Stevenson's hot bat helps Ole Miss secure victory
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Ole Miss softball snapped its five-game skid in a big way, run-ruling Southern Miss 9-1 in five innings Wednesday evening at the Southern Miss Softball Complex.
The Rebels (14-11, 0-3 SEC) bounced back in a big way, dominating Southern Miss (15-6, 0-0 Sun Belt) in the in-state midweek showdown. Three Rebels, Aynslie Furbush, Keila Kamoku and Mya Stevenson, registered multi-hit games as five of Ole Miss' nine hits went for extra bases. In the circle, Furbush earned her team-leading sixth victory of the season, going 2.1 innings in relief with four strikeouts.
Tate Whitley did what she does best in the leadoff spot, working a walk to get her offense going. The senior advanced to second a few moments later on a wild pitch and came around to score with two outs on a Southern Miss error to give Kliethermes and the Rebels a 1-0 lead in the circle.
Ole Miss continued to apply pressure in the second. After Aynslie Furbush doubled to open the inning and Paige Smith followed her with a single. With one away in the frame, Whitley walked to load the bases for Rebel slugger Mya Stevenson. She delivered, sending a single right back up the middle to plate two. The Rebels tacked on another run the following inning as Furbush slapped another double to score Mikayla Allee.
Kliethermes kept the Golden Eagles off the board until the third inning when a walk and back-to-back singles turned into the first run for Southern Miss. Furbush took over in the circle after a walk loaded the bases, but she used a big punchout to end the threat.
The Rebels broke things open in the fourth, putting up a five spot. Whitley walked for the third time, and Jalia Lassiter laid down a bunt and used her speed to take an extra base on a throwing error. With runners in scoring position, Stevenson doubled off the wall in center field to drive in her third and fourth runs of the game. Keila Kamoku followed her with a double to right to score Jenna Lord, who pinch ran for Stevenson, and extended the lead to six runs.
Continuing to rally with only an out in the inning, Kamoku swiped third and stole home after Southern Miss attempted to catch Savana Sikes stealing. The Rebels continued to be crafty on the basepath, executing a double steal and scoring their ninth run of the game on a sacrifice fielder's choice.
Furbush cruised the rest of the way and slammed the door on Southern Miss capping off the run-rule victory with back-to-back strikeouts and a flyout.
Ole Miss returns to Oxford to host the Rebel Invitational March 17-19.