Pitching and Power Key in Twin-Billing Sweep for Ole Miss Softball
March 3, 2018
OXFORD, Miss. - Behind quality pitching all day long and a pair of deep flies in the late game, Ole Miss (13-2) was able to sweep its pair of games Saturday afternoon at the Ole Miss Classic, taking down Saint Louis (4-8) and Chattanooga (8-10).
Game One | Ole Miss 3, Saint Louis 1
The Rebels and Billikens were deadlocked in a tie for the majority of the day's first game but when it came down to crunch time the Rebels were able to make the clutch plays, scoring twice in the sixth to earn the victory over Saint Louis.
Brittany Finney got the start in the circle and put forth one of her finest efforts of the season, earning her first win of 2018 after going the distance and allowing just one run on six hits, striking out seven.
After both teams traded scoreless frames through the first two innings, Ole Miss broke the deadlock with a run in the third. Amanda Roth continued her torrid pace from the day before, leading off the inning with a hot-shot single off of the third basemen's glove. Kylan Becker moved Roth over and reached on a fielding error. After Bry Castro replaced Roth at second base, she scored on a hustle play, coming all the way around from second as SLU attempted to turn a double play on a Celeste Wood grounder.
It didn't take the Billikens long to strike back. On one of the few mistakes of the night from Finney, Allie Macfarlane barreled up a pitch and crushed a solo homer to left to tie the game at 1-1.
The Rebels, however, got the final word in, taking advantage of a pair of Saint Louis errors to plate a pair of unearned runs. Autumn Gillespie and Alex Schneider both reached on errors to put a pair of runners on base for the Rebs and Kaylee Horton made the Billikens pay, hitting a sharp single through the left side to bring Gillespie in. Schneider scored a few batters later to give Ole Miss an insurance run, trotting home after a bases-loaded walk was issued to Elantra Cox.
Finney came back on in the seventh and closed out the contest, inducing three quick outs to secure the victory.
Game Two | Ole Miss 10, Chattanooga 2 (5)
While it took the Rebel offense a little time to get going in the day's opening game, that wasn't the case in the nightcap against Chattanooga. For the second time in three games, Ole Miss scored in all four innings of a run-rule victory, topping the Mocs 10-2 in five.
Anna Borgen made the start on the rubber and while she didn't throw enough innings to qualify for the win, she was extremely effective with three scoreless frames and just three hits allowed. Morgan Bruce held the Mocs off the scoreboard in her one inning and Ava Tillmann closed out the game in the fifth, surrendering two runs (one earned) on two hits.
Ole Miss got the scoring started immediately as Schneider watched four balls with the bases full of Rebs to plate Cox. Roth followed by wearing a pitch off of her elbow guard to score another run in the form of Gillespie and Kaylee Horton drove in the final run of the inning with a fielder's choice, scoring Finney.
The Rebels tacked on three more runs in the second in loud fashion. After an Ally Mena walk and a Cox single, Gillespie teed off on an Allison Swinford offering, plowing a three-run jack to straight-away center.
The Rebels kept the train moving along in the third, posting a pair of runs to take the all-important eight-run lead over the Mocs. As she's done all weekend, Roth got on base with a walk to start things off and came around to score on a Horton double up the middle. Cox plated Horton shortly thereafter with a groundout to make it 8-0 in favor of the home team.
Ole Miss extended the lead to 10 in the fourth on a mammoth two-run big fly off the bat of Gabby Alvarez and while the Mocs were able to score a pair in the fifth, it wasn't enough to escape the run-rule.
The Ole Miss Classic will conclude on Sunday with a trio of games. The Rebels will play the final game of the day at 5:30 p.m., taking on in-state foe Southern Miss in a game that can be seen on SEC Network +.
- Ole Miss improved to 13-2 on Saturday, matching the start the 2017 edition of Rebel softball produced through the season's first 15 games.
- The Rebel pitching staff allowed just three runs on Saturday. Ole Miss has surrendered just 25 runs on the year, holding its opponent to two runs or less in 13-of-15 games.
- The speed of the Rebel lineup causes quite a few mistakes to be made by its opponents. Ole Miss' opponents have committed 31 errors on the year, including 10 during the Ole Miss Classic. The Rebels have forced their opponents into multiple errors in nine games in 2018.
- Amanda Roth reached in all five of her plate appearances Saturday. The freshman is yet to be retired during the Ole Miss Classic, reaching in each of her last eight plate appearances.
- Kaylee Horton had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-6 with three RBIs, adding a run scored.
- Freshman Anna Borgen's three scoreless innings dropped her ERA down to 0.72 for the season. The native Texan has allowed just two runs on 14 hits over her 19.1 innings of work in the circle, holding opponents to a team-best .194 batting average.
For all Ole Miss softball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissSoftball, on Facebook at Ole Miss Softball and on Instagram at Instagram.com/olemisssoftball. Fans can also follow head coach Mike Smith on Twitter at @msmithsb16. Additionally, fans can get a behind the scenes look at Ole Miss softball and all of Ole Miss athletics on Snapchat under the handle, @WeAreOleMiss.
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