No. 22 Ole Miss Comes Up Short, 3-1, to No. 7 Texas A&M
March 19, 2017
OXFORD, Miss. – No. 22 Ole Miss softball kept the series finale close in a low-scoring affair, but No. 7 Texas A&M prevailed, winning 3-1 Sunday afternoon.
The Rebels (21-6, 0-3 SEC) mustered just three hits, scoring the lone run in the sixth inning, while the Aggies’ (25-2, 5-1 SEC) starter Lexi Smith issued five walks but struck out 14. For Ole Miss, four different pitchers were inserted in the circle surrendering just two earned runs.
Offensively, Texas A&M was only able to score one run at a time in the first two frames and the fourth, while Ole Miss tacked on its lone run in the sixth. Brittany Finney drove in Miranda Strother scoring the Rebels’ only run, while Kylan Becker and Paige McKinney also had a hit each. The Rebels did draw five walks off Smith, as Ashton Lampton finished with two, and Strother, McKinney and Syrett all had one each.
Elisha Jahnke earned her first start of the season and worked just two thirds of an inning after she issued a leadoff walk, then walked another after Syrett cut down the initial hitter trying to steal. An error then put two on, before a passed ball moved them both up into scoring position. Riley Sartain then lifted a sacrifice fly to deep center putting the Aggies in front 1-0. After another walk and wild pitch, Morgan Bruce entered in relief and worked a grounder to end the frame.
The Rebels had a chance to respond in the first when Strother was hit by a pitch then stole second, and Lampton reached on a walk, but a strikeout ended any threat keeping the score 1-0 in favor of Texas A&M.
The Aggies got a two out rally going in the second after back-to-back singles, then a walk loaded the bases. Bruce issued another bases-loaded walk to plate the second run, before she worked out of the jam again with a flyout to right.
McKinney reached on a two out single through the left side in the second, and Syrett made solid contact with a hard fly ball to left, but it was caught at the warning track keeping the Rebels off the board.
In their next chance at the plate, the Aggies posted two-straight one out singles, but a fielders’ choice, groundout back to Bruce in the circle stranded two more runners, as A&M left eight on base through the first three innings.
Texas A&M added its third run in the fourth off a double off the wall in right-center, before Alyssa Clayton took over and worked three-straight outs escaping another jam.
Ole Miss’ two biggest chances of the afternoon came in the final two frames, including the sixth when Strother and Lampton both reached via walk, before Finney ripped a pinch-hit single through the right side scoring Strother to cut the advantage to 3-1.
The Rebels had one final chance in the seventh after McKinney drew a leadoff walk, and Becker reached via an infield single, but A&M’s Trinity Harrington – the Friday night starter – closed the door.
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 Athletics on Snapchat under the handle, @WeAreOleMiss.
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