Ole Miss softball snaps decade-long drought against Alabama

Posted on Apr 30 2017 - 7:57pm by Grayson Weir

Splitting the first two games of the series, No. 20 Ole Miss softball walked off for the eighth time this season beating No. 13 Alabama in game two of a Saturday afternoon doubleheader.

The Rebels struggled to get runs on the board throughout game one, as Alabama starter Alexis Osorio struck out nine batters and gave up just one hit: a bunted single by Elantra Cox. The Rebels, who left seven on base in the game, simply could not produce runs.

Senior Courtney Syrett began a key third inning with a leadoff walk before Cox got on base with a bunted single. Kylan Becker reached first on a fielder’s choice play to load the bases, but a pair of strikeouts and a pop-up to the infield quickly put an end to the Rebels’ scoring hopes, stranding all three runners.

Alabama found a spark in the sixth inning after two singles and a sacrifice bunt put runners in scoring positions. From there, two consecutive bloop singles knocked in the Crimson Tide’s two runs and gave Alabama’s Osorio another tally in the win column, improving the team’s record to 19-6 on the year.

After dropping game one by a score of 2-0, the Rebels called on some late-game magic to capture a series-tying 2-1 win over the Crimson Tide.

After leading 1-0 for the majority of Saturday’s second game, Alabama tried to add an insurance run in the seventh inning. A trio leadoff single, sacrifice bunt and walk put two runners on base, but dominant Rebel pitcher Brittany Finney worked out of the jam.

With the Rebels’ hopes down to the final two outs, senior Dakota Matiko stepped into the box and delivered a clutch infield single. After Grayce Majam reached first base off a hard-driven ball to the shortstop, Finney stepped up for her only at-bat of the game and delivered, doubling past the Alabama left fielder. Matiko rounded third to tie the game up at one.

With the game on the line, the Alabama offense intentionally walked Cox, loading the bases, before Becker came up and chopped one to second. The hit allowed Majam to score, securing the 2-1 walk-off victory.

Ole Miss’ pitching was impressive all day as Kaitlin Lee and Brittany Finney combined to give up just three earned runs and 10 hits.

Before the Rebels’ win on Saturday, Alabama had not lost to Ole Miss since 2005. The two teams are set to square off in the rubber match of the series at 6 p.m. Monday in Oxford. The game will be broadcast on SEC Network.