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Princeton pitching proves too much as Ole Miss' season ends in Lafayette Regional

Fourth-seeded Princeton scored three runs with two outs in the fifth inning against No. 3 seed Ole Miss Saturday, and Tigers starting pitcher Cassidy Shaw pitched five scoreless innings to lead Princeton to a 4-2 win over the Rebels in the Lafayette Regional. The loss ends Ole Miss’ season, as the Rebels dropped their opener to No. 2 seed Baylor on Friday.

Ole Miss, in its eighth-straight NCAA Tournament appearance, finishes the season 31-27.

Saturday afternoon was a pitcher’s duel early, as Shaw struck out eight Rebels hitters over her five innings while Ole Miss junior pitcher Catelyn Riley gave up two hits over four scoreless innings to start her outing.

Princeton (30-17) threatened with a runner on second and no outs in the top of the third, but Riley recorded three-straight outs to end the inning. The Rebels threatened in the bottom of the fourth with one out and runners on second and third, but Shaw got a strikeout and pop-fly to get out of the jam.

The game’s first runs came in the fifth, when a leadoff double from Princeton’s Sophia Marsalo forced an Ole Miss pitching change. Senior Makenna Kliethermes entered the game and got the first two outs before walking Caitlin Bish. Sonia Zhang hit a blooper to right-center for an RBI single to give the Tigers the lead. Another walk loaded the bases and brought in junior Brianna Lopez, who surrendered a two-run single to Julia Dumais.

Riley was charged with one earned run over four innings with three strikeouts and two walks.

Ole Miss rallied back in the sixth with Shaw out of the game, as back-to-back hits to start the inning gave the Rebels runners at second and third with no outs. Junior Angelina DeLeon ended Ole Miss’ shutout with an RBI single, and a sacrifice fly from senior Lexie Brady trimmed the deficit to one.

Zhang drove in an insurance run for Princeton with an RBI double in the seventh. The Rebels were retired in order in the bottom of the seventh.