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TROY, Ala. – Saturday was one of those all-or-nothing days for Ole Miss at the Trojan Classic.
The day started with the glass half full game as the Rebels whipped Belmont 10-2. In game two, however, the glass shattered, and the Rebels fell to UAB, 13-5.
In the first game, Ole Miss exploded for ten runs and ten hits in the six-inning game.
Jessica Puk hit her second homer of the weekend while Paige Smith and Ally Mena blasted their first home runs of the season.
— Fro_40 (@AngieFro40) February 13, 2021
Puk finished with three hits, while Tate Whitley had a pair including a double.
Savannah Diederich was the beneficiary of the offensive explosion as she struck out nine hitters in just four innings to earn her second win of the year.
A disastrous inning doomed the Rebels in the nightcap that saw UAB take a 13-5 win in five innings.
Ole Miss had a 4-2 lead after pulling off a double steal with Blaise Biringer and Kaitlin Cooper. But then the wheels fell off.
The Blazers made their rally in the third when the first two batters reached base. Diederich came out of the bullpen and let loose a wild pitch to put runners at second and third with no outs.
The Rebels’ second wild pitch chased in a run and advanced the other runner to third and tightened the score to 4-3. A second hit batter of the inning loaded the bases with still no outs. The Blazers tied the game when Alvarez could not come up with a throw at first to even things and keep runners on the corners.
Both runners easily scored when Olivia Valbak tripled down the right-field line to give UAB a 6-4 lead and bring in Lindsey Johnson to pitch for Ole Miss.
Volbak trotted home on a single to move the Blazers’ lead to 7-4.
Two outs later, UAB scored again on a double by Analyse Petree to move the score to 8-4.
In the disastrous inning, six runs scored on just four hits. There were two errors, two wild pitches and three hit batters.
The Rebels got two runners on in the bottom half but could not score and the score remained the same. UAB added five more runs in the fourth inning.
Ole Miss rebounded in the bottom half of the frame scoring a run when Biringer singled in Nyomi Jones to provide the 13-5 final score.
Abbey Latham finished 2-for-3 at the plate with a pair of runs batted in, while Whitley was 2-for-2 and also drew a walk.
Diederich took the loss to run her record to 2-1 on the young season.
The Rebels are 2-2 and will play in the FAU Strikeout Cancer Tournament beginning Friday in Boca Raton, Fla. Ole Miss will take on Iowa State and Florida Atlantic both Friday and Saturday and will play FAU again Sunday.
The home season begins Feb. 23 in Oxford when Alabama State comes to town.
(Feature image credit: Ole Miss Softball)
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.