MOBILE, Ala. – Ole Miss freshman Bri Payne hit her second home run of the season, and sophomore Allison Brown hit her team-leading seventh double, but the Rebels (3-7) fell to South Alabama 4-2 on Saturday afternoon at the Mardi Gras Invitational in Mobile, Ala.
Ole Miss fell in a 4-0 hole against South Alabama, which is receiving votes in each of the two major softball top 25 polls, but couldn’t claw its way all the way back out of the deficit.
The Jaguars took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second with a two-run double by designated player Blair Johnson. South Alabama then scored two more runs in the bottom of the fourth with a pair of solo home runs to make it 4-0.
Ole Miss cut the South Alabama lead in half in the top of the fifth with a solo home run from Payne, and an RBI double from Brown. Payne’s home run, a bomb into the wind in left field, was her second of the season. Later in the inning, with junior centerfielder RT Cantillo at second base, Brown battled at the plate, and on the 13th pitch of her at bat finally connected with a roped stand-up double down the left field line.
Senior pitcher Erinn Jayjohn came on in relief of starter Shelby Jo Fenter, and threw a scoreless final 2.2 innings, allowing one hit and striking out one.
Cantillo, who is leading the Rebels with a team-best .409 batting average, stole two bases Saturday against South Alabama, and was hit by two pitches. Junior first baseman Londen Ladner finished 2-2 at the plate with a pair of singles.
Brown’s seven doubles this season are three shy of her freshman total last season. The Los Alamitos, Calif., native is batting .379 with a team-high 11 hits and a team-high nine RBI. Payne’s two home runs this year lead the team.
Ole Miss will finish its play in the Mardi Gras Invitational on Sunday at 10 a.m. CT against Jackson State. The Lady Tigers (3-6) fell to Lamar in their first game of the Mardi Gras Invitational before winning both of their games Saturday over Central Arkansas and Lamar.
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