following inning Ole Miss went to the bullpen and handed the ball over to freshman Grace Sparks, who closed out the game. She used a double-play ball in the sixth to send her offense back to the plate with a chance to win the game. 

Savana Sikes was hit by a pitch to start the sixth inning, and with one out and Stevenson stepping up to the plate, the Bison had some decisions to make. They intentionally walked the slugger and Furbush, who hit right after her, bringing Lord to the plate with the bases loaded and one away. The transfer came up big, taking the ball the opposite way for a two-run single that proved to be the game-winning hit.

Ole Miss is back in action at session two of the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge on Thursday against Liberty and Southern Illinois.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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