OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) - Ole Miss (16-13, 2-8 SEC) battled hard against 10th ranked Auburn (32-6, 6-4 SEC) Friday night but the Tigers were able to strike late to take game one of the series at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.
Rebel righty Kaitlin Lee pitched well in the circle but was saddled with the loss after allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits and a walk over seven innings, striking out four. On the other side, AU's Kaylee Carlson surrendered just the lone run in a complete-game effort.
The Tigers got on the board first in the second inning with an unearned run. Alyssa Rivera led off the frame with a slicing single to left and advanced to second on a fielding error by Elantra Cox. Rivera scored later on as Justus Perry sent a single to left, putting Auburn ahead early.
Ole Miss battled right back, tying the game in the home half. Abbey Latham blooped a double into left-center field and Kylan Becker reached on a high-hop to set up the opportunity. Paige McKinney made it pay off with a grounder to second, allowing plenty of time for Latham to come home.
The two teams traded zeroes through the next three frames, though the Rebels had to work to get out of the fifth unscathed. Tanon Snow got things started with a leadoff double into the left-center field gap but Lee was able to produce three subsequent outs to strand Snow at second.
However, Auburn broke the tie in the very next inning. After getting ahead 0-2, Lee gave up a two-out walk to Kendall Veach and Rivera made her pay on the very next pitch with a two-run blast over the right field fence.
Ole Miss was unable to bounce back this time as Carlson retired the final six batters of the game to lock up the series-opener.
The Rebels and Tigers will face off again tomorrow in game two. The game is scheduled for 4 p.m. and will be streamed live on SEC Network +.