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Kylan Becker Reflects on Japan Trip with Team USA

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Rebel Nation,

Being a part of the Ole Miss family has afforded me some of the most incredible experiences of my life. About a week ago, another came to pass as I was selected to play for Team USA and travelled across the Pacific to participate in the Japan All-Star Series. I wanted to take this opportunity to share my experiences with the best fans in college softball.

Playing for Team USA and donning the Stars and Stripes is a dream come true. Being able to represent this great nation and play alongside some of the best players in the world, in addition to being coached by some of the very best, is helping me gain so much knowledge and experience for the game. I'm loving every minute of it.

Our trip to Japan was incredible. We played a three-game series against the Japan National Team. Within the week I was there, I was able to travel to and play in three different cities. We first played in the in front of a sold-out crowd at the Tokyo Dome. Then, we went and played in the Sendai Dome before rounding out our series at the Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium. The fans in Japan were incredible. We had people waiting at our bus drop off 5 hours before our games waving American flags and filling baseball stadiums in every city we went to. It was so amazing to see how much the Japanese loved the sport. I was fortunate enough to get to play on the field the Olympics will be held on in Fukushima in 2020 and it brings me so much excitement for softball's arrival back into the Olympics.

Of everything that I got to see and do while in Japan, one thing in particular that sticks out came in Tokyo, where a man was waving an Ole Miss sign at me. It was truly surreal to see a Rebel fan all the way out in Japan cheering me on. REBEL NATION IS THE BEST and you never cease to amaze me!

Hotty Toddy,


Kylan Becker

Softball Season Preview: Outfield

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The final edition of our Ole Miss softball preview looks at the Rebel outfield, a speedy and athletic group that head coach Mike Smith is excited about heading into the 2018 season.

Left Field: Elantra Cox
The senior is an electric leadoff hitter that batted a staggering .429 and accumulated a NCAA-leading 93 hits for the Rebels a year ago. Cox is a speedy defender as well as a nightmare for opponents on the base paths. Cox swiped 25 bases in 32 tries in 2017. She's got great hands and struck out just 30 times in 233 plate appearances. She was an invaluable piece at the top of the Ole Miss order and will be again this season as well as a plus defender with a lot of speed.

Center Field: Kylan Becker
Becker is probably the best overall athlete on the roster. She played right field predominantly a year ago and hit .375 with two home runs and 31 RBIs. Becker and Cox accounted for 165 of the team's 495 hits and the pair are a strong tandem in the Ole Miss lineup. She'll make the transition from right field to center in an effort to replace Miranda Strother. Becker will play for the US Women's National Team this summer and will be an athletic defender as well as a productive hitter for the Rebels in her junior year.

Right Field: Celeste Wood/Kaylee Horton/ Mary Terral
You'll likely see all three of these players in right field in some capacity this season. Smith called Wood - a junior transfer from Michigan State - one of the best pure hitters on the team. She hit .387 for the Spartans a year ago and has a good enough bat to be able to stay in the lineup pretty consistently. Horton is seen as a quality defender and will be a valuable utility piece for the Rebels this season across the diamond. Horton could potentially play third base, shortstop or second base if needed. She hit .270 in 126 at bats a year ago. Horton is a good defender and makes the Rebels a better defensive team when she is inserted into the lineup. She gives Smith a lot of flexibility of what he can do on a game-by-game basis. Terral is a true freshman from Ruston, Louisiana that will have an opportunity to play in mulitple different spots in the outfield if needed.

Softball Season Preview: Pitchers

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Part two of our Ole Miss softball preview takes a look at the Rebel pitchers. This group was headlined by Kaitlin Lee last season with Brittany Finney, Morgan Bruce and others providing solid options as well. Head Coach Mike Smith believes this year's team will be even deeper inside the circle. See below for an idea of what to expect.

Kaitlin Lee
As Ole Miss began to garner more national attention during its 2017 postseason run, Lee became a fan-favorite and was seen as a major driving force the Rebels' postseason success. Transferring from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Lee posted a 23-11 record with a 1.82 ERA. She logged 249.2 innings, struck out 118 and walked just 37 hitters. Lee pitches to contact with good command and can work both sides of the plate. She earned Second Team All-SEC honors and has garnered a reputation as one of the better pitchers in the toughest conference in college softball. She will be the Rebels' primary arm once again in 2018 in her final collegiate season.

Brittany Finney
Finney won a national championship as a freshman at Oklahoma before transferring to Ole Miss last year. The Kansas native immediately became an important piece of the puzzle for the Rebels. She swings a good bat and contributed at first base and designated player while also posting a 6-1 record with a 1.80 ERA in 11 appearances and six starts. Finney whiffed 33 batters in 42.2 innings and was the usual secondary option for the Rebels in the postseason. She allowed one run in Ole Miss' final game at UCLA and gave the Rebels a good opportunity to pull out a win. She will be used in a variety of different ways this year, including in the circle.

