California Baptist vs. Ole Miss - 2020 Puerto Vallarta College Challenge
Ole Miss came into the season ranked as the #25 team in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association's preseason rankings, but stumbled out of the blocks, going 0-5 before obtaining their first win in Mexico against Colorado State on Thursday.
Despite their record, the Rebels still possessed a lineup to fear, but Lancers starting pitcher Giana Lopez didn't get the message. Lopez threw seven strong innings, holding the Rebels to just one hit after the second inning, leading to her first win of 2020.
The Lancers fell behind early as the Rebels used a walk and two singles in the top of the second inning to push two runs across the plate, but that's all they would manage on the day.
CBU immediately retaliated with four runs in the bottom of the second inning, combining timely hitting with a pair of Rebel errors to take the 4-2 lead. The Rebels would attempt to get back on the scoring side of things, but only managed one hit and a single baserunner as far as second base in the final five innings.
The Lancers scored those four runs and locked down defensively. Lopez largely controlled the action, forcing the Rebels into 19 outs by way of ground-outs or fly-outs. The defense didn't need to make a lot of plays, but they came up big when the challenges arose.
Freshman Katelyn Mangrello is having a dream start to her collegiate career on both sides of the plate. She scored two of the Lancers four runs on the day and has been splitting time behind the plate so far this season, but plays like this may earn her a more permanent starting job.
Budinger continued her offensive onslaught, going 3-4 on the day with a run scored and adding three RBI to her team leading total of nine.
Abby Robertson has shifted between shortstop and second base this season, but she made it clear today that as long as she is in the lineup, she will make plays.
The wins today got the Lancers back to .500 on the season, now sitting at 4-4. They did so by defeating a team who won their conference championship and an SEC team, both of whom made it to the NCAA Tournament last year and won games in the process.
The Lancers will wrap up their Puerto Vallarta College Challenge tournament run tomorrow morning when they face off with #12 Tennessee at 10:30 a.m. Pacific time.