OXFORD, Miss.– Southeast Missouri (46-18) picked up its second NCAA Regional win in program history when it eliminated Chattanooga (37-17) with a 2-1 victory Saturday afternoon. The Redhawks later fell to the Regional host Ole Miss (39-18), 10-0, ending their magical historic season.
For the fifth-straight year, the Ohio Valley Conference representative won at least one game in the NCAA Tournament. SEMO, in its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 20 years and second all-time in program history, finished the Oxford Regional with a 1-2 mark.
“We just took the same approach and wanted to come in and obviously win game one and give ourselves a chance to continue on with the day, and we had to kick and scratch there a little bit and fight in that first game,” said SEMO head coach Mark Redburn. “But we got the job done and gave ourselves a chance and that was really kind of the goal on the day, so that’s what we wanted to do.”
Mykaela Arellanes singled up the middle with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning to score Brooke Rheinecker for the go-ahead run. Rheinecker, hitting in the nine-hole, reached out and singled up the middle from the left batter’s box. Rheinecker stole second and advanced to third when the ball came loose from shortstop Emily Coltharp’s glove when she tried to tag out Rheinecker.
Both teams scored their first run of the game with the long ball.
Devan Brown led off the top of the third inning with a solo home run to left. An inning later, Ashley Ellis launched a home run down the left field line to tie the game. Ellis, SEMO’s cleanup hitter, collected her team-high 17th home run of the season. Ellis also broke the school’s all-time single-season record previously held by Kayla Fortner (16 home runs, 2015).
Haley Thogmartin (23-7) picked up the win after allowing only one run on three hits in five innings. Thogmartin struck out three and walked none.
Rachel Rook tossed two scoreless innings with one strikeout and one hit allowed to secure her third save.
Offensively, SEMO finished with six hits. Arellanes went 2-for-3 with one RBI to lead the way. Anderson, Ellis, Sarah Messex and Rheinecker followed close behind with one apiece.
Mariah Ramirez (12-3) suffered the loss. Ramirez scattered six hits, gave up two runs, struck out three and walked two in seven innings.
SEMO’s pitchers kept the top four hitters in UTC’s lineup hitless at 0-for-12 for the game.
A rocky first inning doomed the Redhawks against NCAA Regional host Ole Miss.
Starting pitcher Kaylee Anderson fell behind 2-0 after throwing just four pitches. K. Anderson hit Kylan Becker with the game’s first pitch and Abbey Latham drove a home run over the left field wall on a 1-2 count.
Three different pitchers were in the circle for SEMO as Ole Miss sent 13 hitters to the plate, walked three times and scored eight runs on five hits, an error and three walks.
Ole Miss tacked on a couple more runs with a home run by Amanda Roth in the top of the fourth inning.
SEMO didn’t recover and the game was shortened to five innings due to the NCAA’s run rule.
The Redhawks had two hits against the Rebels, including a single by Arellanes and K. Anderson.
R. Anderson closed the book on a massive season by setting new single-season school records in batting average (.454), slugging percentage (.842) and on-base percentage (.551). Messex also set the school’s all-time career record in games started (215). Meanwhile, R. Anderson, Arellanes, Messex, Addison Barnouski and Ellis all share the new record for games started in a season at SEMO with 64.
SEMO concludes its season with a program record 46 wins, a OVC regular-season title, OVC Tournament crown and the school’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in 20 years.