Morgan Bruce
Bruce posted an 8-5 record as a freshman with a 2.85 ERA in 21 appearances and 12 starts. She tossed 5.1 innings of shutout, three-hit ball in a win over a ranked LSU team and did not allow an earned run in each of her first five collegiate starts. Bruce had a promising freshman campaign and proved to be more than capable of being a viable option when Smith needs one.

Alyssa Clayton
A senior lefty, Clayton complied a 6-2 record with a 2.74 ERA in limited innings coming off an injury in 2016. She made seven starts and totaled two shutouts with three complete games. Opponents hit .215 off of the senior in her 46 innings of work. When Smith talks about being deeper in the circle this year, a healthy Clayton is certainly a big part of that. 

Elisha Jahnke
Jahnke, a senior right-hander, made eight appearances a year ago with one start. She logged 12.1 innings and struck out 12 hitters in that span and posted a 1.70 ERA. Jahnke will provide depth to the Rebel rotation and may see some starts in spot duty.

Anna Borgen and Ava Tillmann
The Ole Miss pitching staff will have tremendous experience with all five pitchers back from a year ago. However, Borgen and Tillmann will also have plenty of opportunities to see action during their freshman campaigns. Borgen, a lefty out of Dallas Christian School in Texas, was a three-time first team all-state honoree, posting a 44-7 career record. Tillmann, meanwhile, garnered all-state honors her junior and senior years at Cedartown High School in Georgia and concluded her career as the school's all-time leader with 817 strikeouts. 
For all Ole Miss softball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissSoftball, on Facebook at Ole Miss Softball and on Instagram at Instagram.com/olemisssoftball. Fans can also follow head coach Mike Smith on Twitter at @msmithsb16. Additionally, fans can get a behind the scenes look at Ole Miss softball and all of Ole Miss athletics on Snapchat under the handle, @WeAreOleMiss.

Softball Season Preview: Infield

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Coming off the most successful season in program history, Ole Miss Softball begins its 2018 season on Friday. The Rebels come into the season ranked as high as 15th in the country and were on the cusp of reaching Oklahoma City for the Women's College World Series. Looking to take the next step this season, expectations are high for Mike Smith and the Rebels this season.

See below for a look at what you can expect to see from the Rebel infield this season.
 
1st base: Brittany Finney/Alex Schneider
You will likely see both Finney and Schneider at this position in some capacity. In 2017, Finney split time here with Dakota Matiko and Alyssa Gonzalez, hitting six home runs and driving in 27 runs a year ago, making her bat a hard one to remove from the lineup. Schneider is seen as a defensive stopper and could see time here when Finney is pitching in relief of Kaitlin Lee. 

Both are experienced players with plenty of time at the position and should be a quality combo for Smith's club this season.

2nd base: Ally Mena/Kaylee Horton
Mena, a true freshman out of Miami, Florida, could be a new option for Ole Miss at second base this year. Smith said she has some of the best hands in the country and could potentially be a shortstop for the Rebels in the future. Smith also didn't rule out on giving her time at shortstop this season along with Paige McKinney. 

Sophomore utility player Kaylee Horton saw most of her time at second base a season ago with 49 starts. She hit .270 last season and could slide into another infield slot or even play some outfield this spring. 

Shortstop: Paige McKinney/Ally Mena/Kaylee Horton
McKinney took over the everyday shortstop duties after a brief stint at second base at the beginning of last season. The senior stole 16 bases in as many tries a year ago and should anchor the middle of the infield again this season. Horton and Mena could see action here as well if needed.

3rd base: Dylinn Stancil/Amanda Roth
Smith said this has been an air-tight battle the entire offseason between sophomore Stancil and true freshman Roth.  Both are swinging the bat well and playing good defense. Stancil started 46 games a year ago, predominantly at third base, and drove in 23 runs. Roth is a true freshman out of Carrollton, Texas and has some pop in her bat. 

Smith said both players bring energy that is important to this team's success and Stancil could potentially slide to second base as well if needed. 

Catcher: Autumn Gillespie/Jessica Puk/Izzy Werdann
All three of these potential backstops for the Rebels are newcomers this season. They'll collectively be in charge of replacing Courtney Syrett who handled all of the catching duties last season. Gillespie is a transfer from UCF who has one of the better pop times in the country according to Smith. Ideally, Gillespie will control the running game and get the majority of the time behind the plate.

