OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) - Ole Miss (16-14, 2-9 SEC) and Auburn (33-6, 7-4 SEC) both collected eight hits Saturday afternoon at the Ole Miss softball Complex. However, the Tigers were able to turn those hits into five runs, while the Rebels scored just once as Auburn took game two, 5-1, to clinch the series.
Freshman Anna Borgen lasted two innings in her 10th start of the season, taking the loss after allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk. Fellow freshman Ava Tillmann entered in relief and was effective over her five innings, allowing a pair of runs on four hits and one free pass.
After Morgan Podany led off the third inning with a single up the middle, Ole Miss committed some costly mistakes as Auburn tallied three runs to take the lead. Podany advanced to second on a passed ball and scored during the next at bat as Borgen's throw to first on Victoria Draper's come-backer was low, allowing Draper to advance all the way to third.
Draper then scored on a Casey McCrackin single up the middle before an error by Kaylee Horton at second put runners at the corners for the Tigers. A fielder's choice cut down McCrackin between third and home but the third run of the inning came home during the next at-bat as Courtney Shea crossed the plate on a ground out.
Auburn tacked on a couple more runs in the fifth, setting up the inning with a single, walk and another single to load the bases with no outs. A fly ball to Kylan Becker in the left-center gap was deep enough to score Draper on a sacrifice and shortly thereafter, McCrackin came in on Alyssa Rivera's single through the right side.
The Rebels answered back in the home half, scoring what would be their only run of the contest. Brittany Finney got things started with a double driven into the right-center field gap and Amanda Roth followed with a single off of the first baseman's glove. Kaylee Horton brought pinch-runner Bry Castro home later in the inning, smacking a ground out to second base.
A Gabby Alvarez walk and Finney single had the Rebels threatening in the sixth and Roth gave a ball a ride but her liner was right at the left fielder for the third out. Ole Miss again put a pair of runners on in the seventh after singles by Celeste Wood and Autumn Gillespie but the Rebels were unable to cash in on the opportunity.
The Rebels and Tigers will conclude the series on Sunday with a 1 p.m. ball game at the Ole Miss Soccer Complex. The game will be streamed live on SEC Network +. Following the game, the Rebels will be available for post-game autographs. Ole Miss will also be hosting an Easter Egg Hunt at the soccer practice field after the contest.
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