OXFORD, Miss. - A big fifth inning that saw the Ole Miss softball team score six runs on six hits powered the Rebels to an 8-0 victory over the University of Louisiana at Monroe on Wednesday afternoon at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.
Leading 2-0 entering the bottom half of the fifth, the Rebels recorded four RBI singles and a two-RBI single to break the game open and get the 8-0 win.
"It's always great to get a win and to play at home," said Ole Miss softball head coach Windy Thees after the Rebels played just their second home game in the month of April. "It was great to see the bottom half of our lineup really come through today and stroke the ball well."
Junior pitcher Carly Hummel, who threw the fourth no-hitter in program history in the Rebels' last home game April 9 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, pitched a complete-game shutout Wednesday afternoon against ULM (17-24), allowing just one hit while striking out four.
At the plate, freshmen knocked in four of Ole Miss' eight runs, and scored five of the eight. One of those freshmen was right fielder Bri Payne, who opened the scoring in the bottom of the third with a solo home run over the left field wall.
"Our freshmen are really starting to grow into college ball players," Thees said. "You can see their confidence (continue) to keep building and building, and the future is bright.
"... Bri is really starting to come into her own and we want her to keep it up."
Payne has now hit four home runs this season, and has knocked out two home runs in Ole Miss' last three games.
"I'm feeling more relaxed at the plate and more comfortable and confident," Payne said.
With one out away in the fourth inning and the Rebels (22-26) leading 1-0, freshman designated player Madi Osias hit a bloop single that landed just on the right side of the left field line. Osias later advanced to second base on a Melina Preciado ground out, followed by an RBI single through the left side by Payne, her second RBI of the day.
The Rebels closed out the game in the bottom of the fifth with six runs on six hits to win 8-0. After freshman shortstop Haley Culley reached first on a fielding error to lead off the inning, junior center fielder RT Cantillo singled to left field. Culley and Cantillo then advanced to third and second, respectively, on a passed ball. Senior left fielder Brittany Broome began the scoring in the fifth with an RBI single to left field, followed by another RBI single by sophomore third baseman Allison Brown one batter later. With one out away in the inning and two runners in scoring position, Osias hit an RBI single up the middle, followed by an RBI single by Preciado to left field. Finally, two batters later and the bases now loaded, sophomore Lauren Lindsey came in as a pinch hitter, and ended the game on the first pitch she saw with a deep, two-RBI single that landed at the base of the wall in right-center .
The Rebels will play again Friday at 6 p.m. CT when they host No. 2 Tennessee for a three-game Southeastern Conference series. Saturday's game will begin at 2 p.m. CT, and Sunday's series finale will begin at 1 p.m. CT.
On Friday, the first 150 fans to the park will receive a free Ole Miss softball replica jersey.
Saturday is Breast Cancer Awareness Day at the Ole Miss Softball Complex. Fans can receive a pink ribbon, pink eye black, pink bead necklace, information on detection, and hear from Ole Miss softball players about their stories with breast cancer. There will also be 100 pounds of free crawfish in the outfield for all fans as a part of Crawfish Saturdays.
In addition to Sundae Sundays, fans can arrive early for Sunday's series finale to be a part of a program designed to educate on osteoporosis and osteoporosis prevention led by members of the health and exercise department. Participants will receive free prizes and girl scouts will receive free "Bones Savvy" badges.
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