However, Smith has always wanted two catchers to use regularly, but in the past has not had a second option that can consistently control the running game. He thinks that will change with Puk and Werdann. Puk is a true freshman from Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Werdann is a junior college transfer who caught Kaitlin Lee for a year at Mississippi Gulf Coast CC.

FRESH FACES: Softball's Abbey Latham

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In the 10th and final of a 10-part series introducing the Ole Miss softball newcomers for the 2018 season, Friday's profile features first baseman/designated player Abbey Latham.

Abbey Latham | 1B/DP | R/R | 5-11 | Fr. | Livingston, Ala. (Demopolis HS)

What made you choose Ole Miss?
The feeling that it was home for me. Being raised in a small town, coming to Ole Miss is basically like coming to a small town with a big upgrade and I really think it just fit who I am and where I want to be. Also, I couldn't have picked a better softball program that holds my core values and represents me any better as a player.
What do you like most about Ole Miss and Oxford?
The food
What is your favorite part about being an athlete at Ole Miss?
I love having access to all of the resources that the athletic department provides us with. It is amazing how blessed I am to have the opportunities that I do here at Ole Miss.
What is your favorite Ole Miss tradition?
The Grove
Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
No


Quick Hits...
Pick anywhere in the world to vacation, where would you go? Australia
What is your go-to hangout place? Anywhere with my teammates
Team you're looking most forward to playing on the 2018 schedule? Auburn
What is your dream profession/career? TBA


Favorites...
Movie: Pitch Perfect
Band/Music group: None
TV Show: Vampire Diaries
Actress/Actor: Channing Tatum
Snack Food: Chocolate
Ice cream flavor: Chocolate
Candy bar: Hershey's chocolate bar
Fruit: Grapes
Cereal: Mini Wheats
Home cooked meal: Pancakes
Fast food restaurant: Chick-Fil-A
Soda: Diet Coke
Place to eat in Oxford: Kabuki
Female athlete: None
Male athlete: None
Professional team: None
Animal: Goat
Holiday: Thanksgiving

FRESH FACES: Softball's Jessica Puk

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In the ninth of a 10-part series introducing the Ole Miss softball newcomers for the 2018 season, Thursday's profile features utility player Jessica Puk.

Jessica Puk | UT | R/R | 5-10 | Fr. | Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Washington HS)

What made you choose Ole Miss?
I immediately fell in love with the school as soon as I stepped on campus. I love the family atmosphere and the endless opportunities given here at Ole Miss. I chose this school because it was a dream of mine to play in the SEC and Ole Miss was the perfect place for me to live out this dream.
What do you like most about Ole Miss and Oxford?
The endless support for athletics and the college town itself.
What is your favorite part about being an athlete at Ole Miss?
Everyone takes so much pride in being an athlete. It is an honor to represent this university from an athletic standpoint.
What is your favorite Ole Miss tradition?
Hotty Toddy Chant
Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
None


Quick Hits...
Pick anywhere in the world to vacation, where would you go? Caribbean
What is your go-to hangout place? Friend's house
Team you're looking most forward to playing on the 2018 schedule? Any SEC matchup
What is your dream profession/career? Beyonce backup dancer.


Favorites...
Movie: Goonies
Band/Music group: Beyonce
TV Show: Gossip Girl
Actress/Actor: Will Ferrell
Snack Food: Chips and guacamole
Ice cream flavor: Vanilla
Candy bar: Twix
Fruit: Strawberry
Cereal: Fruit Loops
Home cooked meal: Steak
Fast food restaurant: Cookout
Soda: Coke
Place to eat in Oxford: Ajax
Female athlete: Serena and Venus Williams
Male athlete: A.J. Puk
Professional team: St. Louis Cardinals
Animal: Dog
Holiday: Christmas

FRESH FACES: Softball's Anna Borgen

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In the eighth of a 10-part series introducing the Ole Miss softball newcomers for the 2018 season, Wednesday's profile features left-handed pitcher Anna Borgen.

Anna Borgen | LHP | L/L | 5-9 | Fr. | Heath, Texas (Dallas Christian HS)

What made you choose Ole Miss?
I knew I wanted to play in the SEC and when I first visited Ole Miss I loved everything about it.
What do you like most about Ole Miss and Oxford?
I like that it is a small college town because it feels like the entire population is cheering for us and wanting us to succeed in everything we do.
What is your favorite part about being an athlete at Ole Miss?
We're taken care of very well and just calling myself a student-athlete makes me feel proud to be a part of something bigger than myself.
What is your favorite Ole Miss tradition?
The Grove on game days is one of the coolest things to experience. It's unlike anything I have ever seen.
Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
I'll usually do my hair in the same way for every game and use the same ribbon.


