OXFORD, Miss. (Ole Miss Athletics/WTVA) - No. 17 Ole Miss (41-19) started fast in Friday's Game One of the NCAA Tucson Super Regional but couldn't hold on as the host Wildcats of No. 6 Arizona (46-12) earned a 5-2 victory at Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium.
Brittany Finney pitched effectively despite being saddled with the loss. The senior surrendered three earned runs (five total) off 12 hits in her six complete frames.
As has been the case so many times in 2019, Becker was the catalyst early. The senior led off the game with a single to left, eventually stealing second and third before coming home on a fielding error by the Wildcats. In the process, the Miami native became Ole Miss single season record holder for stolen bases with her 34th of the year.
After the Wildcats answered in the home half of the opening frame, Ole Miss regained the lead in the second through the legs of Becker. After the speedy outfielder reached on a two-out single, Abbey Latham roped a double down the left field line. Becker hit the afterburners, coming around all the way from first.
However, Arizona came back with an immediate response again, putting up a two-out rally of their own to tie the game on Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza's single to left. The Wildcats would go on to take the lead with a pair of runs in the fourth before a strong throw from Becker in center cut down Harper at the plat to end the inning.
Arizona went on to add another run of insurance in the fifth and Ole Miss was unable to mount a rally, dropping Game One to the home team.
The Rebels and Wildcats will return to Hillenbrand Stadium on Saturday for the second game of the Super Regional, squaring off at 7 p.m. CT. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
• Swiping a pair of bases in the first inning, Kylan Becker became Ole Miss single season stolen bases record holder with 34 in 2019.
• Becker has registered a hit in each game of the 2019 NCAA Softball Championship, extending her hitting-streak to six games.
• The 12 wildcat hits are the most surrendered by Ole Miss this postseason.