Ole Miss softball drops Game 1 to UCLA
Published 9:37 am Friday, May 26, 2017
LOS ANGELES — Ole Miss was twice a strike away from victory Thursday night, but wound up a game away from elimination.
Ole Miss overcame a four-run deficit, but lost 8-7 in 11 innings to UCLA in Game 1 of their NCAA softball tournament super regional.
Game 2 of the best-of-three series is Friday at 8 p.m., and will be televised on ESPN.
Madeline Jelenicki’s RBI single in the bottom of the 11th inning finished a game that lasted 4 hours, 5 minutes and featured a hundred twists and turns.
Ole Miss (43-19) scored five runs in the top of the sixth inning to wipe out a 4-0 deficit, but UCLA tied it on a wild pitch with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.
Ole Miss took and lost another lead in the 10th inning, before Jelenicki finally won it with a walk-off RBI single in the 11th.
Brittany Finney hit a two-run home run to spark Ole Miss’ first comeback, and Alyssa Gonzalez gave the Rebels a 5-4 lead with a two-run single.
Gonzalez delivered another two-run single in the 10th inning to put Ole Miss back in front, 7-5. She finished the game 3-for-3 with four RBIs.
UCLA’s Bubba Nickles tied it with a two-run double with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning.
In the bottom of the 11th, Zoe Shaw and Kylee Perez walked before Jelenicki came through with a two-out single to win it.
Pitchers Kaitlin Lee of Ole Miss and Rachel Garcia of UCLA both threw all 11 innings.
Garcia, who also hit a solo home run in the second inning, finished with 12 strikeouts. She allowed seven runs, six earned, on 11 hits and five walks. Garcia threw 232 pitches.
Lee, who has thrown every pitch for Ole Miss in the postseason, threw 191 more on Thursday. She finally looked human, however, allowing seven earned runs on 14 hits and three walks.
Lee pitched her 13th consecutive complete game.