CHARLESTON, S.C. – Behind a season-high 17 hits and 16 runs, the Ole Miss softball team throttled Western Carolina 16-4 on Saturday evening at Patriots Point in Charleston, S.C. Ole Miss’ 16 runs scored was its highest total since Feb. 27, 2013 when it defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 16-0.
“It was really great to see our kids loosen up,” Ole Miss head coach Windy Thees said. “We got a lead and started to catch fire and we rode the wave. Everybody started to get looser and looser and got hits after that.”
Junior third baseman Allison Brown tied two Ole Miss single-game records with four hits (4-4) and four runs scored, and senior first baseman Londen Ladner had a career-high five RBI in the game. Brown, sophomore shortstop Haley Culley, senior second baseman Marina Parra and freshman left fielder Miranda Strother each had two RBI in the game.
Ole Miss got off to a strong start in the first inning by putting three of its first four batters on base. Then, with two outs away and the bases still loaded, Parra drew a walk to bring in a run and give the Rebels a 1-0 lead.
The Rebels broke the game open in the bottom of the second with six runs on six hits to take a 7-0 lead in the game. With runners on first and second, senior RT Cantillo hit a single to right-center field that scored freshman Courtney Syrett from third. After Cantillo stole second base, Culley hit an RBI single up the middle that scored junior Jamie Morgan. Brown then hit an RBI double down the left-field line that scored Culley and gave Ole Miss a 4-0 lead. With two outs away in the inning and Brown on second, Strother roped an RBI double to left-center field. Parra then hit an RBI single to score Strother, and junior Lauren Lindsey closed out the scoring with a beautiful single that landed on the right-field line and scored Parra.
Western Carolina got one run back in the top-half of the third with a double to the warning track in left field that scored a Catamount runner from first base.
Ole Miss brought home three more runs in the bottom of the third off five hits. With two on base and two outs away, Ladner hit a single that scored Cantillo and advanced Brown to third base. Strother then hit a single to right field that scored Brown and advanced freshman Alyssa Invergo, who was pinch running for Ladner, to third. The Rebels then executed a double steal to perfection to take a 10-1 lead.
The Rebels scored six runs in the fourth inning on five hits to take a 16-1 lead. With the bases loaded and one out away, Culley hit an RBI single to right, followed by another RBI single to center by Brown that gave Ole Miss a 12-1 lead. Then, with the bases still loaded, Ladner hit a grand slam to left-center field. It was the second home run of the tournament for the Brandon, Miss., native.
WCU scored three runs in the fifth inning on four hits, but it was too little too late as Ole Miss got the emphatic win.
Ole Miss closes out play at the College of Charleston Classic on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. CT against tournament-host College of Charleston.
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