Ole Miss softball traveled to Lexington, Kentucky, over the weekend for an SEC series against the No. 22 Kentucky Wildcats.
The Rebels, ranked No. 10 in the Softball America poll, lost 11-4 on Friday but came back to sweep the doubleheader and clinch the series with 8-4 and 6-2 wins on Saturday.
Ole Miss came into the weekend on a hot streak, fresh off of a convincing series win over No. 6 Florida and a 11-1 victory against Belmont, launching them up the rankings. The Rebels are 27-10 after the weekend with a 7-4 conference mark.
Kentucky opened the series on fire on Friday, taking an early 10-run lead. Molly Jacobsen struggled in the circle at the start of the game, allowing 6 runs and 7 hits in 2.0 innings. Ava Tillman allowed 5 runs on 10 hits to finish the game.
Abbey Latham and Gabby Alvarez provided a spark in the fourth and fifth innings as the Rebels attempted a comeback. Latham hit a solo home run in the fourth to put the Rebels on the board, and Alvarez had a two-run shot to bring Ole Miss to seven runs in the fifth.
Jessica Puk added to the Rebels’ tally with a solo home run of her own in the sixth, but it was too little too late, as the Wildcats extended their lead in the bottom of the sixth and shut the door on the Ole Miss offense in the seventh to wrap up the 11-4 blowout.
The Rebels came back for a doubleheader on Saturday. Ole Miss was on the right side of the early lead this time around, as they took a four-run lead in the opening inning. Kylan Becker and Jessica Puk reached base before Autumn Gillespie singled to load the bases. Brittany Finney and Amanda Roth both came up with doubles to put the Rebels ahead.
The Wildcats got two unearned runs in the second inning, but the Rebels kept them at bay.
Ole Miss had the bases loaded again when Abbey Latham was walked to bring in a run. Puk doubled to give the Rebels an 8-2 lead. Finney was now in the position to fend off a comeback attempt as she finished off the game to tie the series with an 8-4 win.
Brittany Finney had her seventh complete game, striking out 3 and allowing 8 hits over 7.0 innings.
The teams met again for the second game in the doubleheader. The Rebels took another early lead when Becker opened the action with a triple. Latham was walked before Becker scored a run from a wild pitch. Puk, Gillespie and Roth were also walked, bringing in another run and giving Ole Miss a 2-0 lead in the first.
Kentucky cut the Rebels’ lead in half in the fourth inning and tied the game in the sixth with an RBI double from Katie Reed, sending the game to extra innings.
The Rebels squared up the Wildcats’ pitching in the eighth inning, scoring four runs in the opening frame of extra innings, including a solo home run from Amanda Roth. Brittany Finney earned her second win of the day as she finished off the Wildcats.
The Rebels will take on the University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers in Oxford at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.