Louisiana Softball Falls In Heartbreaking Fashion In Oxford
The Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns knew they were in for a battle as they played Ole Miss for a Regional Championship. The 7th-ranked Louisiana Ragin and host school, Ole Miss forced an if necessary game, defeating the Cajuns, 5-1, in the first game of the afternoon, ending UL's school record 29-game winning streak.
UL, who appeared in Championship Sunday for the 12th-consecutive year, was making their 21th-consecutive NCAA Regional appearance, including their 29th in the last 30 years.
In the first game, Ole Miss got on the scoreboard first, plating 5 runs on 4 hits in the top half of the 3rd inning.
The Rebels scored their first run on a solo home run off the bat of Mikayla Allee, her second of the season, before Kylan Becker crossed the on a 4-base throwing error, to give them 2-0 lead.
In the same frame, Abbey Latham belted a solo homer, her 10th of the season, before Kaylee Horton drove home two runs with a triple, to widen their advantage to 5-0.
Louisiana scored their first, and only run, in the bottom half of the 3rd inning, unearned, when Kourtney Gremillion singled, before scoring on an error, to cut the deficit to 5-1.
That turned out to be all the scoring in the contest, as Ole Miss went on to the 5-1 triumph.
Molly Jacobsen (14-7) recorded the win in the circle for the Rebels, allowing just one unearned run on six hits over 7.0 innings.
Summer Ellyson (39-5) suffered the loss for UL, allowing two runs on two hits over 2.1 innings pitched.
In the second game, Ole Miss once again got on the scoreboard first, plating two runs in the bottom half of the first inning, when Kylan Becker was hit by a pitch and Autumn Gillespie singled, before scoring on runs batted in by Gabby Alvarez and Jessica Puk, to give them a quick 2-0 lead.
The Rebels added to their lead in the bottom half of the 3rd inning, when Abbey Latham singled, before later scoring on a 2-out single by Kaylee Horton, to widen their advantage to 3-0.
Louisiana tied things in the top half of the 5th when Raina O'Neal smashed a huge 2-out three-run homer, her 10th of the season, to make it 3-3, on one of the more memorable homers in UL postseason history.
UL took the lead in the top half of the 6th inning, when Julie Rawls began the frame with a single, before scoring on a wild pitch, to give them a 4-3 lead. The Cajuns would hold the Rebels down in the bottom half of the 6th and Ole Miss was down to their last 3 outs in the 7th.
The Rebels got a lead off double to begin the 7th inning and then backed that up with a single. The Rebels were able to get the tying run on a sacrifice bunt. Ole Miss finished it off on a fielder's choice as Alissa Dalton was getting the 2nd out as the Cajuns lose in heartbreaking fashion.
Louisiana was led at the plate by Rawls, who went 2-for-4 with a run scored, while O'Neal hit the big three-run homer.
Molly Jacobsen (15-7) recorded the win for the Rebels, allowing only two runs on three hits, over 1.0 inning of relief
Ellyson (39-6) suffered the loss inside the circle for the Cajuns, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits, while striking out 5 hitters.
With the win Ole Miss moved to 41-18. while the Cajuns fell to 52-6.
The Cajuns finish off the season in an absolute battle and they come up just short in the regional. The Cajuns will be remembered for their special season, the program record 29 game win streak and so much more.