AUBURN, Ala. – Sophomore third baseman Allison Brown had a career day at the plate, going 4-4 with a career-high five RBI, and the Ole Miss softball team earned a dramatic 11-9 victory over Auburn on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon at Jane B. Moore Field in Auburn, Ala.
The two teams exchanged leads and momentum throughout the game, as the Rebels used four different pitchers to secure the win. In the end, junior Carly Hummel picked up her ninth victory of the season, throwing the final two innings while allowing just a single hit.
“This was a good weekend for our girls to get close and understand that winning isn’t easy, it’s very, very hard,” Ole Miss softball head coach Windy Thees said. “Today they just refused to lose. They said, ‘Nope, we’re winning. We’re going to come up and we’re going to come up with big hits.”
The Rebels (20-23, 2-13 Southeastern Conference) scored their 11 runs on 14 hits, their highest total since March 2, when they had 15 hits. Brown’s career-high tying four hits included her fourth home run of the season.
“She’s definitely a leader on our team, and she has been all year long,” said Thees of Brown. “Before this weekend she was more of a quiet leader and we had to ask her to step up and be a little more vocal, and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Allison be more vocal than she was this weekend. That’s such a big key for our team to have that out of her. For her, that’s going to take her to the next level. She’s already a great player, but I think that will take her to a great, elite player.”
“It was like a beach ball,” said Brown of the softball when she was at the plate. “Honestly, I wasn’t looking for a certain pitch when I was up there. I was just looking for a pitch up that I could drive. In my last at bat, it wasn’t a good pitch, but because my mindset was on that, it helped me get that hit.”
Senior left fielder Brittany Broome finished the game with three hits on five at-bats, scoring two runs and stealing one base, her 28th of the season. Broome’s 28 stolen bases are a new Ole Miss single season record.
Freshman first baseman Madi Osias went 2-4 at the plate, hitting her second home run of the season and knocking in three RBI.
The Rebels got on the board in the third inning with four runs. With one out away, Broome hit an infield single to third base. Broome then stole second, and was driven in on a single to right field by Brown. After a single through the left side by senior designated player Erinn Jayjohn, Osias hit a three-run home run over the right field wall to give Ole Miss a 4-0 lead.
Auburn responded with four runs of its own in the bottom of the third to tie the game at 4-4.
Ole Miss then answered with a two-run home run to left field by Brown to give the Rebels a 6-4 lead.
The two teams continued to trade runs in the bottom of the fourth as Auburn scored two runs on three hits to tie the game again at 6-6.
Auburn took its first lead of the game in the bottom of the fifth on a two-run home run over the right field wall to take an 8-6 lead. A solo home run to center field three batters later gave the Tigers a 9-6 lead.
Ole Miss then tied the game in the top of the sixth with three more runs to make it 9-9. With the bases loaded and two outs away, Ole Miss scored two runs on a passed ball strikeout with Jayjohn at bat, who made it to first safely. Then, two batters later, freshman shortstop Haley Culley hit an RBI single to left field, scoring Brown from third.
In the top of the seventh, junior second baseman Marina Parra advanced freshman catcher Natalie Martinez to second base on a sacrifice bunt after Martinez earned a lead-off walk. Martinez then reached third on a fielding error by Auburn with junior center fielder RT Cantillo at bat. After Cantillo stole second, Brown hit the game-winning two-RBI single to right field to give Ole Miss the 11-9 lead.
The Rebels will play again Tuesday when they host Arkansas-Pine Bluff at 5 p.m. CT. The Rebels are 2-0 against the Lady Lions this season, defeating UAPB 4-0 and 16-0 (5) in a doubleheader Feb. 27.
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