Well it was one hell of a run for Ole Miss softball, a group that won a program-record 41 games, bagged the first SEC Tournament win in school history and not only made it to a first NCAA Tournament, but won twice. The fairy tale run, however, ended Sunday night as No. 3 national seed Oklahoma clamped down for a 3-0 win to advance to the super regionals.
It's the second loss to the Sooners in as many days for Ole Miss, which started the regional with a Friday night win over Tulsa before falling to Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon. After staving off elimination against Wichita State, the Rebs were a lot more poised in their second shot at the Sooners. Whereas Saturday's loss was plagued by self-inflicted wounds (Ole Miss handed out nine free passes during a seven-run second inning), Sunday's bout was a competitive, defensive game. Madi Osias, who set the program record for wins this season, limited the country's best offense during a complete game performance, her last outing as a Rebel.
But Oklahoma's pitching was just too damn good. Paige Parker, one of the country's best arms, allowed four hits and struck out nine over a complete game. Even then, the Rebs put the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the seventh and final inning, but Parker forced a game-ending popup.
Even if the Rebs had won that game, they would have had to beat Oklahoma again to advance to the second round.
If we're being honest, Ole Miss never had a great chance to get past the Sooners, an established powerhouse that's heading to its seventh consecutive super regional and is just three years removed from an NCAA title. But this Rebel program should only get better under second-year head coach Mike Smith, who orchestrated one hell of a turnaround in 2016.
FINAL | Ole Miss' historic and memorable campaign comes to an end.— Ole Miss Softball (@OleMissSoftball) May 22, 2016
What a team, what a ride. Thanks, #RebelNation! pic.twitter.com/tZ6NGMUemr