COLUMBIA, Mo. - Behind two 3-run innings and a complete game shutout by Kaitlin Lee, No. 21 Ole Miss claimed game one of the series, 6-0, over Missouri Friday night.
The Rebels (35-17, 9-13 SEC) put only two hits outside the infield, but used their speed and quick play to pressure the Tigers (28-24, 6-15 SEC) in back-to-back innings. Lee, in her 28th start and 18th complete game, gave up just four Mizzou hits and saw solid defense behind her earning her seventh shutout.
The two teams cruised through the first four innings quickly with no score on either side as Mizzou had the only hit through four. But, Ole Miss turned up the heat in innings five and six with three hits each to sway the momentum.
Ole Miss started the fifth inning rally with a 1-out walk from Dylinn Stancil, before Ashton Lampton pinch ran, then Grayce Majam reached on a hit-by-pitch. Paige McKinney then ripped one of her two hits to short to load the bases. Courtney Syrett stepped in and drew a bases loaded walk for an RBI to score Lampton, putting the Rebels in front 1-0.
After Dominique Salinas pinch ran at first, Missouri turned to its second of three pitchers on the night in Danielle Baumgartner, who got a groundout back to her, then allowed an RBI infield single from Kylan Becker to score McKinney and make it 2-0. Strother kept the frame going when she singled to third to score Salinas, giving the road team a 3-0 advantage.
Missouri saw a pair of its fall its way in the home half after a single up the middle, then a blooper that fell behind the third base bag. But, a line drive went straight to Stancil at third to end the inning and keep the Tigers off the board.
The Rebels again plated three in the sixth off three hits and some help from Mizzou pitching. Kaylee Horton pinch hit and led off with a walk, before Stancil put down a sacrifice bunt moving her to second. After a groundout moved Horton to third, Mizzou turned to Parker Conrad in the circle, its third of the game. McKinney then reached on an infield single and scored Horton for a 4-0 lead, before Syrett stepped in and doubled off the wall in left to make it 5-0. Cox came up and also singled past third scoring Syrett, pushing the advantage to 6-0 capping the scoring.
McKinney was the only Rebel with multiple hits as she finished 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI, her fifth multi-hit game of the season. The top three hitters in the order - Cox, Becker and Strother - all had one hit each, and Syrett had one at the bottom of the lineup.
On Deck Ole Miss hosts in-state foe Southern Miss Wednesday for the home finale at 6 p.m. on SEC Network.