Cajuns blank Ole Miss, reach final Sunday at NCAA Oxford Regional
Ragin’ Cajuns seize the moment on an errant throw in third inning to top host-Ole Miss in winner’s bracket final
OXFORD, Miss. – One moment of forcing the action on the base path and the steadfastness of Summer Ellyson in the circle led to a 2-0 win over Ole Miss which advanced No. 7 Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns Softball to Championship Sunday of the NCAA Oxford Regional.
With runners on the corners and one out in the third inning, Louisiana showed bunt. Casidy Chaumont broke from third base sending Ole Miss catcher Autumn Gillespie up the line, then Keeli Milligan advanced toward second base drawing Gillespie’s attention and a throw which sailed into right center field allowing both to score.
Chaumont initiated the moment by delivering a one-out double into right center. Milligan followed with a high-hop slap to in front of the third base bag which allowed Chaumont to reach safely and set the stage for the chaos-filled moment.
That was all the offense needed from Louisiana (52-4) as Ellyson held the Rebels (38-18) in check the entire afternoon in collecting her first career NCAA postseason shutout.
The win was a program-record 29th consecutive for the Ragin’ Cajuns, surpassing the previous mark of 28 set by the 2012 team. It also moved the program into Championship Sunday of an NCAA Regional for the 12th consecutive season.
No. 7 Louisiana awaits the survivor of elimination games between Ole Miss, Southeast Missouri and Chattanooga in Sunday’s championship round of the NCAA Oxford Regional. The Ragin’ Cajuns will need only one win to advance to the NCAA Super Regional round and face the Tucson Regional champion.
Sunday’s 2 p.m. contest will be televised on ESPN3 and broadcasted in the Acadiana region on ESPN 1420-AM and worldwide via the ESPN 1420 app. Should the “if necessary” contest be needed it would take place 30 minutes afterwards.
LEADING THE RAGIN’ CAJUNS
Chaumont became the fifth Ragin’ Cajun to reach 10 doubles this season with her key third-inning base hit. She was part of a strong defensive effort from the Louisiana infield, having a hand in five putouts in the contest (2 PO, 3 A).
Alissa Dalton extended her current hitting streak to four games and was the first to breakthrough on Ole Miss pitcher Molly Jacobsen with her bunt single to start the second inning.
Julie Rawls combined with Dalton for a key caught stealing in the bottom of the third inning as the Ragin’ Cajuns prevented the Rebels from answering back.
Ellyson (39-4, 0.98 ERA) yielded only three hits, walked just one and struck out seven Ole Miss batters as she moved within one win of becoming the first Ragin’ Cajun to record 40 wins since Brooke Mitchell’s program-record 45 back in 2004.
Kara Gremillion, who tied Chaumont in team-high honors with three assists, and Ellyson both fielded ground balls to work around a leadoff walk in the bottom of the fifth. Ellyson worked around a leadoff single and sacrifice bunt which put a runner into scoring position in the sixth inning by recording a strikeout and inducing a ground ball to close the frame.
• Louisiana’s streak of 12 consecutive appearances on Championship Sunday of an NCAA Regional began back in 2008 at the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional.
• The program-record win streak of 29 games dates back to the series opener at South Alabama back on March 22.
• The Ragin’ Cajuns extended their road winning streak to 20 games and took over the nation’s lead for most road victories collecting their 21st of the season (passed Oklahoma’s 20).
• Summer Ellyson tossed her 10th complete game shutout and had a hand in a Ragin’ Cajuns shutout for the 17th time.
• Summer Ellyson’s strikeout total increased her season total to 344, a figure which represents the third-most in a season in program history. She’s six strikeouts away from joining Brooke Mitchell (524 in 2004) and Jordan Wallace (382 in 2013) as the lone pitchers to record 350.
• Casidy Chaumont, who picked up her 10th double of the season, has reached the double-digit mark in doubles for the second straight season (posted 11 as a freshman in 2018).
• Louisiana improved to 78-59 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, which includes a 66-36 mark in the regional round.
• On Sunday, Louisiana seeks to claim the program’s 12th NCAA Regional championship and secure its eighth trip to the NCAA Super Regional round. The last Super Regional trip came in 2016 when Louisiana won a regional at Lamson Park and advanced to face Oklahoma in Norman, Okla.
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