By Adam Brown
Ole Miss softball fell to the Arizona Wildcats 12-6 in the Tucson Regional final on Sunday.
Ole Miss came into the game needing to defeat the Wildcats twice to advance to a birth in the Super Regional.
Coach Jamie Trachsel and her staff guided the Rebels to a 36-22 overall record in their first season.
“(After the game) just told the team how proud of them we are,” Trachsel said. “The team did a good job facing Arizona.”
The Rebels attacked Arizona in the first inning as they scored four runs. Freshman Blaise Biringer got the game started by getting on the board via an error at short. Senior Autumn Gillespie followed with a double and Abbey Latham brought them both home on a base knock. Ole Miss was not done there. After a double play, the next two batters reached base safely and came home on a single by Mikayla Allee.
Ole Miss had senior Anna Borgen in the circle, who kept Arizona off the scoreboard through the first three frames. The Wildcats only produced singles, but she was able to get out of jams.
In the third, Ole Miss tacked on their final two runs of the season, as Jessica Puk leadoff the inning with a hit. Nyomi Jones then beat out a fielder’s choice. Arizona would then load the bases on hit-by-pitch on Allee. Tate Whitley singled to right field which scored Puk and Jones.
Arizona’s offense got to Borgen in the fourth, with two doubles and a home run by Malia Martinez to score three runs.
The Wildcats sent 13 batters to the plate in the fifth and scored eight runs capped off by two doubles of the bat of Janelle Meono to go up 11-6.
Ole Miss got the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth with one out but could not get a run in against Arizona’s pitcher Mariah Lopez.
Arizona’s final run came in the sixth, as Jessie Harper delivered a double to left-center that scored Reyna Carranco. Harper finished the night 3-for-5 with three RBI and a run.