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Ole Miss Softball Knocks Off No. 10 LSU in SEC Home Opener

Timely hitting a strong outing from Catelyn Riley proved to be the key to victory as Ole Miss softball won its SEC home opener, knocking off No. 10 LSU, 5-1, Friday afternoon at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.

The Rebels (19-12, 1-3 SEC) reached base in every inning against LSU (24-6, 2-5 SEC), recording nine hits against the Tiger’s ace. Leadoff Tate Whitley led the offense with three hits, followed by freshman Jalia Lassiter, who tallied two and drove in a pair of runs. In the circle, Riley went 4.2 strong, only allowing one run on five hits to pick up her second win of the season.

Both teams stranded runners through the first two innings, with the pitching and defense holding strong. Ole Miss and Riley erased a pair of two-out singles in the first and used the Rebels SEC leading 17th double-play in the second to erase a leadoff double. 

Back at the top of the order in the bottom of the third, Whitley and Mikayla Allee sparked the offense with back-to-back base hits. Looking to capitalize on the opportunity, Mya Stevenson laid down a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position. The very next batter, Keila Kamoku, dropped down a bunt and reached on a Tiger miscue to load the bases. 

With one out in the inning, Lassiter stepped to the plate and broke things open. The freshman ripped a double in the right-center gap to score the first two runs of the ball game. Ole Miss went back to the small ball as Savana Sikes bunted and reached as the Kamoku slid under the tag at the plate to make it 3-0. LSU finally caught a break, escaping the inning with a double play.

LSU scored its lone run of the game in the fifth inning. A pair of Tigers reached and moved into scoring position on a wild pitch with one out. Ole Miss traded the run for the second out of the inning and brought in Kliethermes to minimize the damage and keep the score 3-1.

The Rebels answered with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning to restrengthen the lead. Once again, it was the middle of the order getting things done as Lassiter singled and raced around the bases on a double from Sikes. The senior later added the fifth run of the game after advancing on interference and scoring on a throwing error at the plate.

Kliethermes remained sharp in the circle, stranding runners in both the sixth and seventh innings to pick up her second save of the season and close out the victory over No. 10 LSU.

Ole Miss and LSU are back in action on March 25 at 6 p.m. CT. The game is set to be broadcast on national television on SEC Network.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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