LEXINGTON, Ky. - The freezing rain couldn't cool off the hot Rebel bats as Ole Miss scored six unanswered runs to come back and take down No. 8 Kentucky, 7-6, Friday night at John Cropp Stadium. The victory over the Wildcats marks Ole Miss' second win over a top-10 in the last week.
After a 45-minute rain delay, the Rebels (29-9, 5-5 SEC) maintained their composure with a big day at the plate from Sydney Gutierrez, who went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and three runs batted in. In the circle, Catelyn Riley entered the game in the fourth inning and took over, striking out five over the final 3.2 innings.
Gutierrez and Ole Miss took advantage of an early Kentucky error in the second inning and cashed in on an RBI double to get on the board first. The Rebels once again put the Wildcats in a tough spot in the third, loading the bases, but a lineout helped the Wildcats escape unscathed.
In the field, the Rebels flashed the leather, with Gutierrez stealing a base hit and Tate Whitley making a leaping grab at the wall to rob a home run.
Kentucky finally got on the board in the fourth inning with a pair of two-run home runs to take the lead, but it wouldn't last long.
Ole Miss answered in the top of the fifth, plating three runs to pull even. Smith doubled to lead off the inning, and Allee followed her up, reaching on an error. With runners on the corners, Riley singled back up the middle on the first pitch she saw to cut the lead in half. Continuing to chip away, Gutierrez and Esparza hit back-to-back doubles to tie the game at four.
With the momentum on their side, the Rebels continued to rally. Whitley and Bre Roper reached base to lead off the inning and moved into scoring position on a pitch in the dirt. Ole Miss' all-time RBI leader, Abbey Latham, broke the tie with a fielder's choice that Whitley beat out at the plate. Allee and Gutierrez followed with big swings to help Ole Miss tack two more runs onto its lead.
The Wildcats scraped across to runs in the final frame, but Riley was unphased as the rain picked up, recording the final three outs of Ole Miss' second victory over a top-10 team in the last week.
Due to snow and ice expected in the Lexington area, Ole Miss' Saturday contest with Kentucky has been pushed back to 2 p.m. CT. The game will now air on SEC Network+.
- The victory marked Ole Miss' second win over a top-10 team in the last seven days. The Rebels shutout No. 9 Arkansas last Friday in Oxford.
- Ole Miss leadoff hitters were 5-for-7 in the contest.
- Catelyn Riley picked up her second SEC victory of the season, moving to 7-2 on the season.
- Sydney Gutierrez tied her career-high with three hits and three RBIs. She finished the game 3-for-4 at the plate.
- Gutierrez and Paige Smith each smoked two doubles in the win. Smith finished 2-for-4.