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Latham’s Grand Slam powers Ole Miss past Mississippi State in SEC Softball Tournament

Latham’s Grand Slam powers Ole Miss past Mississippi State in SEC Softball Tournament

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – It is not often a team is outhit 12-4 and commits more errors than its opponent—but yet still wins the game in its conference tournament.

The Ole Miss softball team pulled that off in a 9-4 win over arch-rival Mississippi State in the Rebels’ first game in the SEC Softball Tournament Thursday afternoon at Davis Diamond. The nine runs scored by Ole Miss are the most in program history in an SEC tournament game.

Ole Miss advances to play Kentucky in the second round Friday at 10 a.m. (CT). UK is the tourney’s fourth seed, while the Rebels are seeded fifth in the event.

To advance, Ole Miss used timely hitting to explode for seven runs on just three hits to erase a 3-1 deficit in the home half of the fourth inning.

Abbey Latham provided the big hit of the rally, her eighth home run of the season. This one was a grand slam that took the heart out of the Bulldogs and led to the end of the MSU season.

In the fourth, Kaylee Horton opened the rally by drawing a leadoff walk and it was followed by back-to-back singles from Jessica Puk and Horton. All-SECFreshman Tate Whitley then singled up the middle to score Horton. Katelyn Cooper came on to pinch run for Puk, and she moved to third and Whitley to second when Amanda Roth reached base after being hit by a pitch.

Mikayla Allee followed by drawing a four-pitch walk to earn the RBI when Cooper scored. A batter later, Whitley crossed the plate on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Kylan Becker who reached first safely to keep the bases loaded.

That set the stage for Latham to blast a 1-0 pitch over the left-field wall to give the Rebels a comfortable 8-3 lead.

In that pivotal fourth inning, the Rebels had the first six batters reach base and after Latham’s homer, Ole Miss added another runner on a walk to Brittany Finney.

All told, there were just three hits, but two walks, a hit batter and a runner reaching on a fielder’s choice. 

That is how a team can be outhit 12-4 and still win going away–especially if you throw in a couple of nice plays in the field.

Molly Jacobsen started for the Rebels, surrendering three earned runs and seven hits while striking out one hitter. Finney came on and gave up five hits in the final five innings to earn the win.

Other tournament action

In other action in the tourney, Florida edged South Carolina, 6-5; Auburn shut out Mizzou, 3-0; and Georgia topped Arkansas, 4-1.

Friday’s games feature Florida-LSU, Auburn-Tennessee and Georgia-Alabama.

All games are set to be broadcast on the SEC Network.

About The Author

Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers. He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio. A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series. Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time. He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk. Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.

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