OXFORD, Ms. - The Chattanooga Mocs softball team couldn't fight off a slow start against No. 11-overall seed and regional-host Ole Miss, eventually falling in a 12-0 decision during the opening game of the NCAA Regional in Oxford on Friday evening.
Chattanooga (37-16) drops into tomorrow's first elimination game at 3:30 p.m. ET against Southeast Missouri State (45-17). The nation's 17th-ranked team, Ole Miss (38-17), advances to play Louisiana (51-4) with a trip to the regional finals on the line.
Full game recap, regional updates and more can be found below.
BOX SCORE » #17 Ole Miss 12, Chattanooga 0 (5)
Southern Conference Freshman of the Year Emily Coltharp led the game off with a single up the middle before advancing to second on a passed ball and to third on a Hayleigh Weissenbach ground out.
With Coltharp on third and one out, Chattanooga failed to bring her in after a ground out and strikeout ended the early threat.
Ole Miss exploded for six runs on three hits and two UTC fielding errors to chase starting pitcher Celie Hudson after just 0.1 inning. The Rebels loaded the bases to begin the game following a walk, fielding error and hit-by-pitch.
Brittany Finney drew a bases loaded walk to bring in the first run before Kaylee Horton cleared the bags with a three-RBI triple to the left-center gap to put Ole Miss ahead 4-0. An RBI ground out and an RBI single capped off the six-run opening frame for the hosts.
OM went right back to the attack in the bottom of the second, scoring five runs on five hits to take an insurmountable 11-0 lead. Jessica Puk recorded a two-RBI single while the trio of Amanda Roth, Kylan Becker and Abby Latham added RBI knocks in the inning.
Mariah Ramirez entered the circle for UTC in the bottom of third in a relief role and surrendered an RBI ground out off the bat of Roth to limit things. She struck out the side in the fourth and finished the game with four total.
Notable performance: Emily Coltharp (2-for-2), Mariah Ramirez (2.0IP, ER, 4K), Aly Walker (1-for-2)
POST-GAME PRESSER | WATCH | QUOTES
Head Coach Frank Reed and student-athletes Emily Coltharp (Fr., SS) and Aly Walker (Jr./OF) talk to the media following Friday's NCAA Regional game vs. Ole Miss. You can watch or read up on quotes at the links above.
1. #17 Ole Miss (38-17) - #11 Seed – 1-0
2. #7 Louisiana (51-4) – 1-0
3. SE Missouri State (45-17) – 0-1
4. Chattanooga (37-16) – 0-1
Friday, May 17th
GM1: Louisiana 3, Southeast Mo. St. 2
GM2: No. 11 Ole Miss* ##, Chattanooga ##
Saturday, May 18th
GM3: Louisiana vs. No. 11 Ole Miss | 1 p.m.
GM4 : SE Missouri State vs. Chattanooga | 3:30 p.m.
GM5 : Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 winner | 6 p.m.
Sunday, May 19th
GM6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 5 winner | 3 p.m.
GM7 (if necessary): Game 6 winner vs. Game 6 loser | 5:30 p.m.
Chattanooga (37-16) will face OVC-champ Southeast Missouri State (45-17) tomorrow in an elimination game at 3:30 p.m. ET. The game will be carried LIVE on ESPN3 with links located on the softball schedule page.