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Rebels continue hot start with rout of Eastern Illinois in Classic

TROY, Ala. — Ole Miss softball is off to its best 10-game start in school history following Sunday’s 8-0, run-rule victory in five innings over Eastern Illinois at the Troy Classic.

The Rebels (8-2) got the bats going in the victory over the Panthers (3-7), pounding out a season-high 14 hits against Eastern Illinois pitching. Ole Miss also got solid work in the circle from junior Alyssa Clayton, who went the full five frames with just three hits allowed and six strikeouts.

Freshman Ashton Lampton continued her impressive season and breakthrough weekend after going 2-for-3 on Sunday with three RBI. Senior Bri Payne homered for the first time in 2016 and put together a 3-for-3 day at the plate with two RBI, while junior Courtney Syrett also added two RBI off a double in the first.

The Rebels got the bats going in the first thanks for a leadoff single from senior Melina Preciado. After freshman Hailey Lunderman reached on a hit by pitch and moved to third, Lampton followed with an infield single to short, making it 1-0, before Syrett’s 2-RBI double into the left-center gap increased the Rebels’ lead to 3-0.

The two teams traded scoreless innings from then up until the fifth, combining for just four runners left on base, before the Rebels put together the game-ending fifth frame.

Lunderman got it going with an infield single, but was tagged out trying to get to third on the ensuing single from Strother. Martinez followed with a single up the middle, and after moving to second on a throw in, scored along with Strother on Lampton’s 2-RBI single. Payne then launched her 2-out bomb to left field, making it a 7-0 contest.

Sophomore Raven Campos kept the offense going when she reached on an error, before Grayce Majam doubled to right-center setting up two on for pinch hitter Dakota Matiko.