Rebel softball wins final games in tourney
Published 6:00 am Sunday, February 21, 2016
TROY, Ala. — Ole Miss softball won both of its Saturday games at the Troy Classic, defeating Eastern Illinois, 4-2, before topping Tennessee Tech, 8-5, at the Trojan Softball Complex.
With the wins, the Rebels move to 7-2 on the year and face Eastern Illinois again at noon Sunday to close out the tournament.
Ole Miss strung together three hits in the third and took a 1-0 advantage through three in Game 1. Courtney Syrett led off with a single into center, and Paige McKinney entered to pinch run stealing second. After Kylan Becker got on with an infield hit, Melina Preciado dropped a bloop single into shallow left field bringing home the first run.
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Eastern Illinois responded an inning later with a 2-run frame to take a 2-1 lead. The Panthers got a leadoff runner after a leadoff walk, and a double into the left-center gap brought her home.
Eastern Illinois scored again off a fielder’s choice to second making it 2-1 after four.
Hailey Lunderman tied the contest back up at 2-2 after an RBI single into left scoring Preciado.
After what looked like a promising chance in the sixth inning stranding two runners, the Rebels made up for it in the seventh thanks to a shot from Miranda Strother.
After Hailey Lunderman put down a perfect bunt with two outs to get the Rebels a baserunner, Strother roped a sinking line drive into center that got under the center fielder’s glove for an inside-the-park home run.
Strother finished the contest 1-for-3 with two RBI, while Preciado added an RBI off her 1-for-2 day at the plate. Elisha Jahnke went five innings in her first Division I start with two runs allowed, while Madi Osias entered to pitch the final two innings getting the win with just one hit allowed.
The Rebels got the bats going in the fourth, when Preciado reached on a fielding error at third to make it a 1-0 game.
After two singles for the Rebels in the fifth, Martinez walked loading the bases for the Ole Miss offense. Ashton Lampton followed with a 2-RBI single up the middle making it a 3-0 game, before Courtney Syrett put down a sacrifice bunt for an RBI to make it 4-0.
Tennessee Tech cut the lead in half in the next half inning after a sacrifice fly to left scored a run, and a double pushed another run across to make it 4-2 halfway through the sixth.
Ole Miss took advantage of the Golden Eagle defense in the sixth when Martinez walked on a wild pitch, bringing home Miranda Strother and Lunderman. Lampton made her impact again in her next at-bat, launching a 2-run blast to left field capping the four-run frame.
Tennessee Tech went on to score three runs in the seventh, but the Rebels held off the potential comeback to claim the second win on the day.