FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Ole Miss Athletics/WTVA) - Ole Miss battled hard but an Arkansas grand slam in the sixth was the dagger for the Rebels, who fell 8-3 Sunday afternoon to the Razorbacks at Bogle Park.
Freshman Ava Tillmann took the loss for Ole Miss (28-20, 5-15 SEC), allowing four runs on eight hits in her three innings of work. Anna Borgen took over in the fourth and got through her first two frames unscathed but ran into some trouble in the sixth, surrendering the bases-loaded big fly to the Razorbacks (36-11, 11-9 SEC).
Ole Miss struck quickly, with Elantra Cox getting things started with an infield single to lead off the ball game. The speedy outfielder moved to second on a grounder, stole third and was brought home on an infield single by Brittany Finney deep in the 5-6 hole.
The Rebels had a great chance to extend the lead in the second with Paige McKinney and Cox in scoring position with one out thanks to infield singles. However, the Razorback defense stepped up and turned a 4-2-4-2-5 double play to get out of the jam.
Ole Miss relinquished the lead to the Razorbacks in the third, surrendering four runs on an RBI double and a three-run home run, putting the Rebels in a 4-1 hole entering the fourth.
The Rebels responded in the fifth, hacking two runs off the deficit in loud fashion. After Celeste Wood laced a single to right field, Finney followed with a two-run blast crushed to straight-away center field, giving Ole Miss new life in a one-run ball game.
Ole Miss put the tying run at second to start the sixth as McKinney reached on an error at short and slid into second safely on another error in left field. However, back-to-back pop ups and a groundout ended the Rebels' bid to tie the game.
The Razorbacks then took the air out of the Rebels' tires, breaking the lead back open with a grand slam down the right field line, putting the deficit at 8-3. Arkansas closed out the game in the next half inning, collecting the final three outs.
Ole Miss and Arkansas will conclude the series on Monday at 6 p.m. The game is the SEC Game of the Week and will be featured on the SEC Network.