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Tide Loses As Rebel's Head To Their 1st Tournament Championship Game...!

on 5/13/2017

Crimson Tide Softball:

Alabama's run in the SEC Tournament ended in the semifinals against an Ole Miss squad that has become the darling of the postseason event.

No. 8 seed Ole Miss got to Alabama's Sydney Littlejohn in a three-run second inning and never looked back thanks to another gem from Rebels ace Kaitlin Lee in a 4-1 win over the No. 5 seed Crimson Tide at Sherri Parker Lee Stadium in Knoxville on Saturday.

Ole Miss (39-18) advances to the SEC Tournament championship for the first time in program history and will face the winner of No. 2 seed Auburn and No. 6 seed LSU at 7 p.m. CT Saturday on ESPN.

After stranding two runners in scoring position in the first, Ole Miss capitalized when the same scenario presented itself an inning later.

Miranda Strother hit an RBI single to left and was nearly thrown out at second, but as she retreated to first Paige McKinney broke for home and scored before the throw arrived to make it 2-0. The Rebels added a third run later in the frame when a stolen base attempt by Kylan Becker led to a throwing error that allowed Strother to score.

Littlejohn settled down and retired nine of the next 10 Rebels before pinch hitter Dakota Matiko sent a solo shot to left to make it 4-0 in the fifth. It was the first RBI of the season for Matikia, a senior, who entered the game 5 for 24 with eight strikeouts.

Lee mowed through the Alabama lineup for her third win of the tournament and is the overwhelming favorite for MVP.

The Ole Miss junior right-hander allowed one run on an RBI single by Baily Hemphill in the sixth, while scattering six other hits and struck out two. She issued one walk in the seventh, her only free pass in 21 innings in the tournament.

Alabama had the tying run at the plate with no outs in the sixth and with two outs and Marisa Runyon up in the seventh but Lee got out of both jams.

Littlejohn (15-8), who pitched in Alabama's win over Arkansas in the opening round on Wednesday, allowed four earned runs on eight hits and two walks and struck out five over 5 2/3 innings in the loss for Alabama (42-16).

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