OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss softball team (12-8) allowed just three hits and scored 20 runs in two games as the Rebels earned a doubleheader sweep of Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Wednesday, defeating the Lady Lions 4-0 in game one, and 16-0 in game two.
After defeating Arkansas-Pine Bluff 4-0 in game one, the Rebels came out of the gates in game two with 11 runs off four hits in the first inning. Among those four first-inning hits, were a pair of triples from freshman shortstop Haley Culley and freshman second baseman Melina Preciado.
The eight-run first inning cushion was more than enough for starting pitcher Carly Hummel. The junior from Bakersfield, Calif., threw a complete game (5.0 IP), striking out five while allowing just one hit.
“It’s good to throw some shutouts, and our defense played pretty well,” Ole Miss softball head coach Windy Thees said. “The first game, it took us awhile, offensively, to get anything going and we still were making some of the mistakes we made over the weekend, but in the second game we corrected those and were able to drive the ball a little bit better. Any time you win it’s good.”
Ole Miss extended its lead to 11-0 in the bottom of the second off three RBI singles from Marina Parra, Natalie Nimmo and Brittany Broome. The Rebels scored five more runs on three hits in the bottom of the fourth to give them the final score of 16-0 in five innings.
The Rebels have thrown 16 straight innings of scoreless ball dating back to the fourth inning of the Rebels’ 2-1 win against Mississippi Valley State on Sunday. The two wins over UAPB extends the Rebels’ win streak to eight games, Ole Miss’ longest winning streak since 2002, and the second longest streak in program history.
In the two games combined Wednesday, Broome went 6-7 at the plate with six singles and five stolen bases. Broome now has 16 stolen bases this season, and 58 for her career, one shy of tying the program record set by Brooke Turner (2002-05).
“(Stealing bases) is her job,” Thees said. “We like to joke with her saying, ‘You can’t steal first. You have to find a way to get on base.’ Today, she got on so she was able to steal the bases that she needed to steal. I’m really proud of her.”
The Rebels will now head to Orlando, Fla., for the UCF Holiday Inn Select Spring Fling. Ole Miss will face Penn and the tournament host UCF on Friday at 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., respectively. The Rebels will then play a pair of Big East schools in Villanova and Connecticut on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., respectively. Ole Miss will close out the tournament Sunday against Villanova at 8:30 a.m. All times are Central.
Three-Run Sixth Inning Lifts Gators Over Bulls
TAMPA, Fla. – The No. 4 Gator softball team used a freshman Kirsti Merritt (Lake Panasoffkee, Fla.) game-tying RBI single, followed by a sophomore Lauren Haeger (Peoria, Ariz.) two-run blast in the top of the sixth inning to defeat USF, 3-1, in front of a record crowd of 1,611 at the USF Softball Stadium in Tampa Wednesday.
Florida notched its seventh come-from-behind victory of the season to improve to 17-1 overall in 2013. Five different Gators connected for hits on the evening, but one each from freshman Kelsey Stewart (Wichita, Kan.), Merritt and Haeger made the difference in the game against the Bulls (6-9).
Facing a 1-0 deficit heading to the sixth following a Kenshyra Jackson solo homer in the fourth for USF, the Gators put together a game-winning two-out rally, starting with the top of the UF lineup and Stewart.
After two quick outs in the top of the sixth for USF pitcher Sara Nevins turned the Florida lineup over, Stewart connected for a double to left field to spark the Gator offense. Next up, Merritt battled to a full count at the plate before dropping a RBI base hit to left field, plating Stewart for the 1-1 equalizer. The bats were contagious as Haeger went yard next with a two-run blast, her team-tying third of the season, for the game-winning runs.
Nevins and Florida junior hurler Hannah Rogers (Lake Wales, Fla.) faced each other in the circle, Nevins shouldering the loss (2-3) after giving up five hits and three earned runs in 6.2 innings of work with eight strikeouts. Rogers went the distance, improving to 8-1 on the season. The Gator righty fanned five, gave up the Bulls’ one run on five hits through the evening. USF’s Lindsey Richardson came on for the final out in the top of the seventh to add the ninth K of the contest for South Florida.
The Gators’ defense and Rogers shined Wednesday, forcing the Bulls to leave two runners on three times in the second, third and fifth innings before Stewart struck for a clutch unassisted double play in the bottom of the sixth to retire USF after the Bulls were threatening with two on and one out in the stanza.
Rogers then fanned the first two South Florida batters in the bottom of the seventh and popped up the third to clinch the victory for the Orange and Blue.
Sophomore Katie Medina (Downey, Calif.) connected for UF’s first hit of the game in the third inning, while sophomore Briana Little (Middleburg, Fla.) also registered a hit on the evening with a double down the left-field line in the top of the seventh.
