ORLANDO, Fla. – Freshman pitcher Madi Osias went 2-0 by throwing a combined five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out seven, and the Ole Miss softball team (15-9) defeated Villanova and UConn on Saturday at the UCF Holiday Inn Select Spring Fling in Orlando, Fla.
Opening with a convincing 7-0 victory over Villanova, Ole Miss’ bats did not cool off in the second game of the doubleheader against another Big East opponent, as the Rebels topped UConn 7-3 on 15 hits.
Junior center fielder RT Cantillo, a preseason All-SEC selection, went 6-7 on Saturday with three doubles, a triple and six RBI in the two games combined. Osias went 2-0 from the circle, and Haley Culley and Brittany Broome continued their recent tear, going 3-6 and 3-3, respectively, from the plate.
Ole Miss got on the board early against UConn with three runs in the opening frame. After a leadoff double by Cantillo, Broome laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance her to third. Allison Brown then picked up the RBI with a single to left field. Later in the first, with Brown on second and Londen Ladner on first, Marina Parra hit a single to center field that got caught up in the blustery, swirling winds at the UCF Softball Complex. Brown scored on the hit, and Ladner rounded third and came home for an unearned run after an errant throw got past the Huskies catcher.
Senior pitcher Erinn Jayjohn opened the game by throwing four scoreless and hitless innings, and faced just 13 batters in the opening four frames. UConn finally broke through in the fifth inning with its first run, and tied the game in the bottom of the sixth with two more runs.
Entering the seventh tied at 3-3, Ole Miss responded with four runs to take a 7-3 lead which would end up being the final score. Senior catcher Kelly Nolan hit the eventual game-winning RBI, singling through the left side to bring in Melina Preciado, who was pinch running for Lauren Lindsey after Lindsey opened the inning with a leadoff single to left field.
Cantillo brought home two more runs in the seventh with a triple to right center field that scored Nolan and Parra.
Osias pitched the final 1.2 innings against the Huskies without allowing a hit and struck out three.
Ole Miss will close out its play at the UCF Holiday Inn Select Spring Fling on Sunday by playing Villanova at 8:30 a.m. CT. Live stats for Sunday morning’s game will be available at OleMissSports.com.
ORLANDO, Fla. – Ole Miss scored seven runs on nine hits against Villanova and shutout the Wildcats 7-0 in its opening game of the day Saturday morning at the UCF Holiday Inn Select Spring Fling in Orlando, Fla.
Osias was credited with the win because starting pitcher Carly Hummel did not pitch the minimum number of innings required for a seven-inning game. Osias went the final 3.1 innings with four strikeouts and just one hit allowed.
Ole Miss, playing as the visitor, scored its first run methodically in the top of the first. Cantillo led off the game with an infield single. After stealing second, Cantillo advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt from Broome. Brown then brought Cantillo home with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Villanova loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the first, but Hummel’s second strikeout of the inning ended the threat.
Ole Miss put two more runs across in the top of the third to stretch its lead to 3-0. With one out away, Cantillo hit a double to right-center, followed by a walk by Broome to put runners on first and second. After Cantillo and Broome advanced to second and third on a wild pitch, the junior and senior came home on a fielding error by the Wildcats.
An RBI single up the middle by Brown scored Broome easily from second base, and the Rebels took a 4-0 lead in the top of the fifth.
The Rebels broke the game open in the top of the sixth with an RBI triple from Preciado to right-center that brought home Parra from first. After a sacrifice fly by Natalie Nimmo scored Preciado, Haley Culley reached first on a single up the middle. Cantillo then recorded her third hit of the game with an RBI double to right-center that brought Culley home from first and gave the Rebels a 7-0 lead.
Ole Miss will play Villanova again Sunday morning to close out play in the UCF Holiday Inn Select Spring Fling.
For all Ole Miss softball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com. Fans can follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissSoftball and on Facebook at Ole Miss Softball.
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