OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss rallied for five runs in the sixth inning, highlighted by RBI singles from seniors Kelly Chandler and Amanda Hutcheson, as the Rebels knocked off South Carolina 6-3 on “Senior Day” at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.
Trailing 2-1 entering the bottom of the sixth, first baseman Londen Lander started the Ole Miss (21-32, 6-21 SEC) rally with a single to left center and advanced to second on pitcher Erinn Jayjohn’s one-out single down the line in right. Chandler then singled to center and scored Ladner to tie the game, and an errant throw from South Carolina center fielder Laruen Lackey allowed pinch runner Dallas Hardin to score and Chandler to move to third. Hutcheson followed with an RBI bunt single to plate Chandler and pinch hitter Natalie Nimmo added an RBI double that put Ole Miss up 5-2. A wild pitch allowed Nimmo to move to third and left fielder Brittany Broome knocked her in with a sac fly that extended the Rebel lead to 6-2.
Gamecock shortstop Samie Garica led off the top of the seventh with a solo home run to left that cut the Ole Miss lead to 6-3, but Jayjohn (6-13) retired the next three batters in order to secure the win. Jayjohn allowed three runs on six hits in the complete-game effort with one strikeout and two walks.
Ole Miss jumped on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first after Broome singled up the middle and later scored on shortstop Allison Brown’s RBI double to right center that gave the Rebels a 1-0 lead.
South Carolina (23-31, 3-24 SEC) designated player Kristen Struett led off the top of the second with a single to left and was pinch ran for by Hannah Milks, who stole second and then moved to third on a groundout. Jayjohn got the next batter to groundout and walked first baseman Molly Brossart to put runners on the corners with two down, but got the next batter to groundout to third to end the threat.
Gamecock third baseman Evan Childs was hit by a pitch to lead off the fourth and pinch hitter Hannah Milks reached on a throwing error by first baseman Londen Ladner on a sac bunt to put runners on first and second with no outs. Jayjohn got the next two batters to pop out and line out, but Brossart doubled to right to bring home Childs and Milks and give South Carolina a 2-1 lead.
Ole Miss and South Carolina will wrap up their three-game set tomorrow at 1 p.m. at the Ole Miss Softball Complex. The game will be televised on SportSouth with Dave Neal and Barb Jordan calling all the action.
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