Quick Hits...
Pick anywhere in the world to vacation, where would you go? New Zealand
What is your go-to hangout place? Anywhere in my hammock with a book
Team you're looking most forward to playing on the 2018 schedule? Texas A&M because my friends go there and it's in my home state
What is your dream profession/career? Investigative Journalist

Favorites...
Movie: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Band/Music group: Ed Sheeran
TV Show: Sherlock (BBC)
Actress/Actor" Benedict Cumberbatch
Snack Food: Goldfish
Ice cream flavor: Strawberry cheesecake
Candy bar: Hershey's
Fruit: Strawberries and nectarines
Cereal: Granola without the milk
Home cooked meal: Pot roast
Fast food restaurant: Chick-Fil-A
Soda: I don't like soda
Place to eat in Oxford: Old Venice
Female athlete: Simone Biles

FRESH FACES: Softball's Mary Terral

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In the seventh of a 10-part series introducing the Ole Miss softball newcomers for the 2018 season, Tuesday's profile features utility player Mary Terral.

Mary Terral | UT | R/R | 5-10 | Fr. | Farmerville, Louisiana (Cedar Creek School)

What made you choose Ole Miss?
I love the small town, big school environment. Coming from a small town, it wasn't too big of an adjustment. I also love the people here, and most importantly the softball program.
What do you like most about Ole Miss and Oxford?
The food
What is your favorite part about being an athlete at Ole Miss?
I love all the free food, clothes, and great friends that I have made so far.
What is your favorite Ole Miss tradition?
I love saying the Hotty Toddy chant after the games.
Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
I don't have anything very significant. I usually braid my hair, but not in a specific way.


Quick Hits...
Pick anywhere in the world to vacation, where would you go? Bahamas
What is your go-to hangout place? Probably my brother's house
Team you're looking most forward to playing on the 2018 schedule? LSU
What is your dream profession/career? To become a physical therapist


Favorites...
Movie: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
Band/Music group: Anything country. Specifically, Thomas Rhett
TV Show: The Vampire Diaries
Actress/Actor: Kate Hudson
Snack Food: Crackers
Ice cream flavor: Oreo
Candy bar: Hershey's
Fruit: Apples
Cereal: Fruit Loops
Home cooked meal: Cheesy chicken spaghetti
Fast food restaurant: Chick-Fil-A
Soda: None
Place to eat in Oxford: Boure
Female athlete: Serena Williams
Male athlete: None
Professional team: New Orleans Saints
Animal: Dog
Holiday: Christmas

FRESH FACES: Softball's Ava Tillmann

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In the sixth of a 10-part series introducing the Ole Miss softball newcomers for the 2018 season, Monday's profile features pitcher Ava Tillmann.

Ava Tillmann | RHP | R/R | 5-10 | Fr. | Cedartown, Ga. (Cedartown HS)

What made you choose Ole Miss?
Ole Miss felt comfortable, like home, instantly. It is not too far from Georgia but far enough for a college experience and a place to play out my softball career. I love the atmosphere, and of course The Grove!
What do you like most about Ole Miss and Oxford?
How everyone is family, everyone is friendly, and is always respectful! Such a sweet, southern place to be!
What is your favorite part about being an athlete at Ole Miss?
The love we get from the community and student body. Every time someone realizes you are an athlete, they immediately think it is awesome and have so much to say to me!
What is your favorite Ole Miss tradition?
Anytime someone says "Are you ready?" Everyone around knows exactly what to say every time!
Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
No pregame, but before I pitch each inning, I write "BW+" (a cross) in memory of my dad's best friend that passed away. He loved me, and the game of softball so much.


Quick Hits...
Pick anywhere in the world to vacation, where would you go? Hawaii!
What is your go-to hangout place? My sisters to play with my niece!
Team you're looking most forward to playing on the 2018 schedule? Georgia - I took lessons with a girl I am close to and I look forward to seeing her and both of us being with our college teams! Georgia is also my home state!
What is your dream profession/career? Give pitching lessons and have my own facility that is open to athletes of all kinds to get better!


Favorites...
Movie: Radio
Band/Music group: Florida Georgia Line
TV Show: Big Brother
Actress/Actor: Zac Efron
Snack Food: Hot Cheetos
Ice cream flavor: Chocolate
Candy bar: Butterfinger
Fruit: Watermelon
Cereal: Lucky Charms
Home cooked meal: Smoked meat, slaw, lazy potato salad, beans
Fast food restaurant: Taco Bell
Soda: Coke
Place to eat in Oxford: Ajax
Female athlete: Jennie Finch
Male athlete: Cam Newton
Professional team: Atlanta Falcons
Animal: Dogs
Holiday: Easter

FRESH FACES: Softball's Amanda Roth

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In the fifth of a 10-part series introducing the Ole Miss softball newcomers for the 2018 season, Friday's profile features third baseman Amanda Roth.

