OXFORD, Miss. – Freshman Madi Osias had another strong day at the plate for the Ole Miss softball team, and the Rebels held a lead through four innings of play against No. 2 Tennessee. The Lady Vols broke through in the top of the fifth though, and the Rebels fell 12-4 on a beautiful, but cool Friday evening at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.
The Rebels took a 3-2 lead after the first inning on a three-run home run by Osias. After the Lady Vols tied the game in the third, Ole Miss responded again in the fourth by retaking the lead at 4-3 thanks to a solo shot from Osias. A nine-run fifth inning by Tennessee proved to be too much though, and the Lady Vols moved to 40-6 on the season and 13-3 in conference play.
“Playing the No. 2 team in the country coming in here, we knew we had to come in loose and play all out. Our girls did a good job of that,” Ole Miss softball head coach Windy Thees said. “… We’re moving up, and to be the best you have to play the best.”
Osias had a fantastic day at the plate for the Rebels (22-27, 2-17 Southeastern Conference), going 2-2 with two home runs and four RBI. In the last seven games, the Tustin, Calif., native has gone a combined 13-21 (.619) with 13 RBI, 10 runs, five home runs and two doubles. Osias is batting .413 for the season in 63 at bats.
“She definitely was seeing the ball very, very well today,” Thees said. “That first pitch she took it out to dead-center. She got all of it, it was awesome. The second one, they were trying to keep it down on her and she left one up and Madi didn’t miss it.”
The Lady Vols jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a two-run home run by second baseman Lauren Gibson.
Osias then hit her first home run of the day, a three-run shot over the center field wall standing at 220 feet, in the bottom of the first. Osias’ home run scored Allison Brown and Londen Ladner, who each reached base on singles.
Tennessee tied the game at three runs apiece two innings later in the top of the third with an RBI double to right-center field.
Osias gave the Rebels the lead again in the bottom of the fourth with a booming home run well over the wall in left-center.
Tennessee’s bats got hot in the top of the fifth, however, and plated nine runs on seven hits and one Rebel error.
The three-game series will continue with Saturday’s game at 2 p.m. CT, and Sunday’s series finale beginning at 1 p.m. CT.
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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