OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) - Ole Miss senior Kaitlin Lee has been named the SEC Pitcher of the Week after delivering two stellar performances on the way to MVP honors at the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge, announced Monday by the conference office.
The ace of the Rebel pitching staff played a tremendous role in Ole Miss finishing the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge with a 3-1 record, allowing no runs on just eight hits and striking out six over her 13-complete innings of work in wins over Texas and No. 3 Oregon.
Lee got the ball in the opener down south of the border for the Rebels, scattering four hits in four frames against Texas. With a 5-0 lead in hand following the fourth, Ole Miss turned the game over to the bullpen, closing out the contest with an 8-2 victory.
The real headliner came Saturday night in the main event of the challenge. Pitted against the mighty offense of the No. 3 ranked Oregon Ducks, Lee went toe-to-toe with Duck starter Megan Kleist, with both taking perfect games into the fourth inning.
While the Ole Miss offense was trying to get a feel for what Kleist was dealing, Lee kept throwing up zeroes on the scoreboard behind some excellent play from the defense behind her. After seven innings were in the books, there was still nothing to separate the two sides and the game went into extras.
In extras, international tiebreaker rules were in effect, meaning a runner was placed on second at the start of each half inning. Despite an immediate runner in scoring position, the Ducks still couldn’t crack the code on Lee to score any runs. Ole Miss walked off in the bottom of the ninth on a slap-single up the middle by Elantra Cox, plating Paige McKinney.
The pitcher of the week honor is the first of Lee’s Rebel career. The shutout performance over Oregon was the 11th of her career and the third in a game that went into extra innings.
After spending the first two weeks of the season on the road, Lee and the Rebels will make their home debut this weekend as hosts of the Red & Blue Classic, set for Feb. 23-25 at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.