Amanda Roth | 3B | R/R | 5-7 | Fr. | Carrollton,Texas (Hebron HS)

What made you choose Ole Miss?
I loved the southern charm that the campus had to offer and I really liked and respected the coaching staff.
What do you like most about Ole Miss and Oxford?
I love the beauty that is in Oxford, especially the Square. There's also so many trails and areas for you to go explore and hike around Oxford to enjoy the outdoors.
What is your favorite part about being an athlete at Ole Miss?
I love being able to say I'm a student athlete because people understand the hard work that goes into being both. The traditions and successes of Ole Miss athletics make me very proud to represent the school. And I also love all the perks and clothes we get!
What is your favorite Ole Miss tradition?
The football games and the celebrations in The Grove!! Getting all dressed up and tailgating and cheering on the Rebs is so much fun!
Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
I have to listen to some hype music to get excited and focused for the game.


Quick Hits...
Pick anywhere in the world to vacation, where would you go? Bora Bora.
What is your go-to hangout place? Anywhere outside when it's a nice day out.
Team you're looking most forward to playing on the 2018 schedule? Alabama.
What is your dream profession/career? Lawyer.


Favorites...
Movie: Moana
Band/Music group: Maroon 5
TV Show: Once Upon a Time
Actress/Actor: Jennifer Lawrence
Snack Food: Veggie Straws
Ice cream flavor: Cookies and cream or chocolate
Candy bar: Reese's
Fruit: Apples
Cereal: Strawberry Special K
Home cooked meal: Chicken and veggies
Fast food restaurant: Chipotle
Soda: I don't really drink soda
Place to eat in Oxford: Toyo
Female athlete: Serena Williams
Male athlete: David Beckham
Professional team: Texas Rangers
Animal: Panda
Holiday: Christmas

FRESH FACES: Softball's Izzy Werdann

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In the fourth of a 10-part series introducing the Ole Miss softball newcomers for the 2018 season, Thursday's profile features catcher/third baseman Izzy Werdann.

Izzy Werdann | C/3B | R/R | 5-7 | Jr. | Pensacola, Fla. (Mississippi Gulf Coast CC)

What made you choose Ole Miss?
The area, coaches, facilities and top-class education!
What do you like most about Ole Miss and Oxford?
The scenery! Especially during the fall!
What is your favorite part about being an athlete at Ole Miss?
All the shoes.
What is your favorite Ole Miss tradition?
The Hotty Toddy Chant.
Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
No.


Quick Hits...
Pick anywhere in the world to vacation, where would you go? Europe! Paris, London, Venice.
What is your go-to hangout place? Mexican restaurant.
Team you're looking most forward to playing on the 2018 schedule? All the SEC schools!
What is your dream profession/career? Softball coach (to make a difference in the lives of the next generation of athletes).


Favorites...
Movie: White House Down
Band/Music group: Grace Vanderwal
TV Show: Grey's Anatomy
Actress/Actor: Blake Lively
Snack Food: French fries and ranch
Ice cream flavor: Vanilla bean with caramel
Candy bar: Tropical Starbust
Fruit: Banana
Cereal: Lucky Charms
Home cooked meal: Pretzel bread chicken nuggets
Fast food restaurant: Chik-Fil-A
Soda: Not a soda drinker
Place to eat in Oxford: Old Venice
Female athlete: Simone Biles
Male athlete: Kris Bryant
Professional team: Chicago Cubs
Animal: Monkey
Holiday: Christmas

FRESH FACES: Softball's Celeste Wood

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In the third of a 10-part series introducing the Ole Miss softball newcomers for the 2018 season, Wednesday's profile features outfielder player Celeste Wood.

Celeste Wood | OF | R/R | 5-11 | Jr. | Hacienda Heights, Calif. (Michigan State)

What made you choose Ole Miss?
The beautiful campus, quality academics program and great coaching staff.
What do you like most about Ole Miss and Oxford?
The university's traditions and the southern hospitality.
What is your favorite part about being an athlete at Ole Miss?
The friendships and relationships that I have developed.
What is your favorite Ole Miss tradition?
Football tailgates at The Grove.
Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
No, none.


