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Rebels split first two with No. 13 Kentucky, set up rubber match

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Ole Miss sophomore pitcher Elisha Jahnke gave up just two hits that left the infield, but it wasn’t enough in her third-straight complete game as the Rebel softball team came up short, 3-1, to No. 13 Kentucky Saturday at John Cropp Stadium.

The first inning proved to be the most costly for Ole Miss (24-6, 2-3 SEC) after Kentucky (24-4, 4-1 SEC) sent nine hitters to the plate and capitalized with three runs off three hits, two of which never left the infield, one walk, a hit by pitch and a fielders choice.

Jahnke was solid again in her start, going the full six innings with seven hits allowed, only two of which were ruled hits outside the infield. She struck out two and walked two with just two earned runs allowed, and has now allowed just a combined eight runs over her last six outings spanning 28 innings.

The Cats led off the bottom half of the first with a strikeout, and after a bloop single into shallow left, stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. After a walk, Abbey Cheek singled to shortstop for an RBI, before a Hinz RBI off a fielders choice and Schaper RBI single later in the inning put the Wildcats up 3-0.

The Rebels responded two innings later in the third thanks to a shot from Elantra Cox, and heads up baserunnining on the base paths. She punched a sinking line drive to left, a ball the left fielder dropped on the dive attempt, and came all the way home after an errant throw in to second base to make it 3-1.

Ole Miss had a chance in the fifth when Alex Schneider led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Cox then reached on a muffed throw by the first baseman, before Lunderman reached safely off a fielders choice. Lunderman then broke for second, for the Rebels’ school-record 91st stolen base of the season, breaking the previous single-season record set by the 2015 club.
The two teams return to John Cropp Stadium today for the series finale set for a noon CT first pitch.

Friday
Ole Miss entered the weekend looking to pick up back-to-back, top-25 SEC wins, and got just that with a huge 3-1 victory over No. 13 Kentucky.

The win over the Wildcats (23-4, 3-1 SEC) is the first for Ole Miss since March 8, 2013, also a 3-1 contest that took place in Lexington.