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Rebels squeak past Bulldogs 2-1

1456 days ago
SEC Staff
Photo: Ole Miss Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- No. 8 seed Ole Miss squeaked past in-state rival No. 9 seed Mississippi State 2-1 in Game 2 of the 2017 SEC Softball Tournament.

It was the first-ever meeting between the two teams in the SEC Tournament.

Kaitlin Lee (17-10) pitched a complete game, allowing one run off five hits with four K's.

"She's done exactly what she's done all year for us," said Ole Miss head coach Mike Smith. "I'm so proud of this team."

Lee jumped all over the Bulldog offense in the first, retiring the first three batters.

Ole Miss' leadoff hitter Elantra Cox singled to second facing a full count in the bottom of the first. Ole Miss' Sarah Van Schaik brought in Cox on an RBI single to put the Rebels up 1-0.

This was Cox's 44th run scored, a program single-season record.

Lee gave up a solo home run to leadoff batter Olivia Golden in the second, tying the game 1-1. Despite giving up two more hits, Lee escaped the side with no further damage done.

"I think that first home run kind of got me in the gut," said Lee. "I think my team had my back but that game was really fun."

Vann Stuedeman pulled starting pitcher Cassady Knudsen (9-4) as she struggled to close out the bottom of the second. After retiring the first batter, Knudsen hit Kaylee Horton with a pitch, then walked Courtney Syrett, opening the door for a Miranda Strother RBI single to put the Rebels up 2-1.

Senior left-hander Alexis Silkwood closed out the inning retiring Kylan Becker on a pop fly to left field.

Both offenses struggled over the next five innings, producing just six hits and no runs.

Smith was emotional after the game as he talked about his grandfather passing this morning.

"I know he was looking forward to our game today and I'm so thankful that I got to spend the time that I did with him," Smith said. "I'm sorry I'm so emotional. Grandpa, I love you and this game was for you. It really was."

UP NEXT: Ole Miss will face No. 1 seed Florida in Game 6 tomorrow. The first pitch is scheduled for approximately 2:30 pm ET on SEC Network.