Softball Closes Out Perfect Record at Ole Miss Classic
Rebel Pitching Staff Stays Dominant with Pair of Shutouts
OXFORD, Miss. – Finishing off a 7-0 week at home, Ole Miss (14-7) picked up a pair of shutout victories over the Indiana State Sycamores (4-9) on Sunday, finishing off a clean sweep of its 2021 Ole Miss Classic Slate.
GAME ONE | Ole Miss 3, Indiana State 0
Behind a record-tying pitching performance from Diederich, Ole Miss set aside the Sycamores in the early game, winning 3-0 for the fourth shutout of the weekend.
The Sycamores had no answer for Diederich, who’s stuff in the circle was beyond lethal. The righty hurler matched the school-record for single game strikeouts, fanning 15 Indiana State batters. In all, the California native surrendered just four hits and a walk in seven complete.
After trading scoreless frames through the first three innings, the Rebels broke through in the fourth to do all of their damage for the game. Blaise Biringer, Paige Smith and Sydney Gutierrez led off the inning with three, straight singles, with Biringer coming around to open scoring. A Jessica Puk sacrifice fly and Nyomi Jones ground out scratched across two more runs, putting the Rebs ahead 3-0.
Indiana State was able to put a pair of runners on in both the fifth and sixth innings but Diederich was up to the task, coming up with clutch strikeouts to escape danger. With one strikeout already recorded in the seventh, the junior clipped the corner for strike three and the final out, finishing off a marvelous afternoon on the rubber.
GAME TWO | Ole Miss 3, Indiana State 0
Much the same as Diederich before her, Borgen was electric on the rubber in leading the Rebs over the Sycamores in the second game of the day, running her scoreless innings streak to 23.
The left hander garnered her third-straight complete game shutout, all in the span of five days. Borgen allowed just four hits in the affair, striking out four in seven strong innings of work.
Making her first start of the season, Kacey Hvitved took full advantage off her opportunity in the third inning, leading off with a no-doubt bomb over the center field fence, giving Ole Miss a 1-0 lead it would cling onto for much of the game.
In the seventh, the Rebels were able to break through again, with Mikayla Allee clubbing a two-run double to left-center to bring in a pair of pinch runners in Tate Whitley and Raegan Cheyne. As she had the rest of the afternoon, Borgen took care of the rest, striking out a pair of Sycamores and setting down the side in order to finish off the win.
• Junior pitcher Savannah Diederich tied the school record with 15 strikeouts in game one of the doubleheader, becoming the fourth Rebel to accomplish the feat and the first since Lindsey Perry in 2011.
• It was the second time Diederich set a new career high in strikeouts over the weekend after fanning 11 batters against Samford on Friday. Diederich now ranks tied for fourth in the SEC in total strikeouts with 65.
• Going 2-for-3 in the first game of the day, Blaise Biringer posted multiple hits for the third straight game and fifth in the last eight contests.
• Anna Borgen pitched her third consecutive complete game shutout in the game two win over Indiana State. The left hander currently has an active scoreless innings streak of 23, tied for the third longest streak in program history.
• The performance dropped Borgen’s season ERA to 0.51, the third lowest in the SEC
• In 46 innings during the week, the Ole Miss pitching staff allowed just a single run in seven games, picking up 54 strikeouts along the way.
• Sophomore Paige Smith batted .600 during the Ole Miss Classic, recording at least one hit in all six games. The Rebel third baseman posted two home runs and a double over the weekend, leading the team with six runs scored while driving in three more.
• Ole Miss extends its home non-conference winning streak to 34 games. The Rebels have not lost at the Ole Miss Softball Complex to a non-conference foe since 2018.
Ole Miss will have a tough midweek non-conference matchup on its hands Wednesday night in Oxford, hosting South Alabama at 5 p.m. CT. The game will be streamed live on SEC Network +.
(Article courtesy of Ole Miss Media Relations)
(Feature image credit: Ole Miss Softball)
Evelyn has covered sports for over two decades, beginning her journalism career as a sports writer for a newspaper in Austin, Texas. She attended Texas A&M and majored in English. Evelyn’s love for Ole Miss began when her daughter Katie attended the university on a volleyball scholarship. Evelyn created the Rebel Walk in 2013 and has served as publisher and managing editor since its inception.