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Softball: Ole Miss beats UL twice, wins NCAA Oxford Regional - Coach Glasco Post Game Video

Tim Buckley, The Advertiser, May 20, 2019

Cajuns coach Glasco speaks after Regional loss to Ole Miss

OXFORD, Miss. – Earlier in the day, UL’s program-record 29-game win streak came to a close. By nighttime, its 2019 season was done as well.

The No. 17 Ragin’ Cajuns bowed out of Oxford Regional in heartbreaking fashion Sunday, losing first to No. 1 seed and host Ole Miss 5-1 and later 5-4 to the Rebels.

Down 3-0, UL centerfielder Raina O’Neal used a three-run homer to tie the if-necessary game in the double-elimination Regional 3-3 – but, with the Cajuns up 4-3, Ole Miss won it with two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, eliminating UL from the NCAA Tournament.

More: UL beats Ole Miss in NCAA tourney, wins 29th straight

UL outfielder Raina O'Neal gets a hit against Ole Miss in Sunday's first NCAA Regional Game. O'Neal later had a three-run homer tie the day's second, if-necessary game 3-3 in the fifth inning.

UL outfielder Raina O'Neal gets a hit against Ole Miss in Sunday's first NCAA Regional Game. O'Neal later had a three-run homer tie the day's second, if-necessary game 3-3 in the fifth inning. (Photo: Brad Kemp/Louisiana Athletics)

“The championship game was a hard-fought game,” UL coach Gerry Glasco said. “I thought Ole Miss made tremendous plays.

“I was extremely proud of our kids for the way they fought, and the way they fought back … to get the lead in the game.

“I thought our kids pushed (the Rebels) to play at a really great level, a really high level,” Glasco added. “It probably was a fun game to watch if you were in the stands, and I thought they pushed our kids to play great. … Unfortunately, they got the last punch.”

UL’s season ends at 52-6. Ole Miss, which advances to a Super Regional, improved to 41-18.

More: Cajuns enter NCAA Regional ready to fight

GAME 2, WHAT HAPPENED

Ole Miss took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, when Gabby Alvarez lined a single off pitcher Summer Ellyson's glove to score Kylan Becker from third and Jessica Puk followed two batters later with an RBI single.

the wall.

The Cajuns loaded the bases in the top of the second, but pinch-hitter Bailey Curry grounded out to end the threat. UL went down in order in the top of the third despite Alissa Dalton twice being saved from an out by an illegal pitch call.

Kaylee Horton's RBI single up the middle scored Abbey Latham and made it 3-0 in the third. Latham originally was called out on a prior play, and appeared to be, but the call was changed after umpires met.

"I thought Dalton's foot was on the bag when the ball went in her glove," Glasco said. "I thought it was the easiest play in the world, so I was pretty upset when they reversed it."

Ole Miss made a pitching change with two on and two out in the fifth, as Brittany Finney exited and Molly Jacobsen, who worked the first game, entered.

O'Neal promptly homered to left center for UL, tying it at 3-3.

"I don't remember too much about it now that everything's over," O'Neal said, "but I just remember seeing the ball well and trying to put my bat on the ball."

In the top of the sixth, UL took a 4-3 lead as Julie Rawls scored on a bases-loaded wild pitch. The Cajuns, however, left the bases loaded after Kelli Milligan lined out to third.

In the bottom of the seventh, Ole Miss put runners on second and third and tied it with Autumn Gillespie's RBI bunt. The Rebels loaded the bases with another bunt, and Gabby Alvarez drove in the game-winning run with a high-hop grounder that Dalton could do nothing with.

Related: UL beats Ole Miss in NCAA tourney, wins 29th straight

GAME 1, WHAT HAPPENED

Ole Miss opened with a leadoff double but stranded its runner at third as Summer Ellyson got out of the pinch with a fielder's choice followed by two strikeouts. UL went down in order in the bottom of the first.

The Rebels took a 3-0 lead in the third, when Mikayla Alee homered to left, Kylan Becher came all the way around on a bunt followed by a throwing error charged to UL third baseman Kara Gremillion, and, after Carrie Boswell replaced Ellyson in the circle, Abbey Latham kept things going with a solo homer.

After Boswell issued an ensuing walk, Alison Deville replaced her in the circle. Horton soon delivered a two-run triple that made it 5-0. UL got out of the half-inning with flyball out and left fielder Sarah Hudek throwing out Horton as she tried to score from third.

"We knew we had a game to give," Glasco said. "I wanted to start Summer; if things went our way, we would ride with her. But I had made up my mind that if we got behind by more than one run I'd get her out and be sure we had her fresh for (the next game).

"At the end, if we had got caught back up with a tie game, we would have brought her back in and tried to win Game 1."

More: Why aren't Cajuns hosting NCAA softball Regional?

The Cajuns got one back in the bottom of the third, when Kourtney Gremillion scored from second as Keeli Milligan reached on a fielding error at first. The rally bid stalled, though, as Casidy Chaumont was thrown out at home trying to score on Kara Gremillion's bunt.

With Kandra Lamb in the circle for the finals two outs of the top of the fifth, Ole Miss left the bases loaded. The Cajuns loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth, but Kourtney Gremillion lined out to short to end the inning. 

More: Cajuns play it right late in NCAA tourney win over SEMO

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More: UL softball heading to Oxford, Miss., for Regional



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