HONOLULU - The Ole Miss softball team (1-1) split its season-opening doubleheader Thursday at the Oceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic in Honolulu, defeating Saint Mary's 10-2 before dropping a pitching duel to No. 23 Hawaii, 2-0.
Junior pitcher Shelby Jo Fenter pitched a gem of a game against tournament-host Hawaii, striking out 12 batters in 5.2 innings of work. Fenter and Hawaii pitcher Kaia Parnaby each carried no-hitters into the sixth inning, and each finished the game with one hit allowed.
"Shelby Jo pitched absolutely phenomenal," Ole Miss softball head coach Windy Thees said. "She struck out 12 and gave up one hit, she just ran out of gas. I knew she was running out, but she hadn't given up a hit, so do you pull a kid with a no-hitter? ... She was great.
"We didn't hit. We got one hit in the game and we need to make adjustments. (Hawaii pitcher Kaia) Parnaby is a great pitcher. It was just a classic pitcher's duel and hopefully next time we'll come out on top."
Fenter, who transferred to Ole Miss from Vol State Community College, struck out the side in the third and fifth inning, and didn't get into trouble until the sixth inning.
Three walks loaded the bases for the Rainbow Wahine in the bottom of the sixth, and Sharla Kleibenstein came through with a two-run, two-out double to left field to put Hawaii (1-0) in front and get the win.
"We expect to win," Thees said. "That was really nice for our girls and for us as coaches to see our players play that hard and get after it. There was no doubt we were supposed to win that game, we just need to make some better adjustments at the plate."
Ole Miss will continue play in the Oceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic on Friday with a doubleheader against UAB at 3 p.m. CT and No. 16 Washington at 7 p.m. CT.
The Rebels got their 2013 season off to a great start with a convincing 10-2 victory over Saint Mary's in the first game of the Rebels' doubleheader Thursday at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
Ole Miss was led by a strong starting pitching performance from junior Carly Hummel, and a great game at the plate from senior left fielder Brittany Broome. Hummel went 6.1 innings, striking out seven batters and allowing just two runs on four hits. Broome went 3-5 at the plate, and stole a career-high four bases.
"We threw really well," said Thees after the Rebels' victory over Saint Mary's. "Carly got out there on the mound and had quite a few strikeouts and worked on her locations. It was the first time in a year and a half that she had been on the mound (after injury) so I was excited to see her out there.
"That's what we need out of Brittany this year. She's got a lot of goals, and if she plays how she did today, she's going to reach them. She was our catalyst. She got on base, and then when she got on base nobody was going to keep her from taking second and third. She can fly, and it's fun when you have speed like that."
The Rebels got on the board first with four runs in the top half of the third, keyed by three singles and four walks. Ole Miss tacked on one more run in the fourth and fifth inning, and closed the game with four runs in the seventh. Ole Miss finished the game with 14 hits and zero errors defensively.
"Our defense played lights out," Thees said. "Having a game where you have no errors and making all the plays in the infield that we did was big."
The top of the order was strong for Ole Miss, as Broome, freshman shortstop Haley Culley and sophomore third baseman Allison Brown each scored two runs. Broome and freshman Madi Osias each recorded three hits against the Gaels (0-2), and Brown had a team-high two RBI.
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