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Rebels down Georgia for first-ever tourney win

STARKVILLE — It’s been a season of firsts for Ole Miss softball, and the theme continued Wednesday in the opening round of the SEC Tournament as the Rebels took down No. 15 Georgia, 4-2.
With their first win in the tournament in school history, the Rebels (39-18) survive and advance to play No. 1 seed Florida today at 4 p.m. at Nusz Park in the second round.

As has been the case the last few weeks, it was senior Madi Osias who led the charge in the circle, providing another stellar effort in a complete game effort.

Offensively, both Elantra Cox and Hailey Lunderman paced the way for the 8-hit effort, each going 3-for-5. Cox drove in two runs and scored once, while Lunderman made plays both at the plate and in the field all night.

Osias has now worked five complete games in her last seven starts after Wednesday’s victory, improving her record breaking season win total to 21-7. Just two weeks after shutting down the Bulldogs’ (40-17) high-powered offense to help the Rebels to their first win over Georgia in 13 years, Osias nearly matched that effort, allowing only four hits and two runs, one of which was earned. She struck out four in the contest Wednesday, earning her 38th career win.

Ole Miss took advantage of four Georgia errors, two of which came in the same inning, and chased starting pitcher Chelsea Wilkinson, who went just 3.1 frames with four runs allowed, two earned, and six hits with four walks. The Bulldogs’ Kylie Bass entered in relief and finished out the contest with two hits allowed in 3.2 innings.

The Rebels got a runner on in every inning, stranding the bases loaded in the fifth, sixth and seventh, stranding 16 runners overall. Yet, still found enough offense in the second and fourth when they plated two runs to overtake the Bulldogs.

Ole Miss scored the first two of the contest in the second thanks to a 2-RBI knock from Cox. Kylan Becker led it off with a walk, after Courtney Syrett reached on an error on a sacrifice bunt. After Dakota Matiko pushed the runners up on a sacrifice bunt of her own, Cox singled up the middle scoring both Haley Culley and Becker putting the Rebels in front 2-0.