The Ole Miss softball team wasn't content to just play in the first NCAA Tournament game in program history; they decided to go out and win the daggum thing. The Rebs cruised past Tulsa, 5-1, which means they advance to the winners bracket of the Norman regional to face top-seeded Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon.
That's mostly thanks to starting pitcher Madi Osias, who racked up her seventh complete game in her last 11 starts. Granted, complete games are a lot more frequent in softball (Osias' 11 start-to-finish outings ranks 14th among SEC pitchers), but it was still a damn impressive performance. It was her 22nd win of the season and the 13th time she's held an opponent to one run or fewer.
Most of the offense came on a single swing from true freshman Sarah Van Schaik, who blasted a three-run dinger to dead center in the third inning to put Ole Miss up 4-0.
The real test comes Saturday against Oklahoma, which earned a national seed after going 48-7 and winning the Big 12. The Sooners rolled Wichita State, 7-2, in the late game on Friday night.
A softball regional, by the way, works the exact same way as a baseball regional: four teams battle it out in a double-elimination mini-tournament until there's only one left standing. So if Ole Miss were to beat Oklahoma on Saturday, they'd be one win away from advancing to the super regionals. If the Rebs lose, they'll go back down to the losers bracket to face the winner of Tulsa-Wichita State, then have to come back up and beat the Sooners twice in a row.
Here's what the bracket currently looks like, via NCAA.com: