Tigers notch first series win against Ole Miss

Kimberly Wert recorded two RBIs in the Tigers’ win over Ole Miss.
Mizzou infielder Jazmyn Rollin slides into second base against Ole Miss. | Photo courtesy of Twitter @MizzouSoftball

Missouri softball (18-6, 2-0 SEC), picked up its first series victory on Saturday, defeating Ole Miss (12-12, 0-2 SEC 6-1).

The Tigers raked against the Rebels for the second straight outing, totaling 10 hits and five walks with a .400 batting average as a team. Missouri has scored 15 runs against Ole Miss in two games.

In the bottom of the first, junior Kimberly Wert laced a single to right field, bringing sophomore Jazmyn Rollin home and putting the Tigers up 1-0 . Rollin brought home freshman Megan Moll with a single in the second, then proceeded to steal second.

Ole Miss struggled at the plate early. Freshman pitcher Emma Nichols continued her strong debut season in her first conference start, blanking the Rebels through four innings, only allowing one hit and one walk.

“Emma Nichols threw an outstanding one-hitter into the fifth inning,” coach Larissa Anderson said. “She kept the game close and I thought our at-bats were great the entire way through the lineup.”

Heading into the fourth inning, the Tigers opened up the scoring, building a cushion from the Rebels. Junior Hatti Moore hit a sacrifice flyout to center for one of Missouri’s runs. On the next at-bat, Wert doubled to deep right, giving the Tigers a 4-0 lead.

Ole Miss jump-started the offense in the top of the fifth; a walk, a single and a hit by pitch loaded the bases for Jessica Puk, who scored the Rebels’ only run against the Tigers on Friday. Puk RBI singled to left, scoring the first run for the Rebels.

“The biggest thing is keeping her off base,” Anderson said.

Freshman pitcher Emma Schumacher replaced Nichols and immediately registered an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded, averting disaster for the Tigers.

In the sixth inning, sophomore Kendyll Bailey’s sacrifice single brought home two runs, extending Missouri’s lead to 6-1.

Senior closer Eli Daniel notched her fifth save of the season in the top of the seventh, securing the Tigers’ second SEC victory of the season. Nichols picked up her first SEC win of the season, improving to 3-2 overall.

“One of our goals this year is to win every series,” Anderson said. “With a win today we won the series and we’re going to go out tomorrow and try to sweep.”

The Tigers will play for their first series sweep on Sunday against Ole Miss.

Edited by Wilson Moore | wmoore@themaneater.com

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