Quick Hits...
Pick anywhere in the world to vacation, where would you go? Hawaii
What is your go-to hangout place? In Oxford: A friend's apartment, in my hometown: Venice Beach
Team you're looking most forward to playing on the 2018 schedule? Alabama
What is your dream profession/career? Music producer


Favorites...
Movie: Step Brothers
Band/Music group: Migos
TV Show: The Office
Actress/Actor: Jennifer Lawrence
Snack Food: Yogurt
Ice cream flavor: Mint N' Chip
Candy bar: Dove chocolate bar
Fruit: oranges
Cereal: Cocoa Pebbles
Home cooked meal: Lasagna with garlic bread
Fast food restaurant: Wing Stop
Soda: Dr. Pepper
Place to eat in Oxford: Ajax
Female athlete: Ronda Rousey
Male athlete: Odelle Beckham Jr.
Professional team: LA Dodgers
Animal: Dogs
Holiday: Thanksgiving

FRESH FACES: Softball's Ally Mena

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In the second of a 10-part series introducing the Ole Miss softball newcomers for the 2018 season, Tuesday's profile features utility player Ally Mena.

Ally Mena | UT | R/R | 5-7 | Fr. | Miami, Fla. (Westminster Christian School)

What made you choose Ole Miss?
I loved the traditions of the school and how it is like a family as well as the coaches and everyone on the team.
What do you like most about Ole Miss and Oxford?
I like how it is like a family here.
What is your favorite part about being an athlete at Ole Miss?
Being able to travel to cool places.
What is your favorite Ole Miss tradition?
The Grove.
Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
I draw a cross in the dirt before I get into the box.


Quick Hits...
Pick anywhere in the world to vacation, where would you go? Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
What is your go-to hangout place? Friend's house
Team you're looking most forward to playing on the 2018 schedule? LSU
What is your dream profession/career? Plastic surgeon


Favorites...
Movie: My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Band/Music group: Fifth Harmony
TV Show: Spongebob
Actress/Actor: Jennifer Lawrence
Snack Food: Popcorn
Ice cream flavor: Chocolate
Candy bar: Kit Kat
Fruit: Strawberries
Cereal: Lucky Charms
Home cooked meal: Chicken with rice and beans
Fast food restaurant: McDonalds
Soda: Sprite
Place to eat in Oxford: Cookout
Female athlete: Sierra Romero
Male athlete: Giancarlo Stanton
Professional team: Miami Marlins
Animal: Dogs
Holiday: Christmas

FRESH FACES: Softball's Autumn Gillespie

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In the first of a 10-part series introducing the Ole Miss softball newcomers for the 2018 season, Monday's profile features catcher Autumn Gillespie.


Autumn Gillespie | C | R/R | 6-1 | R-So. | Redlands, Calif. (UCF)

What made you choose Ole Miss?
The amazing atmosphere, respectable coaching staff, and loyal fans.

What do you like most about Ole Miss and Oxford?
That it's a college town, and all of the residents of Oxford love and support Ole Miss.

What is your favorite part about being an athlete at Ole Miss?
Getting to be a member of the SEC and have a very real opportunity to compete at championship levels. Also, the athlete community is like a family and all sports support each other.

What is your favorite Ole Miss tradition?
I love tailgating in the grove before football games.

Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
I don't have any rituals, but I like to keep it light, listen to music and just try to relax and focus on the game.


Quick Hits...
Pick anywhere in the world to vacation, where would you go?
The Dominican Republic
What is your go-to hangout place?
Hanging out on the Square or just going to friends' houses
Team you're looking most forward to playing on the 2017 schedule?
Any SEC team
What is your dream profession/career?
College softball coach


Favorites...
Movie: Anything scary
Band/Music group: Migos
TV Show: Friends
Actress/Actor: None
Snack Food: Chips and guac
Ice cream flavor: Cookies & cream
Candy bar: Twix
Fruit: Strawberries
Cereal: None
Home cooked meal: Steak and potatoes
Fast food restaurant: Chipotle
Soda: None, sweet tea
Place to eat in Oxford: Boure, Oxford Grill House
Female athlete: Stacy Chambers
Male athlete: None
Professional team: Dallas Cowboys
Animal: Dogs
Holiday: Thanksgiving

Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 28-May 4, 2015)

Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review

April 28-May 4, 2015

Baseball

- The Rebels started the week defeating the Bulldogs, 11-1 in the annual Governor's Cup. The 10-run win for the Rebels marked the largest margin of victory in the 36-year history of the Mayor's Trophy/Governor's Cup between the two archrivals. Ole Miss re-claimed the Governor's Cup for the first time since 2012 behind a veteran arm out of the Rebels' bullpen.

- In the first start of his four-year career, senior Scott Weathersby was brilliant, tossing seven scoreless innings. The senior right-hander allowed just six hits and walked one, while striking out three. For his outstanding performance, Weathersby was named the Governor's Cup Most Valuable Player. 

- Ole Miss recorded 15 hits paced once again by leadoff hitter Connor Cloyd. The junior went 3-for-6 with a career-high four RBI. Cloyd also produced his seventh-straight multi-hit game. Four more Rebels provided multi-hit games as Colby Bortles, Cameron Dishon, Austin Knight and Sikes Orvis all recorded two hits apiece.

