ORLANDO, Fla. – Ole Miss got 6.2 scoreless innings from starting pitcher Shelby Jo Fenter, and the Rebels (16-9) defeated Villanova 2-0 in their final game at the UCF Holiday Inn Select Spring Fling in Orlando, Fla.
The Rebels, which had defeated Villanova 7-0 one day earlier, logged seven hits against the Wildcats on a sunny, but cold and breezy day at the UCF Softball Complex. Ole Miss finished 4-1 at the tournament and has now won 12 of its last 13 games heading into conference play Friday.
“Great pitching performance by Shelby Jo Fenter with Madi coming in at the end to get a save, so that was nice,” Ole Miss softball head coach Windy Thees said.
“We keep building and getting better, and wins are wins,” Thees said. “You need to pile them up when you can, and I think our girls have a lot of confidence that maybe we can make a few mistakes and overcome them.”
Ole Miss broke through in the bottom of the third to take a 1-0 lead. With two outs down, Brittany Broome hit a single to left field to push her hitting streak to 12 games, which ties the Ole Miss program record. Broome then stole second and later advanced to third on a wild pitch. With Allison Brown on first, the Rebels then executed a double steal, and Broome came home for her 19th run of the season.
Brown hit a leadoff triple to start things in the sixth, launching it high into the swirling winds at the UCF Softball Complex all the way to the warning track in right field. Londen Ladner then tacked on her 15th RBI by driving Brown in with a slow dribbler to the shortstop to give the Rebels a 2-0 lead, which was all the Rebels’ pitching staff needed.
Villanova loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the sixth, but Osias came on and got the Wildcats to ground into a 5-3 putout to end the game. Fenter picked up the win for Ole Miss, her fifth of the season, while Osias earned her first save.
Broome and RT Cantillo were named to the UCF Holiday Inn Select Spring Fling All-Tournament Team for their play. Broome hit .545 with six hits, four runs, two RBI and five stolen bases. Three games after breaking the Ole Miss career steals record, Broome tied the Rebels’ 12-game hitting streak record, hitting one single against the Wildcats on Sunday. Cantillo batted .500 over the weekend with eight hits, including three doubles and a triple, five runs, three RBI and three stolen bases.
The Rebels will play again Friday when they open conference play with a three-game series at Kentucky. Ole Miss leads the all-time series against UK 26-16.
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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