OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) - Amanda Roth failed to record a hit in the first 15 at bats of her collegiate career but once the freshman got her first base knock the flood gates opened. Roth went a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate Friday night, including a pair of home runs, to help power No. 17 Ole Miss (11-2) past UT Martin (6-10) in five innings on the opening day of the Ole Miss Classic.
With her three-hit night, all of which went for extra-bases, Roth finished with a 3.333 slugging percentage in the game. While the freshman's bat was hot, she certainly didn't provide the only offense. Fellow freshman Abbey Latham knocked in a run and scored a run during her 2-for-3 night, while Alex Schneider posted a 2-for-2 showing at the dish, crossing the plate twice and registering an RBI.
Meanwhile, Kaitlin Lee didn't have all of her top-notch stuff in the circle but none the less was able to garner the win. The veteran scattered the offensive production of UT Martin around and held the Skyhawks to a pair of runs on six hits, working around a pair of Rebel errors.
As it had done in five of its previous 12 games, Ole Miss struck in the opening frame with two runs in the first. Autumn Gillespie got the scoring started with a single up the middle, sending Kylan Becker across the plate from third. Latham followed with an RBI single of her own, lacing a ball into left to plate Celeste Wood.
It appeared as though the Skyhawks would have a response in the second after loading the bases with no outs but Lee was up to the challenge. The senior induced a pop out to Schneider at first and a pair of routine fly outs to get out of the jam and keep UTM off the board.
The Rebs went right back to work in the home half, doubling their lead when Roth followed Schneider's leadoff single with a frozen rope to left that narrowly cleared the fence. Following a UTM run in the third, Ole Miss tacked on two more in the bottom half when Latham scored on a throwing error and Ally Mena came home on a Schneider sacrifice fly.
Ole Miss again capitalized on a Skyhawk mistake in the fourth, taking advantage of an extra out to increase its lead by one when Becker came home on a fielder's choice off the bat of Mena. However, the Skyhawks were able to get the run back in the top of the fifth on an RBI double by Alexis Rogers.
In the end it wouldn't matter as the Rebels plated three runs in the next half inning to secure the win via the run-rule. In near de'ja vu fashion, Schneider led off the stanza with a single and Roth once again brought her in with a deep fly over the left field wall. After a Becker walk and an Izzy Werdann single, Brittany Finney ended the contest with a sacrifice fly to left, bringing Becker in for the walk-off.
The Ole Miss Classic continues Saturday with a slate of four games. The Rebels will play a pair, taking on Saint Louis at 3 p.m. and Chattanooga at 5:30 p.m. Both games will be available on SEC Network +.
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