- Kicking off the weekend at nationally ranked Missouri, the Rebels fell 4-2 to the Tigers. Junior Christian Trent tossed a complete game, allowing four runs on nine hits. The southpaw struck out six Tigers without surrendering a walk as he pitched 8.0 innings for the second consecutive game. 

- After a loss on Saturday afternoon, Ole Miss bounced back on Sunday for a 4-3 victory. With the win over the nationally-ranked Tigers, the Rebels now have eight wins against ranked opponents. 

- Orvis blasted a pair of solo home runs to help lead Ole Miss to the win. The multi-homer game was the second of Orvis' career. The two home runs gave Orvis a team-leading 11 for the season and 29 for his career. 

- Cloyd went 3-for-3, reaching base all four times he stepped to the plate and recording his eighth multi-hit game in the past 10 contests. 

- In his first career start and playing in his home state, freshman Nic Perkins recorded his second straight multi-hit game with a pair of singles. Perkins, a St. Charles, Mo. native, finished the weekend going 4-for-4 in his return to his home state. 

- Working on a pitch count due to throwing seven innings in Tuesday's victory over Mississippi State, Weathersby lasted 3.2 innings, allowing one run on four hits and two walks to earn his second victory in as many appearances. Jacob Waguespack tossed 3.1 innings of relief, and sophomore Wyatt Short pitched the final two innings to earn his seventh save of the season. 

- Behind the bullpen, Ole Miss is now 20-0 when leading after the eighth inning. 

- In both of the Rebels' victories throughout the week, Weathersby earned the win and Cloyd recorded a three-hit game. Cloyd now has eight multi-hit games over the past 10 contests. Weathersby has allowed just two runs over the past 20.1 innings

Track & Field

- In its final weekend of the regular season, Ole Miss was phenomenal with a number of elite national marks and a pair of school records at the LSU Invitational and Stanford's Payton Jordan Invitational.

- The 4x100-meter relay squad of freshman Nicole Henderson, freshman Shannon Ray, junior Khadijah Suleman and senior Jhorden Hunter shattered their own school record with a scintillating 43.80 to place third behind top NCAA squads Florida and LSU. They broke their previous record of 44.11 from the Virginia Challenge and rank eighth in the nation this year.

- Freshman Brooke Feldmeier took her own 800-meter school record to another level Saturday, running 2:03.86 to break her own mark of 2:05.29 from Virginia. She placed second in the race and moved up to No. 12 in the nation this year with her sensational time.

- Sophomore Craig Engels stole the show in the men's 800 meters, running a time of 1:46.13 that is second in school history and No. 4 in the nation this year. He also ranks ninth nationally in the 1500.

- Sophomore Jalen Miller had a sensational day in three events against the star-studded field of sprinters. He won the 100 meters with a season-best 10.24 (19th in NCAA), clocked a season-best 21.01 in the 200 and anchored the 4x100 relay to a season-best time of 39.82 (17th in NCAA, 5th in school history).

- Senior Phillip Young won the triple jump (tied season best of 52-8.75 that ranks 11th in NCAA) and finished runner-up in the long jump (personal-best 25-0.75, 23rd in NCAA).

- With the SEC Championships next (May 14-16 in Starkville), Ole Miss men who rank among the league's top eight in their event include Miller in the 100 (5th, 10.24), Engels in the 800 (2nd, 1:46.13) and 1500 (1st, 3:40.28), Sean Tobin in the 1500 (2nd, 3:42.17), Robert Domanic in the 1500 (5th, 3:43.75), Trevor Gilley in the 5000 (6th, 14:03.49), the 4x100 relay (7th, 39.82), Branden Greene in the high jump (2nd, 7-1), Adam Aguirre in the high jump (6th, 6-11.75), Young in the long jump (4th, 25-0.75) and triple jump (6th, 52-8.75), Dempsey McGuigan in the hammer (4th, 215-1), Nathan Loe in the hammer (8th, 206-5) and Peyton Moss in the decathlon (8th, 6311).

- Ole Miss women who rank top eight in the SEC are Ray in the 100 (8th, 11.41), Feldmeier in the 800 (4th, 2:03.86), the 4x100 relay (5th, 43.80) and Fabia McDonald in the heptathlon (5th, 5736).

Softball

- Ole Miss grabbed its 30th win of the season at Mississippi Valley State, tying the school record for wins in a season. The 9-0 win tied the mark of 30 wins set in the 2005 season.

- Ole Miss finished in 11th place in the SEC standings and will open SEC Tournament play Wednesday against No. 6 seed Georgia. It's the Rebels' first appearance in the SEC Tournament since the 2008 season. 

