Softball’s super season ends in Tucson as Rebels fall to Wildcats
TUCSON, Ariz. — Ole Miss had its chances at the Super Regional at Arizona, but the Rebels just couldn’t take advantage of some opportune situations. Ole Miss left six runners on base, including stranding three in a bases-loaded situation with no outs, to fall to Arizona, 9-1, Saturday.
(Click here for box score.)
The Rebels left eight runners on base in Friday’s 5-2 loss.
The Wildcats (47-12) advance to the Women’s College World Series for the first time in nine years while Ole Miss finishes the season 41-20.
FINAL | 1-9
— Ole Miss Softball (@OleMissSoftball) May 26, 2019
Dejah Mulipola opened the second by displaying an Arizona strength this season — the long ball. She took a Molly Jacobsen pitch the other way and it cleared the right-field fence to put the Wildcats up 1-0.
Kaylee Horton got the Rebs off to a good start in their half of the second inning by reaching on an infield hit off the hard Hillenbrand Stadium clay.
She moved to second when Jessica Puk laced a laser up the middle for a single.
Freshman Tate Whitley followed with a bloop two-strike single to load the bases with no outs.
Arizona pitcher Alyssa Denham rallied back to strike out Amanda Roth for the first out and then got Mikayla Allee swinging for the second out. She escaped the jam by getting Kylan Becker to bounce to second as the Rebs left the bases loaded for the third time in two games against Arizona.
The Rebs tied the game an inning later. Autumn Gillespie took a fastball and crushed it. The ball not only cleared the leftfield wall, it landed three rows from the top of the bleachers to knot the score.
— NCAA Softball (@NCAAsoftball) May 26, 2019
Arizona immediately countered. Malia Martinez opened the frame with an infield hit and moved to second when Mulipola drew a walk.
Both runners moved up a base when Rylee Pierce bounced back to Jacobsen for the first out.
Malia Martinez scored on a flare to left field by Reyna Carranco that just eluded a diving Whitley as Mulipola moved to third.
Arizona then poured it on as two runs scored on a shot off the bat of Hanah Bowen to left that the Rebel fielder lost in the sun. By the time the play was over, the Cats led 4-1 and Bowen was on third.
Jacobsen rallied to strand Bowen at third, but the damage had been done.
Arizona added a Malia Martinez homer in the fifth to add to its lead, 5-1.
Ole Miss got Kelsha Lofton to third and Becker to second with one out in the bottom of the fifth, but Lofton was cut down at the plate for the second out of the inning as Becker moved to third and Gillespie took first on the fielder’s choice.
Gillespie stole second to again put two runners in scoring position, but Finney swung through an off-speed pitch to end the threat.
Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza added a two-run homer to highlight a four-run seventh inning to close out the scoring.
Denham (13-5) picked up the win for Arizona, Jacobsen (14-8) absorbed the loss for the Rebels.
Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers.
He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio.
A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series.
Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time.
He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk.
Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.