College softball: Mississippi's walk-off home run lifts Rebels past No. 5 Georgia
OXFORD, Miss. - It was Star Wars Night at the Ole Miss Softball Complex and freshman Amanda Roth surely had the force with her, spearheading a 4-3 Rebel victory over No. 5 Georgia with a walk-off home run in the seventh inning.
It was the second walk-off big fly for the freshman this season, putting the cherry on top of a 3-for-3 performance at the plate, registering three of Ole Miss' four RBIs in the game.
The Rebels (29-21, 6-16 SEC) picked up a crucial SEC victory to bolster their chances of earning a spot in the SEC Tournament. The win over the fifth-ranked Bulldogs (42-9, 15-7 SEC) will also go a long way in potentially securing a third-consecutive bid to the NCAA Championships for Ole Miss.
After surrendering a pair of runs to Georgia in the opening frame, starting pitcher Kaitlin Lee regrouped to hold a prolific Bulldog offense to just three runs on five hits, striking out three in the first game of her final series in Oxford.
Georgia jumped ahead early, scoring a pair of runs in the first on an RBI single by Justice Milz and a muffed catch at first base by Alex Schneider.
However, instead of letting the early deficit snowball, the Rebels battled back and took the lead in the second. Autumn Gillespie got Ole Miss on the board with a single to the pitcher to score Schneider from third. It had seemed that Paige McKinney had followed with an inside-the-park home run but the senior was called out of the box on the contact, resulting in an out.
Faced with even more adversity, Roth didn't bat an eye. The Carrollton, Texas native lofted a double into right field, bringing in Dylinn Stancil and Gillespie to put the Rebs up 3-2 heading into the third.
Milz again came through for the Bulldogs in the fifth, blooping an RBI-single to left field to tie the game at three runs apiece. The Rebels loaded the bases in the bottom half but were unable to regain the lead.
That changed in the final stanza when Roth got a hold of an inside pitch and smacked her team-leading sixth homer of the season into the fans behind the wall to give the Rebels a critical 4-3 victory.
The Rebels and Bulldogs will face off again Saturday in Oxford at 4 p.m. It will be Senior Day for Ole Miss as the Rebels honor their seven seniors playing in their final series at the Ole Miss Softball Complex. Fans that can't be in attendance can watch the game on SEC Network +.
- Friday's victory was just the sixth come-from-behind win of the season for Ole Miss.
- The Rebels improve to a perfect 22-0 on the season when outhitting their opponent.
- Ole Miss is also 14-2 in 2018 when registering at least one home run.
- Ole Miss' leadoff batter reached safely in 4-of-7 innings.
- A key to the win was senior Kaitlin Lee's ability to finish off innings. The righty retired all seven batters she faced with two outs.
- Freshman Amanda Roth was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate, her second three-hit game of the season. The third baseman also collected three RBIs on the night for the second time in 2018.
- Roth has been the artist behind two of Ole Miss' three walk-off home runs this season. The freshman also went yard to caputure the 3-2 victory over Auburn. Senior Alex Schneider also registered a walk off earlier in the year to defeat Lamar.