Ellyson Shines in Three-Hit Shutout to Push Ragin’ Cajuns to Regional Final
OXFORD, Miss. – Facing its first ranked opponent in more than two months, Louisiana inked its spot in the Regional Final with a 2-0 win over 11-seed host Ole Miss.
The Ragin’ Cajuns (52-4) set a new program record with its 29th consecutive win behind a complete game shutout from ace Summer Ellyson. She scattered three hits and struck out seven in the win.
“I’m really proud of Summer,” Louisiana Head Coach Gerry Glasco said. “She was really dominant on the mound and doing what we come to expect. She just controlled the game, I thought, from start to finish. Really did an outstanding job.”
Ellyson never faced more than four batters in an inning and only allowed two Rebels to reach second base. Her 39th win of the year marked her first career postseason shutout.
Louisiana scored the game’s only two runs on a throwing error. With Casidy Chaumont on third and Keeli Milligan on first, Raina O’Neal missed a bunt attempt. Ole Miss threw behind Chaumont, who had a sizable lead. After Chaumont got back, Milligan inched toward second base, prompting a throw, which sailed into right center field. Chaumont and Milligan both crossed home on the play.
Milligan, the known speedster on the Cajun roster, had her eyes on home the second she saw the ball head toward the outfield. This was her time to showcase her speed and add an insurance run.
“I like that moment. It’s fun, especially in regionals, that huge moment when all the fans are mad, and everyone is yelling. That’s what postseason is all about. There’s pressure, but it is kind of an honor for people to think you’re the one to try to get out.”
In a loss, Ole Miss’ Molly Jacobsen allowed three hits and struck out 10, one shy of her career in strikeouts.
“We didn’t do our part playing defense, but Molly pitched a heck of a ballgame,” Ole Miss Head Coach Mike Smith said. “That’s probably one of the better games that I saw her pitch and it just stinks that she had to get a loss out of that. Her teammates need to pick her up and that’s what it comes down to. That’s why this is a team game.”
Late-Inning Hits Push Redhawks Past Chattanooga
Southeast Missouri earned its second NCAA Tournament win in program history with a 2-1 victory that eliminated Chattanooga.
Chattanooga’s Devan Brown opened the scoring with a solo shot to left field in the third inning.
Down one run, Rachel Ellis crushed a home run just inside the left field line in the fourth inning. After Brooke Rheinecker singled and made her way to third, Mykaela Arellanes singled on a full count to bring in the game-winning run.
Starter Haley Thogmartin gave up one run and three hits through five innings. Rachel Rook entered in the sixth inning and tossed two scoreless frames, giving up only one hit.
“Rachel Ellis came up big with that bomb. I am so happy for her because that broke our single-season program record with 17. You play 21 outs, and sometimes it is going to be ugly. That is the great thing about this team and this program. They are going to fight and battle.”
Rebels Surge to Sunday Final with Second Run-Rule Victory of Regional
Ole Miss jumped on SEMO early, scoring eight first-inning runs in a 10-0 win to advance to the Regional Final vs. Louisiana.
After leadoff batter Kylan Becker was hit by a pitch, Abbey Latham knocked her ninth home run of the year to give the Rebels a 2-0 lead. Ole Miss added six runs on three hits from Mikayla Allee, Becker and Latham along and three walks by Autumn Gillespie, Tate Whitley and Amanda Roth.
The Rebels added two runs in the fourth inning when Amanda Roth crushed a two-run home run to left field. In the game, seven Rebels combined for 11 hits.
Brittany Finney earned her 17th win of the season after allowing two hits in three shutout innings. Ava Tillman allowed zero hits in two innings of relief.
The Rebels have a recent pattern of scoring in bunches in some games and struggling to score in others, indicative of their performances on Saturday. In its last eights games, Ole Miss has alternated four games of scoring five or more runs with four games of zero runs.
“There’s a pattern, and it’s in the back of the head. I thought about that when we were scoring all of those runs. I just chalk it up to that it is part of the game,” Smith said.
With the win, Ole Miss moves to on to the Regional Final for a rematch with Louisiana.
“We’re excited to get another shot at UL tomorrow. We know we have to win two. It’s not like we have not played a doubleheader on a Sunday. This is nothing new to us, and we’re excited for the opportunity.”