Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Ole Miss Softball Splits First Day Of Rebel Invitational

Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics

After dropping its first game of the day to Samford, 3-0, Ole Miss softball warmed up the bats to run rule Purdue 8-0 on the opening day of the Rebel Invitational Friday.

The Rebels (15-12) struggled offensively against Samford, tallying only three hits in the loss. They bounced back in the nightcap with a strong 10-hit outing against Purdue to close out the day. Mikayla Allee led Ole Miss with three hits, including a home run, and three RBI. In the circle, Brooke Vestal spun a gem, tossing 4.1 innings of no-hit ball, to help the Spinny Rebels pick up their sixth shutout of the season.

Ole Miss couldn’t get the gears turning offensively against the Bulldogs, reaching base only five times in the loss. 

Samford only needed one inning to do damage. The Bulldogs took advantage of back-to-back singles to start the third and advanced both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. They took broke the scoreless tie on a pass ball and then tacked on two more a few pitches later on a two-run home run to make it 3-0. 

Riley took over in the circle and kept Samford off the board the remained of the game. She tossed the final 4.0 innings and struck out six of the 15 batters she faced. Unfortunately, Ole Miss couldn’t find run support as the Bulldogs clung on for the victory.

The Rebels responded in game two, showcasing their dominance over Purdue with an 8-0 run-rule victory. Vestal was practically unhittable in the circle, earning her second complete-game shutout of the year. Tate WhitleySavana Sikes and Jalia Lassiter all registered multi-hit and multi-RBI games offensively, as seven different Rebels scored in the win.

Whitley and Allee wasted no time in the first inning, leading off with a bunt single before the shortstop launched her first home run of the season to put Ole Miss up 2-0. The Rebels’ next two batters, Mya Stevenson and Keila Kamoku, both reached and were moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by Jenna Lord. Looking to add to the lead, Sikes singled to left and drove in two more, doubling the lead.

The Rebels added a fifth run the following inning after Lassiter led things off with a base hit up the middle and quickly stole second. She moved over to third base on a ground out and scored on an RBI fielder’s choice by Allee.

After leaving the bases loaded in the fourth, Ole Miss made sure not to miss out on another opportunity with runners on. Kamoku, Sikes and Jamie Mackay loaded the bases in the fifth with two outs, turning things to Lassiter. She drove one right back up the middle to score two runs and took second on the throw to the plate.

Needing one run to bring the run rule into effect, Purdue made a pitching change, but that didn’t stop Whitley from calling game and lining a walk-off single over the first baseman’s head to cap off the 8-0 victory.

Ole Miss is back in action on March 18, taking on Purdue and St. Thomas at 3:30 and 6 p.m. CT.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports