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Rebels victorious over UMKC in season opener

HONOLULU – Senior pitcher Madi Osias tossed a one-hitter and junior Miranda Strother launched a grand slam, leading the Ole Miss Softball team to a 5-4 victory Thursday over UMKC in game one of the Oceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic.

Osias worked around one hit – a 3-run home run – and a leadoff walk, to seal the season-opening victory for the Rebels (1-0).

The Roos’ leadoff hitter reached on a throwing error at shortstop, before a steal and sacrifice fly scored the first run of 2016.

That score held until the third inning when Ole Miss put together a four-run frame. Freshman Kylan Becker, in her first collegiate contest, led off with a bunt single to third and stole second.

Elantra Cox followed with a chopper to the shortstop, who booted it before being picked up by the second baseman. Her throw to third was high and right, putting the Rebels at second and third.

Freshman Hailey Lunderman drew a walk, before junior Miranda Strother drove a grand slam to straightway center field.

But, the Kangaroos responded in the bottom half. After issuing a leadoff walk, Osias was called with an illegal pitch, sending the runner to third. Rachel Pate then followed with a 3-run shot to left-center field, a ball almost robbed by Strother on a leaping attempt.

After a scoreless fourth, the Rebels found the game-winning run by way of senior Natalie Martinez. After Strother walked and stole second, sophomore Alex Schneider singled to left and advanced to second. That’s when Martinez followed with the sacrifice fly to right scoring Strother in what would be the final score of the contest.

The Rebels return to Rainbow Wahine Stadium today for games versus Saint Mary’s at 4 p.m. CT/12 p.m. HST, and Hawaii at 9 p.m. CT/5 p.m. HST.