Ole Miss

Ole Miss, Mississippi State each earn NCAA Softball Regional berths

Former Harrison Central High and MGCCC standout Kaitlin Lee helped Ole Miss beat LSU 5-1 to win the SEC softball tournament title. Ole Miss will host Southern Illinois in the Oxford Regional at 8:30 p.m. Friday.
Former Harrison Central High and MGCCC standout Kaitlin Lee helped Ole Miss beat LSU 5-1 to win the SEC softball tournament title. Ole Miss will host Southern Illinois in the Oxford Regional at 8:30 p.m. Friday. Ole Miss Athletics

SEC Tournament champion Ole Miss and Mississippi State both earned trips to the NCAA Softball Regional. Ole Miss earned a No. 12 national seed and will host an NCAA Regional.

▪ The Rebels will play Southern Illinois at 8:30 p.m. Friday night.

▪ MSU will play BYU in the Salt Lake City Regional at 5 p.m. Thursday night in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Ole Miss earned the SEC’s automatic berth into the field of 64 by winning the conference tournament. The Rebels beat MSU, Alabama, top-ranked Florida and LSU for its first-ever softball crown.

Other teams in the Oxford Regional are North Carolina and Arizona State, who play at 6 p.m. Friday. The Oxford Regional is paired against the UCLA Regional. The winners would advance to a Super Regional on Memorial Day weekend.

Former Harrison Central High and Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College pitcher Kaitlin Lee leads the Rebels, earning Tournament MVP honors in a 5-1 finals’ victory over LSU. Lee pitched every inning of the SEC tournament, the first pitcher to do so since Alabama in 2010.

If the Bulldogs win, they will face the Utah-Fordham winner. Utah is the 11th national seed.

Other SEC teams chosen to host regionals were seventh-seeded Auburn, No. 8 seed Tennessee, No. 9 seed Texas A&M, No. 13 seed LSU, No. 14 seed Kentucky and No. 16 Alabama.

Thirteen SEC teams earned NCAA Tournament bids, the most ever from one conference.

James Jones: 228-896-2320, @_jkjones

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