OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) – Ole Miss (10-2) and SIUE (4-2) were locked in a tight battle much of the game before the Rebels capitalized on a couple of Cougar errors in the fifth for a five-run inning to take command late and earn a 6-1 victory at the Ole Miss Softball Complex on Monday.
Freshman Anna Borgen made the start in the circle for the Rebels and was effective, allowing one earned run on two hits in her four innings of work, striking out three along the way. Kaitlin Lee entered the game to start the fifth inning and shut down SIUE, allowing just three hits over her three frames to earn her seventh win of the season.
Just like the day before, the Rebels’ leadoff hitter, Elantra Cox, got on board to start the game and caused havoc for the Cougars. Cox hit a sharp single through the right side and proceeded to steal both second and third. Autumn Gillespie, foreshadowing a big day for the 6-1 catcher, delivered a clutch two-out double to right-center, plating Cox to open scoring.
Borgen was moving right along before running into a bit of trouble in the fourth. Bailley Concatto singled up the middle to start the stanza and came around to tie the ball game on an RBI double off the bat of Tess Eby.
The Rebels, however, would get the last laugh. After Amanda Roth walked with one-out in the fifth, Cox reached on a two-base throwing error by SIUE pitcher Ashley Koziol to put two runners in scoring position. Kylan Becker brought pinch runner Bry Castro in to regain the lead, reaching herself on a fielding error at short.
With two extra outs in hand, Ole Miss capitalized, scoring a pair on a Celeste Wood double off of the wall in left. During the next at-bat, Gillespie sat on an inside pitch and didn’t miss when it came, send the ball cascading over the left field fence for a two-run bomb to make it 6-1 in favor of the Rebs.
SIUE had a chance to cut into the lead, loading the bases in the top of the sixth. Instead, Lee induced a ground out to Paige McKinney at short to get out of the jam. Lee put down the Cougars in order in the seventh to secure Ole Miss’ sixth-straight win.
With a couple of home games under its belt, Ole Miss remains on its home field this coming weekend, hosting Chattanooga, Saint Louis, Southern Miss and UT Martin for the Ole Miss Classic March 2-4.
The five runs scored in the fifth inning were the most scored by Ole Miss in a single inning this season.
Autumn Gillespie finished the day 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a run scored.
Gillespie’s fifth-inning home run was the first long ball registered by the UCF transfer in a Rebel uniform.
With a 1-for-2 showing at the plate, Elantra Cox has registered a hit in eight of her last 13 at-bats over the last four games.
During that time, Cox has posted a .769 on-base percentage and has scored six runs.
Kaitlin Lee improved to 7-0 on the year, the most wins without a loss to start a season since Morgan Bruce also went 7-0 last season.