Pitching highlighted softball’s victories on day two of the Ole Miss Classic as Grace Sparks and Aynslie Furbush tossed complete game shutouts over Missouri State and SEMO. It marked the Rebel pitching staff’s third straight shutout, as they have not allowed an earned run in their last 24.1 innings pitched.
GAME ONE: OLE MISS 8, MISSOURI STATE 0 (5)
Freshman Grace Sparks earned her first collegiate victory in dominant fashion, tossing a complete game shutout in Ole Miss’ 8-0 win over Missouri State. Sparks only allowed two hits in five innings and got plenty of run support from her offense. Four Rebels finished with multiple hits, led by Mikayla Allee, who went 2-for-3 and drove in three runs.
After a few quiet innings for both teams, Jalia Lassiter sparked the offense in the third inning. The freshman singled and turned things over to the top of the lineup. Tate Whitley successfully laid down a bunt for a base hit, putting these two on the corners and quickly swiped second to move into scoring position. With no outs, Allee stepped to the plate and singled right back up the middle to bring home Lassiter and Whitley for the first runs of the game. The Rebels reloaded the bases and tacked on another run to make it 3-0 on a Missouri State error before the Bears escaped the inning.
Ole Miss added another run in the fourth inning with a little two-out rally. Whitley beat the shift, lining a triple over the left fielder’s head, and Allee brought her home with a double that nearly left the ballpark.
Leading 4-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth, head coach Jamie Trachsel called in a series of pinch hitters after Savana Sikes walked to start the inning. Natalie Ray singled, Annie Orman doubled and Jenna Lord reached on a fielder’s choice, pushing the lead to six. With no outs in the inning and runners on the corners, Lassiter called game, ripping a double to center to score Orman and Lexie Brady, who re-entered the game for Lord, and bring the run rule into effect.
GAME TWO: OLE MISS 1, SEMO 0
Aynslie Furbush followed Sparks’ lead from game one, twirling a complete game one-hit shutout over SEMO. The junior picked up her fifth win of the season in the Rebels’ 1-0 victory to cap off day two of the Ole Miss Classic.
Furbush struck out six through seven innings of work, only allowing four base runners all game. She registered one-two-three innings in the second, third, fourth, sixth and seventh innings, with the Redhawks’ lone base hit coming on a single hit past the diving Keila Kamoku in the first inning.
With both pitchers dealing, runs came at a premium. Ole Miss left a pair of runners on base in the second and third inning but finally broke through in the fifth to break the scoreless tie. Lassiter started the inning with a single and went first to third on a bunt single from Whitley using her blistering speed. Allee then tapped a slow chopper to the third baseman, who turned to check the runner at third. Lassiter faked her out, forced the throw back to the bag and immediately took off for home to score the game’s only run.
Only needing the one-run lead, Furbush and the Rebel defense breezed through the final six outs of the game to sweep both games on the day.
Ole Miss wraps up the Ole Miss Classic on March 5. The Rebels square off against SEMO and Mount St. Mary’s and 12:30 and 3 p.m. CT, respectively.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports