Ole Miss softball kept on rolling Friday night, following up its SEC Tournament title with an 8-0 run-rule victory over Southern Illinois before a record crowd.
The Rebels (41-18) play Pac-12 powerhouse Arizona State (30-20) at 1:30 p.m. CT Saturday looking to advance to the winners’ bracket final.
All tournament games are available via WatchESPN.
The crowd of 1,677 was the largest single-game crowd in Ole Miss softball history and the largest softball crowd for any Mississippi team in state history.
“Wow, how electric was that crowd tonight? We’re excited, Hotty Toddy!” Rebels coach Mike Smith said. “We swung the bats pretty well tonight.”
Pitcher Kaitlin Lee, the MVP of the SEC Tournament last week, threw a complete game shutout, scattering 4 hits. Lee’s 9 shutouts are a school single-season record at Ole Miss.
Lee pitched 4 complete games in four days in Knoxville last week, allowing just 3 runs and a walk as the Rebels made school history by winning their first-ever SEC Tournament.
Ole Miss beat Mississippi State, Florida, Alabama and LSU en route to the title.
The Rebels bats showed up on Friday night against Southern Illinois, feeding off the record crowd in the Oxford regional.
Sophomore Kylan Becker had a career-high 5 RBI and recorded an inside-the-park home run as the Rebels overwhelmed the Salukis (33-23).
Ole Miss’ 41 wins ties the school record set last season, but Arizona State could prove a challenge in the game on Saturday.
The Sun Devils used 4 home runs to beat North Carolina in the Oxford regional opener, 9-3, after falling behind 3-0 in the first inning. A rain delay after the first inning appeared to cool off the Tar Heels’ bats.
North Carolina (38-20) plays Southern Illinois in an elimination game at 4 p.m. CT Saturday.