COLUMBIA, Mo. - Lexie Brady and Mya Stevenson came up with a pair of clutch hits in the seventh inning, and Catelyn Riley slammed the door to help Ole Miss softball come back and even the series with a 7-6 win over Missouri Sunday afternoon at the Mizzou Softball Stadium.
Trailing by a run going into the top of the seventh, the Rebels (25-19, 4-10 SEC) rallied their way to victory, putting up a five spot. Brady drove in a pair with her first hit of the game, and Stevenson pinch-hit a batter later and cleared the bases with a double in the gap to give Ole Miss its first lead of the game. Grace Sparks earned the victory, her third of the season, throwing 2.0 innings in relief.
Through the first four innings it looked like both teams were settling into a pitcher's duel. Whitley singled in the first, but Mizzou (25-19, 4-13 SEC) rolled a double play to escape. Lassiter laid down a bunt single the following inning but was stranded on the basepaths.
Kliethermes was impressive the first time through the Mizzou order. She retired the first 10 batters she faced in order to start the game before running into trouble in the bottom half of the fourth. The Tigers first hit of the game and a walk put two runners on, and both advanced on a wild pitch to move into scoring position with one out. Mizzou drew first blood, scoring on a sacrifice fly to take a 1-0 lead before the Rebels could get out of the inning. Missouri added a pair of unearned runs in the fifth inning, loading the bases, but Sparks minimized the damage and got Ole Miss out of the inning.
With six outs to work with, the Rebel offense started to turn the gears. Nyomi Jones singled to lead off the sixth inning, and Paige Smith gave Ole Miss life with a two-run home run.
After a one-two-three inning from Sparks, the Rebels looked to rally again. Keila Kamoku and Jalia Lassiter led off the inning with back-to-back walks, and Mikayla Allee was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Still with no outs in the frame, Brady stepped to the plate and delivered the go-ahead base hit with a two-RBI single up the middle. Still rallying, Brooke Barnard pinch-hit for Jones and drew an eight-pitch walk to reload the bases. With a big opportunity, the Rebels pinch-hit Stevenson, who emptied the bases with a double in the gap.
Missouri didn't go away without a fight in the bottom of the seventh. The Tigers loaded the bases with one out and scored on a run on a fielder's choice and a two-run single to cut the lead to one, but Riley locked in to force the groundout and secure the victory.
The Rebels and Tigers will play for the series on Monday night at 7 p.m. ET on SEC Network.