FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - No. 11 seed Ole Miss upset No. 6 seed LSU 5-3 with a two-run homer in the top of the 10th. Rebels infielder Paige Smith blistered a shot down the left field line and over the wall, bringing home Tate Whitley from first.
"My biggest thing was stay on top of the ball," said Smith. "My previous at bat I knew I missed it just barely so I knew I had to get on top of the ball early."
Rebels right-hander Aynslie Furbush (9-6) closed out the game, holding the Tigers hitless in the 10th. Centerfielder Jalia Lassiter secured the final out of the game with a leaping, circus-like catch as Ali Newland's fly ball approached the warning track.
"Our game starts with our pitchers in the circle," said infielder Savana Sikes. "If our pitcher goes out and we see her working hard then how do you not want to give the same type of energy back."
The Rebels got some assistance from the Tigers' defense at key moments in the game. The Rebels scored two runs in the third and one in the fifth, in large part due to a combined four errors by LSU across those two innings.
Furbush kept the Tigers at bay for the final 5.1 innings, holding them hitless, retiring 18 batters. The Rebels' defense supporting Furbush pulled their weight, with multiple spectacular plays made by Sikes, Tate and Lassiter.
"Defense wins championships," said Smith. "We take a lot of pride. We want to work hard for our pitchers. They keep us in games so we knew we had to make the plays behind them."
Ole Miss (30-25, 8-16 SEC) faces No. 3 seed Auburn (39-16, 15-9 SEC) on Thursday, May 11 in Game 6 of the SEC Tournament. The game airs on SEC Network at 11 am ET.
LSU (40-15, 13-11 SEC) awaits the NCAA Selection Show on Sunday night. The bracket for the NCAA Tournament will be released at 6 p.m. CT on ESPN2.