Before Friday night Ole Miss had never played in an NCAA Tournament softball game. That didn't keep them from being poised and patient through the first few innings against Tulsa. That patience paid off in the third and they ended up making a big statement that just arriving to the Norman Regional wasn't good enough. "We talked about being aggressive," Ole Miss Coach Mike Smith said.
Sarah Van Schaik heard the message loud and clear. After popping out to short in her first at bat she was able to jumpstart the Ole Miss offense with her next at bat when she crushed over the center field wall in the bottom of the third. She was set up by single from Hailey Lunderman and a double by Ashton Lempton that scored Grayce Majam for the game's first run.
A throwing error in the bottom of the fifth scored Ashton Lampton to increase the Ole Miss lead to 5-0 and it was more than enough offense for the evening.
Maggie Withee put Tulsa on the board in the top of the sixth when she came home on a Julia Hollingsworth double to deep center field. It was far from a productive night from the plate for the Golden Hurricane as Ole Miss' Madi Osias threw a complete game, limiting Tulsa to just four hits in twenty-seven at bats.
"It's a big deal for us," Osias said about the team's first ever NCAA Tournament win, "but it doesn't end there."
Ole Miss now awaits the winner of Oklahoma and Wichita State in Friday night's finale. Tulsa will face the loser in Saturday's first elimination game.