OXFORD, Miss. – Home runs from freshman Cali Lanphear and junior Nicole Morgan weren’t enough as the 15th-ranked Texas A&M softball team dropped an 8-4 decision at Ole Miss, Friday in the Southeastern Conference series opener between the Aggies (35-13, 6-12 SEC) and the Rebels (23-29, 3-19 SEC).
Lanphear’s three-run home run over right field put the Aggies on the board in the top of the first. Sophomore Brittany Clopton drew a leadoff walk and was sacrificed to second base before junior Amber Garza reached when she was hit by a pitch. With two on and no outs, Lanphear swung on the first pitch and cleared the fence in right for the 3-0 lead.
Ole Miss didn’t take long to respond, plating four runs in the bottom of the inning. A leadoff home run, three base hits and a pair of errors by A&M gave the Rebels a 4-3 lead.
The Rebels scored two more runs in the bottom of the fourth on a double to left field, and took an 8-3 lead in the next frame with a two-run home run.
The Aggies stranded four runners on the night, unable to string together hits. Clopton went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored for A&M, and Morgan was 2-for-2 with a run scored and a hit-by-pitch.
Morgan’s bomb came in the top of the sixth when she went yard over left with a leadoff home run to narrow the scoring gap to 8-4 in the Rebels’ favor. The comeback hit wasn’t enough, as Ole Miss earned its third SEC win of the season.
A&M starter Lauren Ainsley (11-6) gave up three earned runs on nine hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings of work for the loss. Ole Miss hurler Carly Hummel (12-16) tossed two strikeouts while walking one and giving up five hits for four earned runs for the win.
The Aggies and Rebels will rematch in game two tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the Ole Miss Softball Complex. To learn more about Texas A&M softball, log on to AggieAthletics.com and follow @AggieSoftball on Twitter.