The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

Rebels headed to first SEC Championship game

1119 days ago
SEC Network
Photo: Ole Miss Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- No. 8 seed Ole Miss is heading to the SEC championship game for the first time in school history after beating No. 5 seed Alabama 4-1 in the semifinals.

A scrappy Ole Miss team has gotten hot at the right time, winning seven of their last eight games and has become the first eight seed to reach the finals in SEC Tournament history.

The Rebels have been riding the arm of RHP Kaitlin Lee (19-10), who has pitched all 21 innings of the tournament, only allowing two runs. Lee had a 1.81 ERA against Alabama, despite allowing seven hits and only striking out two batters in what she said was one of her toughest games of the year.

"These kids, they just saw me two weeks ago," Lee said. "That was probably my toughest game I've ever thrown. They know what's coming at them nine times out of ten. My main goal was just to spin it as hard as I could and trust my legs."

The Rebels offense also did its part, putting the Tide on their heels early. Ole Miss accumulated five hits and three runs in the first two innings against RHP Sydney Littlejohn (15-8) to give them a 3-0 lead.

Miranda Strother's second-inning run was the 136th of her career, giving her sole possession over most runs scored in Ole Miss program history.

Ole Miss senior Dakota Matiko extended the lead to 4-0 with a solo home run in the top of the fifth, her first of the year and just her sixth hit of the season.

This is the third time in the past four years Alabama has been eliminated in the semifinals.

UP NEXT: The Rebels will face the winner of the second semifinal matchup between No. 2 seed Auburn and No. 6 seed LSU airing at 2 pm ET on ESPN2. The championship game is scheduled for 8 pm ET today on ESPN.