Ole Miss softball opened their 2018 season this past Thursday at Gulf Shores, Alabama in the Sand Dollar Classic and played very well.
Ole Miss softball fans have anxiously awaited the beginning of the 2018 softball season. There was a lot of excitement over this team entering Friday’s opening games. The Rebels played four games total with two on Thursday and two games on Friday. The Rebels carried wins in both Thursday games but took a loss in Fridays games to finish the Sand Dollar Classic with a 3-1 record. The Rebels were supposed to face Penn State Saturday however the game was cancelled due to inclement weather.
In the Thursday games Ole Miss softball faced Virginia Tech and Florida A&M. The Rebels won against Virginia Tech 5-1 while shutting out Florida A&M in the second game 6-0. Fridays games were against Lamar and Lipscomb. The Rebels took the Lamar game 4-2 in 8 innings but were shutout 3-0 by Lipscomb in what turned out to be the Rebels last game in the classic. The Rebels have been hyped since last season and obviously brought some momentum to Gulf Shores.
The Rebels certainly lived up to any expectations which Ole Miss softball fans had for this season opening event. Of course, what we saw in Gulf Shores from this Ole Miss team was very similar to the team we watched dismantle the SEC in the tourney last season. Lets go thru these first four games and look at them by the numbers and see just how well our Rebels played.
Virginia Tech Stats
Ole Miss Rebels Football
Of course, Rebels pitching last season was awesome. Kaitlin Lee carried much of the load in the circle last season and was outstanding. Well Kaitlin Lee fans didn’t have to wait long as she got the start in he season opener.
Lee pitched 5 complete innings while allowing 1 run on only 4 hits. Lee also had 5 strikeouts. Brittany Finney finished out the final 2 innings in relief. Finney allowed only 1 hit while striking out 2 Virginia Tech batters. Lee picked up her first win of the season.
At the plate there were four Rebel hitters who produced 5 runs on 5 hits. Dylinn Stancil went 2 for 3 while knocking in 2 RBI and scoring a run. Ally Mena went 1 for 2 while knocking in a run. Senior Elantra Cox also went 1 for 2 and scored a run. Junior transfer Celeste Wood was 1 for 3 at the plate while knocking in a run and scoring a run.
This was another big win off very strong pitching performances by Kaitlin Lee and Brittany Finney. We saw the same strong pitching last season from Lee and the Rebels pitching staff. In this case pitching helped get the 5-1 win for the Rebels.
Florida A&M Stats
Sophomore right-hander Morgan Bruce drew the start against Florida A&M. Bruce pitched 6 complete innings striking out 5 Florida A&M batters while only allowing 2 hits and no runs. Freshman left-hander Anna Borgen pitched the 7th in relief. Borgen faced 3 batters in the final frame striking out 2. Bruce picked up her first win of the season.
Offensively the Rebels were on fire against Florida A&M. In the game 7 Rebels produced 6 runs on 10 hits. Red shirt sophomore Autumn Gillespie and freshman Ally Mena both were 2 for 3 at the plate. Gillespie knocked in a RBI while Mena scored a run. Senior Elantra Cox went 2 for 4 and scored 3 runs. Junior transfer Celeste Wood was 1 for 3 at the plate with 1 RBI.
Junior Kylan Becker went 1 for 4 in the game while knocking a RBI and scoring a run. Senior Paige McKinney was 1 for 2 while junior Izzy Werdann went 1 for 1 at the plate in a pinch-hit situation. Of course, the Rebels hit much better in their second Thursday game. Behind a strong day in the circle and at the plate the Rebels took the 6-0 win.
Head coach Mike Smith went with freshman left-hander Anna Borgen as the starter for the first game Friday. Borgen pitched 4 complete innings while allowing 1 run on just 3 hits. Sophomore right-hander Morgan Bruce entered the circle in the 5th and pitched 2 complete frames. Bruce allowed 1 run on 2 hits. Senior Kaitlin Lee entered in the 7th and pitched the final two frames. Lee allowed no hits and had 1 K. Lee picked up the win against Lamar for her second win of the season.
Once again Ole Miss softball managed to produce at the plate. Against good Lamar pitching 5 Rebels produced 4 runs on 7 hits. Senior Alex Schneider had a huge day at the plate going 2 for 2 with a walk-off homer. Senior Elantra Cox went 2 for 4 while senior Paige McKinney was 1 for 2. Junior transfer Celeste Wood was 1 for 3 while junior Izzy Werdann was 1 for 1 with a RBI. When this team can produce at the plate they are hard to beat.
More from Ole Miss Softball
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- Ole Miss Softball: Rebels rack up SEC regular season honors
- Ole Miss Softball: Poor officiating is killing SEC sports
- Ole Miss Softball: No.15 Rebels ready for SEC Tourney
Junior right-hander Brittany Finney drew the start for the Rebels against Lipscomb. Finney went for 5 complete innings giving up 3 runs on 3 hits with 2 Ks. Senior Kaitlin Lee entered in relief in the 6th and closed out the game in the circle giving up no runs on 2 hits. Finney picked up the loss in the 3-0 shutout, her first of the season.
The success Ole Miss softball had seen at the plate in the first three games vanished against Lipscomb. Jordan Fortell pitched 7 complete innings for Lipscomb and picked up the no hitter against the Rebels. Fortell struck out four Rebels batters. The hit-less game was the first for the Rebels since March 8, 2015.
Of course, Ole Miss softball did very well in the Sand Dollar Classic winning 3 out of 4 games. Even though the Rebels dropped their final game in Gulf Shores they showed they are on their game. All teams can have a bad game but great teams show they can bounce back. We will see this team come back stronger from their loss.
Ole Miss softball will be back on the road this Thursday in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge. The Rebels will have four games in three days against some very good opponents. Thursday they open with Texas and follow with Houston on Friday. Saturday the Rebels will face Rutgers in an early game and follow that with a late game against Oregon. We want to congratulate coach Mike Smith and the Rebels on a great season opener this past weekend. Good luck in Mexico! Hotty Toddy!