The Gators now return home to the friendly confines of Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium for just the second time this season for UF’s second home tournament of 2013. The Orange and Blue will host Drake, Mount St. Mary’s, FAMU and Presbyterian in the three-day tournament March 1-3 at KSP. The Gators will open the tournament Friday at 4 p.m. with Drake, followed by a 6:15 match-up with Mount St. Mary’s. All Gator games will be live on WYGC-FM 105 The Game, with audio streaming available on GatorZone.com. Live stats for all tournament games will be available on Gametracker.
All broadcast information, including GameTracker, radio and GatorVision live streaming links for the Gators this season can be found on UF’s schedule page.
Be sure to follow the Gators on Twitter and visit the team on Facebook for all the latest on Gator softball.
Texas A&M Remains Undefeated
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The No. 5 Texas A&M softball team (18-0) remained undefeated and ended its 11-game home stand with an 8-3 win over Sam Houston State (7-10) on Wednesday at the Aggie Softball Complex.
The bats heated up in the bottom of the third inning when the Aggies scored five runs on a two-RBI double by junior Nicole Morgan and a three-run home run by junior Cassie Tysarczyk. Junior Taran Tyler was the first to reach in the half-inning, sending a base hit up the middle and taking second on a bunt single by junior Emily Albus.
A Brittany Clopton single through the left side loaded the bags before Morgan capitalized with the shot to right field. Tysarczyk's long ball over the wall in right pushed Clopton and Morgan home for the 5-0 jump on the Bearkats. The first baseman was was 2-for-4 on the day.
Sam Houston State retaliated early in the fifth with a pair of doubles and two base hits that sent two runners home to narrow the score to 5-2. The Bearkats kept the momentum going in the top of the sixth when a home run over right gave the team their third and final run of the game.
A&M added three security runs in the bottom of the inning and ended the game with an 8-3 victory over Sam Houston State to sweep the split-site series between the regional rivals.
Junior Jenna Stark hit a one-out single to left-center and was replaced on the bags by junior Allison Garrett. A fielder's choice in the next at-bat was fruitless for SHSU as Tyler and Garrett were each safe. Albus singled down the line in left field to juice the bags.
Making the most of a pinch hit, freshman Breanna Dozier sent a base hit through the left side to score Garrett from third. With two outs, Morgan reached on an RBI fielder's choice that plated Tyler for the 7-3 run before a throwing error advanced the runners and sent Albus home for her second run of the day.
USA Softball National Player of the Week Mel Dumezich (12-0) earned the win, throwing four shutout innings with six strikeouts and handing out one hit and two walks. Sam Houston's Haley Baros (1-6) suffered the loss as she allowed seven earned runs on 11 hits and one walk while fanning five.
The Aggies travel to Orlando, Fla., this weekend for the Citrus Classic, playing five games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. A&M's first game of the weekend is at 2:30 p.m. CST vs. No. 13 Louisiana-Lafayette on ESPN3. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.
Alabama Blanks Samford
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Behind the right arm of sophomore Leslie Jury, the top-ranked Alabama softball team blanked Samford, 11-0, Wednesday night at Rhoads Stadium. With the win, the Crimson Tide improves to 17-0 on the season.
Jury (6-0) held a no-hitter until the fifth and final inning, allowing just an infield single with one out in the fifth. Jury struck out two and walked one for her third straight shutout, and fourth in seven starts.
Alabama took advantage of four Samford (6-7) errors and banged out 10 hits, led by junior Kaila Hunt, who tallied two hits and two RBI. Senior Kayla Braud also collected two hits, scored twice and drove in one while junior Jackie Traina banged out two hits and had an RBI. On her birthday, sophomore Danielle Richard hit her second home run of the year and scored twice.
Alabama opened the scoring in the first frame when the Tide plated two runs. Braud started the game off on an infield single and later scored on a double by Hunt. The double was her sixth on the season. Hunt then scored on a shallow hit to center off the bat of Traina.
The Tide added three more in the second to take a 5-0 lead. Two scored on an error by the first baseman before Hunt drove in her second of the game on a base hit through the left side.
UA continued its scoring ways with two more in the third. After loading the bases, senior Keima Davis took a walk to plate Richard and then Braud walked to score sophomore Chaunsey Bell.
The Tide capped off its scoring with four runs in the fourth. UA took advantage of another Samford error that scored freshman pinch-runner Andrea Hawkins before Richard unloaded on her second home run in as many games, this one a two-run shot over the wall in left. A double by junior Molly Fichtner scored freshman pinch-runner Kallie Case to plate the 11th and final run for the Tide.
Alabama will continue its homestand when it hosts South Alabama on Thursday. First pitch is slated for 5 p.m., at Rhoads Stadium.