OXFORD, Miss. -- Sometimes in sports you just need a little magic, and Saturday afternoon it was freshman Alyssa Gonzalez who provided that and much more with a thrilling and historic walk-off 3-run home run to lift No. 22 Ole Miss to a 3-2 victory and sweep over No. 11 LSU.
The Rebels (30-13, 6-9 SEC) entered the weekend having never won a series over the Tigers (32-12, 8-7 SEC), but two shutouts later, and another epic walk-off gave Ole Miss its first ever sweep over its rival, and first sweep over a ranked SEC team in school history.
In front of the sixth-largest crowd in school history, the two sides were again locked in a close game all day, as LSU took an early lead with single runs in the first and third frames. The Tigers went up 1-0 in the first off an RBI single, and again scored in the third after another RBI single.
But, it was the Rebels' seventh inning rally that would make all the difference. Grayce Majam, who earned just her second start of the season, made the most of it with a 1-out single through the right side to start the rally. Dylinn Stancil then pinch hit and rolled a grounder to third, when the third baseman's force attempt to second was off line keeping everybody safe. That's when Gonzalez stepped in and crushed a pinch hit, 3-run blast just inside the left field pole, walking it off for the Rebels.
In the circle, it was junior RHP Kaitlin Lee, who again went the distance in her eighth consecutive complete game, allowing just two LSU runs off eight hits with a pair of strikeouts. She picked up her 12th win of the season, and third-in-a-row allowing only two runs in the series across 16.2 innings.
Gonzalez, Majam, Elantra Cox, Sarah Van Schaik and Ashton Lampton all had one hit each in the win, as Kaylee Horton, Paige McKinney and Gonzalez scored the three runs on the walk-off.
• Ole Miss swept LSU for the first time in program history, and earned its first ever sweep over a ranked SEC opponent.
• The walk-off marked the second of the series, and sixth of the season as the Rebels picked up their eighth win over a top 25 opponent, and fourth in the last seven games.
• Freshman Alyssa Gonzalez has now hit a home run in two-straight SEC series, launching the fourth of her career, and collected her first collegiate walk-off hit.
• Junior RHP Kaitlin Lee worked her eighth consecutive complete game, and 12th overall, which is the second-longest streak of any pitcher in school history. She ran her consecutive scoreless inning streak to 20.1 into the first inning, which ranks fourth all-time.
• Junior OF Elantra Cox extended her hit streak to 13 games, tied for second longest in program history. She also inches closer to the season hits record set just last season, now with 69, seven away from tying and eight from breaking it.
• The rowdy crowd of 1,049 ranks as the sixth-largest in school history, and largest this season.
• Ole Miss claimed win No. 30 on the season, securing its third-straight 30-win season under third-year head coach Mike Smith, and fourth overall in school history.
• With one of the top three toughest schedules in the nation over the last three weeks, the Rebels have now won six of their last nine SEC contests.
• A day after earning career win No. 100 as Ole Miss' head coach, Mike Smith is now just one away from career win No. 850.
• In the last two weeks alone, Ole Miss has won four games against teams that appeared in the 2016 WCWS, and still have a series left against No. 9 Alabama, who also played in last season's WCWS.
• Ole Miss also claimed its 17th home win on Saturday, which is second-most in a single season behind only last year's team who won 21.
• The Rebels' pitching staff finished the series with LSU with two shutouts, two complete games, two earned runs, 16 hits, seven strikeouts, and a .198 average against across 22 innings. Lee went 16.2 innings on the weekend with a pair of wins and a save, while Bruce worked a combined shutout and went 1-0.