Rebels Pour it on Late in 9-1 Win over LBSU to Open Tempe Regional
May 18, 2018
TEMPE, Ariz. - Ole Miss took advantage of some Long Beach State miscues early and blew things open late, registering a 9-1 victory to open the Tempe Regional of the NCAA Softball Championship.
Ole Miss (31-23) advances in the winner's bracket and will face the winner of the Arizona State vs. New Mexico State game. The contest is scheduled for 4 p.m. CT at Farrington Stadium.
Kaitlin Lee earned the fourth NCAA Tournament win of her career, limiting the 49ers (42-13) to one unearned run on five hits, needing just 87 pitches to complete six frames. Ava Tillmann entered for the seventh, issuing one walk and collecting a strikeout.
Taking advantage of a pair of Rebel errors, Long Beach State took an early 1-0 lead in the second. However, Ole Miss bounced right back with three runs in the top of the third despite failing to register a hit in the frame.
Dylinn Stancil and Elantra Cox reached with one out via a walk and an error before Kylan Becker walked to load the bases. Stancil came home on a fielding error at second and Autumn Gillespie watched four balls to bring in Cox. Amanda Roth finished things off with a ground out to first, allowing Becker to come across.
Abbey Latham extended the Rebel lead to 4-1 in the sixth, launching a solo home run just inside the foul pole and well past the wall in left field for her fifth home run of the season.
The 49ers threatened to cut into Ole Miss' lead in their half of the sixth with the first two batters of the inning reaching but Lee was able to collect three-straight outs to snuff out the threat.
Ole Miss then broke things open in the final frame, hanging a five on the board to take control. Brittany Finney got things started with a chopped single up the middle, bringing Cox in. Becker and Finney scored shortly thereafter as the throw home got away from the LBSU catcher on Gabby Alvarez's fielder's choice. Latham capped the run in a big way, sending a two-run dinger cascading over the center field wall for her second long ball of the day.
Tillmann came on in relief to close out the seventh, collecting three outs to complete the route for the Rebels.
- Ole Miss has now won all three of its opening games of an NCAA Regional. The Rebels are now 6-4 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
- The nine runs are the most Ole Miss has ever scored in an NCAA Tournament game, eclipsing the eight runs scored against Southern Illinois in the opener of the Oxford Regional in 2017.
- The win was the seventh come-from-behind victory of the season for Ole Miss.
- Freshman Abbey Latham was on fire at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double, two home runs, three RBIs and two runs scored. With her pair of dingers, she moves into a tie for the team lead with six on the year along with fellow freshman Amanda Roth.
- Junior Kylan Becker reached in all four of her plate appearances, registering three singles and drawing a walk.
- Ole Miss batted .375 (3-for-8) with runners in scoring position, while the leadoff batter reached in 4-of-7 innings for the Rebels.
For all Ole Miss softball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissSoftball, on Facebook at Ole Miss Softball and on Instagram at Instagram.com/olemisssoftball. Fans can also follow head coach Mike Smith on Twitter at @msmithsb16.
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