OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss junior first baseman Londen Ladner hit two home runs, including a grand slam that pushed the Rebels to extra innings, and the Ole Miss softball team (8-8) picked up a pair of wins Saturday against UT-Martin and Drake in the Red & Blue Classic.
Ladner led the way for Ole Miss, recording six RBI on three hits and two home runs over the Rebels' two games. Ole Miss defeated UT-Martin 9-8 in eight innings to start the day, and finished it with a tight 2-1 victory over Drake.
"It's really important for us that our offense picks up our pitching when our pitching isn't as strong as it should be," Ole Miss softball head coach Windy Thees said. "Then in the second game, Carly Hummel did a great job on the mound and kind of picked up our offense.
"I think Londen finally said, `Forget this, I'm going to swing hard,' and stopped thinking about way too many things," Thees said. "It was awesome. It was really great to see her hit a couple out and really get behind balls and get comfortable."
The Rebels went with junior pitcher Carly Hummel in game two Saturday against Drake. Hummel, a transfer from Memphis, threw a complete game, allowing one run on three hits while striking out six.
Ladner broke open the scoreless tie in the fourth inning with a two-run home run that brought home Allison Brown.
Drake cut the lead in half in the top of the sixth, but Hummel would allow no more and the Rebels won their fourth game in a row.
"Our kids know what to do, it's just a matter of putting it all together," Thees said. "They're figuring it out, they're young and they're talented. Once we do, we're going to be a tough opponent for a lot of people."
Ole Miss closes out the Red & Blue Classic on Sunday with a doubleheader against Middle Tennessee State at 1:30 p.m. CT and Mississippi Valley State at 3:45 p.m. CT.
Grand Slam Highlights Ole Miss Comeback Victory Over UT-Martin
OXFORD, Miss. - One day after completing a thrilling comeback victory over McNeese State in extra innings, the Rebels were back to their cardiac ways against Tennessee-Martin with a dramatic 9-8 victory in eight innings.
Trailing 7-3 in the bottom of the seventh, junior first baseman Londen Ladner hit a grand slam in the bottom of the inning to push the game into extra innings.
"I was just thinking, `See ball, hit ball,' " Ladner said. "That pitcher had my number my first three at bats and I wasn't going to let her win again. She happened to throw me something I could hit and I connected."
After the Skyhawks scored one run in the eighth, the Rebels responded with a two-run walk-off double by RT Cantillo in the bottom of the inning to get the win.
Cantillo and Brown each went 3-4 against the Skyhawks. Cantillo scored two runs and batted in three runs, while Brown batted in one run and scored one run. Freshman Haley Culley was 2-4 with two runs scored, while Ladner also went 2-4 with a grand slam.
Ole Miss outhit UT-Martin 12-10. It was the second straight game the Rebels won after trailing by four-or-more runs, and after trailing entering the seventh.
UT-Martin put two runs on the board in each of the first two innings to take a 4-0 lead.
The Rebels cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third, with a solo home run from Cantillo, her second of the year, and a sacrifice fly from Lauren Lindsey that brought Brittany Broome home.
UT-Martin stretched its lead to 7-2 with one run in the fourth and two runs in the fifth before the Rebels made their comeback rally.
"It feels great to be a Rebel right now," Ladner said. "We came out from another deficit and really hit the ball. We worked as a team, our pitching held up and our offense was really able to close a win for us that first game."
For all Ole Miss softball news and information, including live stats and a recap of each of Ole Miss' games at the Red & Blue Classic, go to OleMissSports.com. For live stats and box scores of each of the games at the Red & Blue Classic, visit the tournament central page. Follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissSoftball and on Facebook at Ole Miss Softball.
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