Ole Miss softball defeats No. 21 Minnesota and George Mason

Published 3:03 pm Saturday, February 9, 2019

ORLANDO, Fla. – Ole Miss (3-1) picked up a pair of big wins on Saturday at the Friends of Jaclyn Tournament, defeating No. 21 Minnesota 3-1 before setting down George Mason 8-0 in a run rule win at the UCF Softball Complex.

Game One | Ole Miss 3, No. 21 Minnesota 1

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Pitching in her first game in a Rebel uniform, junior Molly Jacobsen tossed an absolute gem, going the distance to lead Ole Miss to an upset win over No. 21 Minnesota. The junior college product surrendered just one run on four hits, racking up eight strikeouts along the way.

Both pitchers were cruising along before the offenses found their footing in the fourth inning. Hope Brandner put the Gophers on top in the away half, launching a solo home run to left field. However, the lead wouldn’t last long.

Kylan Becker got things going in the bottom half, leading off with a single through the left side, becoming the Rebels’ first baserunner of the game. Becker stole second and Kaylee Horton followed with a single to put Becker at third, advancing to second on the throw. Abbey Latham then scored Becker to tie the game with a single before being pinch ran for by Tate Whitley.

Ole Miss used some small ball to take the lead. Attempting a double steal, Horton got caught in a pickle but was able to score when a throw got away, with Whitley alertly following for another run to put the Rebels up 3-1.

With a lead in hand, Jacobsen went to work. The junior shut down the Gophers for the final three innings, striking out the side in the seventh to wrap things up for the win.

Game Two | Ole Miss 8, George Mason 0

After receiving an excellent outing from Jacobsen in the first game, Ole Miss sent out Anna Borgenfor the second and the sophomore was equally impressive. Borgen took a perfect game into the fourth, ultimately allowing one hit while striking out five in 4.0 innings of work. Freshman Savannah Diederich came on in the fifth for her collegiate debut, tossing a scoreless frame with a pair of strikeouts.

The Rebels jumped all over the Patriots in the first inning, scoring four on back-to-back dingers. Latham launched a massive home run to left with Becker and Horton on base before Brittany Finney rocketed a missile down the left field line and out.

In the third, Jessica Puk drove home Latham with a single to right field and Finney came across as well when the throw home got away. Latham then extended the lead to 7-0 in the fourth, plating Becker from second with a single up the middle.

The Rebels then put the game away in the fifth, with Taylor Watford notching her first-career hit with a double to right field, bringing in Autumn Gillespie from third to secure the victory via the run rule.

Ole Miss finishes out the Friends of Jaclyn Tournament Sunday morning, taking on Ohio State in a rematch at 8:30 a.m. CT.

Quick Hits
• In 12.0 innings of work total, the Ole Miss pitching staff allowed just five hits on the day, while striking out 15 batters.
• The Rebels ran rampant on the day, stealing six bases. Ole Miss swiped five bags with five different players in the George Mason game alone.
• Sophomore Abbey Latham was on fire at the plate, going 4-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs. Latham is now batting .333 for the season.
• Senior Kylan Becker went 3-for-6 on the day with a double, scoring three runs.
• Against George Mason, Brittany Finney registered a pair of hits with two runs scored and an RBI. The senior ranks second on the team with a .364 average.
• Latham and Finney’s back-to-back home runs were the first consecutive big flies for the Rebels since going back-to-back-to-back last season against UT Martin, with Finney and Latham also playing a part in that string of dingers.