Ole Miss softball splits pair at Sand Dollar Classic

Published 5:40 pm Friday, February 9, 2018

GULF SHORES, Ala. Senior Alex Schneider provided some dramatics for No. 14 Ole Miss on Day 2 of the Sand Dollar Classic on Friday, crushing a walk-off homer to lead the Rebels over Lamar. The high of the victory didn’t last too long as the Rebels fell for the first time this season in the later game, falling to Lipscomb.

Ole Miss (3-1) didn’t take its first lead against Lamar until the last pitch of the game, walking off against the Cardinals on a two-run bomb to left field off the bat of Schneider. Lamar took the lead in the third, striking for one run against starting pitcher Anna Borgen on an RBI single by Maddy Myers to score Kendall Talley.

The Rebels struck back to tie the game in the fourth. After Schneider singled up the middle, Kaylee Horton replaced her at first base following a fielder’s choice. Horton stole second shortly thereafter and scored to tie the game when Autumn Gillespie’s fly ball to center field was dropped.

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With Morgan Bruce coming on in relief of Borgen to start the fifth, the Cardinals immediately regained their one-run lead. Shelby Hughston did the damage, singling through the right side to plate Elizabeth Castillo.

Ole Miss had another answer to tie the game in the sixth. Schneider reached with one out on an HBP and advanced to second on a Gillespie single. Izzy Werdann pinch hit for Paige McKinney and the junior college transfer came up clutch with a single to left, bringing Schneider home to equalize.

With neither team able to score in the seventh, the game advanced to extra innings, where international tiebreaker rules were in effect.

Dylinn Stancil was placed on second to start the inning for Ole Miss and that’s where Schneider took over. The senior grabbed hold of a Laura Napoli offering and lifted a towering shot to left field for the walk off homer.

Making her first collegiate start, Borgen tossed four innings, surrendering a single earned run on three hits. Bruce pitched a pair of frames, giving up one earned run on a pair of hits and a walk. Kaitlin Lee came in for the final two innings, retiring all six batters faced.

Lipscomb 3, Ole Miss 0

The Rebels were completely flummoxed by the Bisons starting pitcher Jordan Fortel, failing to record a hit for the first time since March 8, 2015 against Alabama.

Ole Miss starter Brittany Finney matched Fortel’s no-hitter through the first four innings before the Bisons broke through in the fifth, tagging the junior for three runs. Hannah Devault scored the opening run of the game on a wild pitch. Caitlin Turner scored the final two runs on a single up the middle, bringing home Peyton Ward and Khayla Green.

That was all the run support that Fortel would need. The junior faced just two over the minimum, surrendering one walk and striking out four.