No.22 Ole Miss softball was coming home off a road shut-out win over Southeastern Louisiana and needed to find their first SEC win against South Carolina.
Ole Miss softball (14-8, 0-4) has been in a slump over the past couple of weeks. Coming into Friday nights game against No.17 South Carolina (23-3, 1-0) the Rebels had lost five of their last six games. Of course, three of those losses came on the road at College Station against then No.7 Texas A&M. The Rebels were looking for their first SEC win Friday night as they hosted the Gamecocks.
The game stayed scoreless thru the first three frames but the Gamecocks struck in the top of the 4th with 5 runs. South Carolina kept the 5-0 lead until the Rebels exploded for 3 runs in the bottom of the 5th. With the game stuck 5-3 to the top of the 7th the Gamecocks added 2 more insurance runs in the frame and shut down the Rebels in the bottom. The Rebels fell to the Gamecocks 7-3.
The game-one loss Friday night to No.17 South Carolina was the Rebels 4th consecutive SEC loss. Win-less in the SEC with the schedule Ole Miss softball faces is not a good place to be. Ole Miss is very good in the circle but it puts way too much pressure on them when the Rebels don’t produce offensively. It is very hard to win when living off 3 and 5 hits per game. The Rebels can come back today but for now lets look at the numbers.
By The Numbers
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Senior right-hander Kaitlin Lee handled the start in the circle Friday night for the Rebels. Lee went 4.0 innings allowing 5 earned runs on 8 hits. Lee had 1 K. Sophomore right-hander Morgan Bruce entered in the 5th and went 2.0 innings allowing 2 earned runs on 4 hits. Freshman right-hander Ava Tillman closed out the final frame in the circle for the Rebels and allowed no runs on no hits.
At the plate five Rebels combined for only 5 hits which resulted in 3 runs. Senior Elantra Cox went 1 for 3 at the plate while knocking in a RBI. Junior Kylan Becker also went 1 for 3 and score a run.
Senior Paige McKinney went 1 for 2 at the plate and scored a run. Red-shirt freshman Gabby Alvarez went 1 for 2 on the day while junior Celeste Wood went 1 for 3. Senior Alex Schneider and sophomore Kaylee Horton each 1 RBI. Senior Bri Castro scored a run in the game.
Of course, Friday night in game-one the Rebels struggled somewhat in the circle and at the plate. There is no doubt in the capability of Kaitlin Lee and her arm. There is no doubt in any of the pitchers on this staff. However, the Rebels have to be able to produce offensively. It all goes back to taking pressure off the circle by scoring runs. Our pitching is really good but we shouldn’t have to depend on it when we know this team can hit the ball. They need to set some bats on fire in game-two if they want to save this series. Thankfully we don’t have to wait long.
No.22 Ole Miss softball will be back in action Saturday afternoon against the No.17 South Carolina Gamecocks at the Ole Miss Softball Complex in Oxford. First pitch for game-two is set for 4pm CT and the game will be televised via SEC Network+. Of course, good luck to Ole Miss softball and BEAT THE ROOSTERS! Hotty Toddy!