Ole Miss struggled to produce consistent offense all day long against Mississippi State, falling in both ends of Sunday’s doubleheader at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.
The Rebels (21-18, 4-12 SEC) had their chances to score in both games but were unable to come up with the clutch hit, being shut out twice by respective scores of 5-0 and 6-0. While Ole Miss went 0-for-15 on the day with runners in scoring positions, MSU (32-11, 6-8 SEC) batted .429 on 6-for-14.
Game One | Mississippi State 5, Ole Miss 0
The Bulldogs racked up 12 hits off the Rebels, while MSU starting pitcher Cassady Knudsen gave Ole Miss fits all game long, holding the Rebs to a pair of hits in the morning game.
Senior Kaitlin Lee took the loss for Ole Miss, allowing four runs on 10 hits, with three of the tallies coming in a big fifth inning for the Bulldogs. Freshman Anna Borgen pitched 2.1 frames in relief, surrendering one run on two hits.
After three scoreless frames, Mississippi State broke through on a Kat Moore solo home run to deep center field. The Bulldogs then took control in the fifth, notching five-straight hits, three of them doubles, off of Lee to chase the Rebel ace. Borgen was able to come in and get an unassisted groundout to Brittany Finney but by then three runs had come across to make it 4-0 MSU.
An error and a Dylinn Stancil single put a pair of runners on with no outs to lead off the sixth for Ole Miss but the Rebels were unable to take advantage and cut into the deficit. The Bulldogs came back in the top of the seventh to tack on another run and finished things out in the bottom half to secure the victory.
Game Two | Mississippi State 6, Ole Miss 0
The Rebels matched the Bulldogs hit-for-hit in the game with seven apiece but whereas MSU was able to turn those base knocks into six runs, time and time again the Rebels failed to bring the runners home, falling in a shutout for the second time on the day.
Freshman Ava Tillmann received the loss, allowing six runs (four earned) on seven hits, striking out a pair.
MSU took an early lead as Reggie Harrison smacked a single up the middle to score Mia Davidson from third. A pair of walks and a wild pitch put Celeste Wood and Kylan Becker in scoring position with one out but back-to-back strikeouts ended the threat.
The Rebels also left a pair of runners on in the third and the fourth and in the fifth, MSU made Ole Miss pay with a pair of runs on Harrison’s two-run bomb to left-center, making it 3-0.
After two more runners were left on base in the bottom half for Ole Miss, Mississippi State added three more runs in the seventh to take a commanding 6-0 lead, closing out the ballgame in the home half.
Ole Miss and Mississippi State will close out the series on Monday with a 6 p.m. start. The contest is the SEC Network Game of the Week and will be aired nationally on the SEC Network.
Ole Miss will look to avoid being swept by MSU in Oxford for the first time since 2012.
The Rebels left 20 runners on base across both ends of the doubleheader, going 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position.
Ole Miss drew 10 walks against Bulldog pitchers on Sunday. However, the Rebels also struck out 19 times over the two games.
Junior Kylan Becker reached in 6-of-7 plate appearances, going 2-for-3 at the plate with four walks.
Becker was also 1-for-1 on stolen base attempts on the day.
Senior Paige McKinney batted 2-for-4 on Sunday, also drawing a walk.
For all Ole Miss softball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissSoftball, on Facebook at Ole Miss Softball and on Instagram at Instagram.com/olemisssoftball. Fans can also follow head coach Mike Smith on Twitter at @msmithsb16.
Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports
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