• 50°

Ole Miss advances to championship Sunday in softball regional

OXFORD — Ole Miss’ softball team answered a shutout with a shutout to keep its season alive.

The Rebels scored eight runs in the top of the first inning and went on to rout Southeast Missouri State 10-0 in an elimination game at the NCAA Tournament’s Oxford Regional on Saturday.

Ole Miss (39-18) advanced to Sunday’s championship round, where it will have to beat Louisiana-Lafayette (52-4) twice to move on to the super regionals.

Louisiana-Lafayette beat Ole Miss 2-0 earlier Saturday, which sent the Rebels into the do-or-die game against Southeast Missouri State. The rematch with the Ragin’ Cajuns is Sunday at 2 p.m.

“Excited that we are going to have another opportunity to play Louisiana,” Ole Miss coach Mike Smith said. “I know it was a tough loss earlier this afternoon, but we’re excited about being in Italy Blue tomorrow and getting another opportunity. We’ve got to win two. It’s not like we haven’t played a doubleheader on Sunday.”

After managing only three hits against Louisiana, the Rebels surpassed that total in the first inning against Southeast Missouri State (48-18).

Leadoff batter Kylan Becker was hit by a pitch, and Abbey Latham followed with a two-run home run over the left field wall.

The Rebels batted around and scored six more times in the first inning — Becker and Latham both had RBI singles on their second trips to the plate — to take an 8-0 lead. They added two more runs in the fourth inning and won it in five via the mercy rule.

“I challenged them to throw the first punch and keep going at (Southeast Missouri),” Smith said. “We put up an eight-spot and that really helped settle some nerves.”

Latham finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs and Becker was 2-for-3 with one RBI and a run scored. Jessica Puk scored two runs and drove in another, and Amanda Roth went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

In the circle, Brittany Finney and Ava Tillman combined on the shutout. Finney allowed two hits and struck out five in three innings, while Tillman pitched two perfect innings of relief.

In three games in the regional, Ole Miss’ pitchers have only allowed 10 hits and two runs, and have racked up 22 strikeouts in 17 innings.

“(The pitching was) outstanding. They’ve given us an opportunity to win every ballgame,” Smith said. “I’m proud of what these girls have done.”

BREAKING NEWS

Natchez firefighters battle Tuesday night house fire

News

Season of Wishes: Christmas Tree fund in need of donations

News

Trinity Medical cuts ribbon, hopes to be open in January

News

Adams County included in Gov. Reeves’ mask mandate

News

$20.7M contract awarded for new Natchez High School building

News

Natchez mayor elaborates on Christmas parade COVID-19 plans

News

Mississippi reports record number of virus hospitalizations

News

Vidalia pastor sets up GoFundMe account for niece who lost 3 children in Thanksgiving fire

News

Adams County records another COVID-19 death

News

Kyzar blends work, home life

News

Rep. Sam C. Mims, V, Awarded State Legislator of the Year by Rural Health Association

DEVELOPING NEWS

Natchez mayor announces change in Christmas parade plans after COVID-19 numbers spike

News

Bird’s-eye view: Artist with Natchez roots gives creations new perspective

News

Hundreds turnout for Natchez Christmas tree lighting Saturday night

BREAKING NEWS

Natchez-Adams schools to continue virtual learning only through December

News

E-911: Seconds can seem like minutes in emergencies (with audio)

COVID-19

Hospital CEO tests positive for COVID-19 as local cases rise

BREAKING NEWS

Flash flood warning issued for parts of Natchez

News

Hospitals using antibody therapy to help fight virus

News

Stewpot serves 300 Thanksgiving meals thanks to generous donations

News

Trash collection one day behind schedule for Thanksgiving

News

Ferriday man sentenced to life for 2019 slaying of Natchez schoolteacher

Business

Mayor: Silver Street raising and dock plans moving forward

News

Tree lighting event is Saturday in Natchez