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No. 24 MSU drops SEC Series at Ole Miss

OXFORD, Miss. – On a day in which just one game was scheduled, the No. 24 Mississippi State softball team (22-8, 4-5 SEC) ended up playing and dropping a twin-billing vs. Ole Miss (17-13, 2-7 SEC) on Saturday at the Ole Miss Softball Complex.

State dropped game one 8-7 in nine innings, before falling 14-8 in the night cap.

The Bulldogs now lead the all-time series 38-22 and have posted a 16-12 mark vs. the Rebels in Oxford.

GAME ONE: Ole Miss 8, MSU 7 (9 innings) 

For the second time in as many days, Ole Miss jumped out front of State early with a two-run home run in the bottom of the first to go up 2-0.

The Rebels padded their lead in the third with two more runs, doubling their advantage and bringing the count to 4-0 on a timely hit and base on balls.

Having struggled to break through against the Ole Miss pitching and defense, State remained scoreless, which allowed the home team to extend their lead to five on a wild pitch in the bottom of the fourth.

With the opportunity to draw closer in the top of the sixth, the Bulldogs did just that as a pair of base hits, a fielder’s choice and a walk brought four runs across, cutting into the deficit and bringing the score to 5-4.

In an attempt to avoid another MSU comeback, Ole Miss answered with a run in the sixth to make it a 6-4 lead heading into the seventh.

Down to its final out once again, State went back to chipping away at the Rebel lead in the seventh. Singles from freshman Morgan Bell and junior Kayla Winkfield helped knot the game up at six and extend the game.

After a scoreless eighth, the action heated up in the ninth as MSU took a 7-6 lead in the top half of the ninth. With sophomore Alexis Silkwood in line for the win, the Rebels assembled a two-run rally that resulted in an 8-7 walk-off win.

In 2.2 innings of relief work, Silkwood (16-5) struck out three, in addition to having allowed two runs on two hits in the losing effort. Madi Osias (3-7) went 3.2 innings in a relief-work victory for Ole Miss and allowed four runs on four hits.

GAME TWO: Ole Miss 14, MSU 8 

Just as they had done in the first two games of the series, the Rebels drew first blood. This time with a three-run home run to left in the first inning. The floodgates then opened as five additional runs followed with help from two Bulldog errors. The result was an 8-0 Ole Miss lead after one.

Continuing what had been a roller-coaster series throughout, State’s bats made some noise in the top half of the second as 10 Bulldog batters combined for five runs on four hits, cutting into the deficit and making it 8-5 through one and a half.

Ole Miss would tack on two more in the second and two more in the third, all with two outs to bring the lead to 12-5.

Senior Julia Echols would not be phased by the scoreboard as she launched a ball over the wall in right field to set the score at 12-7 with her two-run jack.

With one final chance to extend the game after Ole Miss added two insurance runs, the Bulldogs were able to load the bases, but only plate one before falling 14-8 to drop the series.

Kayla Landwehrmier (2-0) went 5.0 innings in relief and held MSU to three runs on 10 hits, along with one walk and one strikeout. Silkwood (16-6) suffered the loss as she gave up five hits for eight runs, four earned, in one inning of work.

MSU will play two more against a program of the Magnolia State as the Bulldogs will travel for a doubleheader at Southern Miss on Wednesday, March 25. Game one will begin at 4 p.m. CT with the second game to begin approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one.

 MSU Media Relations