After a 6-0 shutout of Austin Peay earlier in the day, Ole Miss overcame a four-run deficit against Nicholls State in a game that came down to the wire. Ole Miss allowed Nicholls State to jump out to an early lead that saw the Rebels down by four runs at one point before roaring back to tie the game up at five in the sixth inning.
Elantra Cox was the hero for the Rebels, hitting a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh to clinch the victory.
Kaitlin Lee started on the mound for the Rebs. Lee came into the game with a 2.10 ERA but gave up eight hits with four earned runs in four innings. She was replaced by Morgan Bruce in the fifth who gave up a quick home run but settled in and only gave up one more hit in the two innings she pitched. Alyssa Clayton came in for Bruce in the seventh to close the game and capture the victory, her sixth of the year.
“Lee didn’t have her best stuff tonight,” Ole Miss head coach Mike Smith said. “She gave up a couple of hard hit balls, but the team rallied around her. Bruce came in and kept the game close, and then Clayton came in and shut the door.”
Nicholls State managed to bring in three runs in what was a long third inning for the Rebs. The Rebel offense was stagnant through the first two innings before Dylinn Stancil and Kylan Becker were able to manufacture a run in the third, after Becker hit a double up the middle to bring Stancil in to score.
“Our girls are resilient,” Smith said. “I told them, ‘Hey, we just got punched in the mouth, and now we’ve got to fight back.’”
In the top of the fifth, Kasey Frederick of Nicholls State blasted a solo shot to left field, which made the game 5-1. In the bottom of the fifth, the Rebels were able to score two runs, thanks to a two-RBI triple by Miranda Strother to make the game 5-3.
“I think that us getting two runs allowed us to have more confidence,” Strother said. “It gave us confidence to keep on going, to know that we are going to score these next couple runs.”
The bottom of the sixth saw the Rebels tie the game up at five. Cox managed to hit an infield single and bring in a runner. Becker then singled to center field, which brought in another run due to a throwing error by the Nicholls State centerfielder.
“I just tried to keep it simple,” Cox said. “Don’t try and do anything that’s out of my element.”
With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Cox came up to bat and hit a ball that bounced over the pitcher, driving in the winning run. Cox went 4-5 on the day to bring her season average to .576.
“I was 100 percent confident that she would get a hit,” Smith said. “She’s hot right now, and I’ll leave it at that. If I say anything, I don’t want to jinx her.”