Ole Miss gave Oregon its first loss of the season in the final game of the Puerto Vallarta Collage Challenge, by far the most competitive game Oregon has played so far this season. It took nine innings for No. 15 Ole Miss to beat No. 3 Oregon, 1-0.
It was a stalemate through most of the game. Oregon right hander Megan Kleist pitched the entire game with 16 strikeouts while only allowing three hits. She is now 3-1 this season.
Oregon’s offense struggled throughout the game. The only hits came from infielders Jenna Lilley and Shannon Rhodes, and both were 2-4 from the plate. The Rebel’s defense was on point the entire game. Ole Miss pitcher Kaitlin Lee, now 4-0 this season, had five strikeouts, four hits and no walks in nine inning pitched.
Due to international tiebreaker rules, the teams were allowed to start runners on second base at the beginning of the bottom of the 8th inning.
The Ducks had a prime opportunity to score in the top of the ninth inning. With one out, Rhodes hit a deep fly ball to center field that was caught as Haley Cruse advanced to third base and Lilley went to second. However, Oregon failed to score as Gwen Svekis grounded out the next play.
The following inning, Ole Miss placed a runner on second. After Kleist struck out her 16th batter, Elantra Cox, in her first hit of the game, hit a single up the first base side to score Paige McKinney the winning run.
Next on the schedule for Oregon in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral, California. Oregon will face Oklahoma State on February 23 at 10 a.m.
Follow August Howell on Twitter @howell_august