The Ole Miss softball team welcomed the No. 9 Tennessee Volunteers to Oxford for a three-game series this weekend. After winning the first two, the Rebels lost a tough third game in extra innings.
In game one of the series, the Rebels were able to plate a pair of runs in the second and third innings on the way to a 5-3 win over the Vols. Friday’s win was the Rebel squad’s 12th SEC win of the season, breaking the program record of 11 set in 2016.
At the plate, Tate Whitley and Amanda Roth rose to the occasion and each drove in a pair of runs. Autumn Gillespie went 2-2 and reached in each at-bat, coming around to score each time.
The Rebels are just the sixth team this season to hand Tennessee pitcher Ashley Rogers a loss. The freshman entered Friday’s game with an 18-3 overall record.
In the circle for the Rebels, Brittany Finney picked up the win to move to 14-5 on the year. The senior tossed 6.1 innings and only surrendered three runs while striking out six batters. Junior Molly Jacobsen came in to secure the final two outs of game one, earning the save.
The second game was decided early as the Rebels took a 3-0 lead after the first inning. Kylan Becker and Abbey Latham started off the inning with a single apiece, and after a passed ball from Vol catcher Kaili Phillips, Becker came around to score.
Kaylee Horton stepped up to the plate next and earned a walk before Jessica Puk hit a double off the right-center field wall to clear the bases.
The next run scored for the Rebels came in the top of the sixth off the bat of Gabby Alvarez, who hit a double to right-center to bring Gillespie home all the way from first.
In the seventh, the Vols were able to make it on the board, but their offense was not able to produce much of anything else thanks to Jacobsen in the circle for the Rebels. Jacobsen tossed a complete game, while striking out six Vols to earn the win.
Despite all of the momentum that the Rebels had coming in to the final game of the series, they were defeated by the Vols 2-1 in extra innings and unable to complete their first series sweep.
The Rebels and the Vols went back and forth all Sunday afternoon long in a pitchers’ duel. Jacobsen started out in the circle and was credited with the loss, even though she didn’t allow a single earned run. Jacobsen was charged with one unearned run on four hits in 7.2 innings.
Finney came out of the bullpen in relief, pitching 1.1 innings and surrendering a single run on three hits.
Offensively, the Rebels struggled to find their rhythm against the Vols’ pitcher Matty Moss, who was credited with the win after pitching a complete game, allowing one run on four hits and a pair of walks.
In the fourth inning, the Rebels struck first, plating pinch runner Katelin Cooper by way of a single off the bat of Alvarez. However, the Rebels weren’t able to keep the lead secure. The Lady Vols struck back in the sixth with a single and sacrifice fly to tie the game.
After the tremendous showing put on by both pitchers, the game went into extras where the Lady Vols ultimately came out on top.
After this weekend’s series, the Rebels have moved to 36-13 on the season. The Rebels sit at third place in the conference at 13-7, just behind Alabama and LSU.
The Rebels will look to bounce back this weekend against the Georgia Bulldogs. The Rebel squad will travel to Athens, Georgia, to compete in a three-game series starting on Friday at 5 p.m.