- Ole Miss has set new records for offense this season with runs (298), triples (13), home runs (46), walks (164) and steals (88).

Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 7-13, 2015)

Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review

April 7-13, 2015

Baseball

- Ole Miss finished the week with a 2-2 mark to remain a .500 overall record for the season (18-18) as well as 7-8 in SEC play. After dropping a midweek game to Southern Miss in Pearl, Miss., the Rebels bounced back to claim a SEC road series over No. 1 Vanderbilt. Ole Miss dropped the first game before taking the final two games from the top-ranked Commodores. 

- Against Southern Miss, Connor Cloyd batted in the leadoff spot for the first time in his Ole Miss career, going 3-for-5 with two runs for a new career high in hits. Sophomore Colby Bortles added a pair of hits and two RBI, while senior Sikes Orvis drove in his team-leading 28th and 29th runs of the season with his eighth double of the 2015 campaign. 

- Bortles continued his hot hitting into the weekend. With Ole Miss trailing by four in the top of the ninth on Friday night, Bortles tied the game by belting the second grand slam of his career. The third baseman was also the last Rebel to hit a grand slam before tonight, going deep against Arkansas State, May 13, 2014. 

- After Ole Miss tied the game in the ninth, a two-out double by Henri Lartigue in the top of the 16th brought in the game-winning run. 

- The bullpen trio of Jacob Waguespack, Wyatt Short and Scott Weathersby combined to pitch 11 shutout innings. Add in starter Brady Bramlett, and the Ole Miss pitching staff kept the No. 1 team in the country off the scoreboard for 14 of the 16 innings. 

- Waguespack pitched three scoreless innings before Short added a pair of shutdown innings. 

- Weathersby was named SEC Co-Pitcher of the Week, the conference office announced Monday. Weathersby finished the game by lasting a career-long six innings and striking out a career-high 10 hitters. Weathersby retired 18 of the 21 batters he faced, including getting out of a bases-loaded jam with nobody out in the bottom of the 11th. 

- The 16-inning game was the second extra-inning game of the year for Ole Miss. The Rebels defeated then-No. 1 LSU in 14 innings earlier this season, rallying to tie the game in the ninth inning of that contest as well. The two games mark the first time in Ole Miss history that the Diamond Rebels have played two 14-plus inning games in one season. The 16-inning game also was the third-longest in program history. 

- One night after rallying behind four runs in the ninth and coming back to win a 16-inning thriller, the Ole Miss baseball team maintained the momentum by taking down No. 1 Vanderbilt for the second-straight game, 5-4, to claim a big SEC series on the road. With a victory over the Commodores, the Rebels improved to an impressive 5-4 against No. 1 teams in 2015. 

- Sophomore Errol Robinson provided the game-winning hit, a 2-RBI bases-loaded single in the top of the seventh, and the Ole Miss bullpen kept the Commodores off the board for the second-consecutive contest. 

- Senior Sam Smith came out of the bullpen to pitch two scoreless innings of relief, and Waguespack closed out the ninth to earn his first career save. For the entire series, the Rebels' bullpen did not allow a run to score in 15.2 innings of work. 

- Nine different Rebels recorded base hits throughout the afternoon as the team tallied 10 of them. Senior Austin Knight went 2-for-3 and added a walk to reach base three times. Holt Perdzock had a RBI double in his only plate appearance, and Cameron Dishon knocked in a run as well. 

- In his fourth career start, facing a No. 1 team for the second time in his career, freshman Will Stokes put together a career outing. The right-hander went a career-long six innings, surrendering four runs on seven hits to earn the first victory of his young Ole Miss career. 

- Ole Miss has won two-of-three series against No. 1 teams this season (Florida, Vanderbilt).

Football

- In front of a crowd of approximately 15,000 fans, Ole Miss closed out spring practice with the annual Regions Bank Grove Bowl on Saturday. The Blue team defeated the Red team 17-7, behind a pair of long touchdown passes, one by junior quarterback Chad Kelly and another by senior running back Jaylen Walton on a halfback pass.

- Kelly finished 9-of-19 for 104 yards with a touchdown and an interception. DeVante Kincade was 9-of-18 for 93 yards and also led the Blue team with 50 rushing yards on 10 carries, while Ryan Buchanan was 5-of-16 for 49 yards with an interception.

- Jordan Wilkins led all players with 62 rushing yards on six carries, while Eugene Brazley rushed for 44 yards on 10 carries with a touchdown.

- Damore'ea Stringfellow led all receivers with three catches for 98 yards and a TD, while Derrick Jones was the Red team's top receiver with three catches for 35 yards.

- Defensively, Fadol Brown, Issac Gross and Channing Ward led all players with 2.0 tackles for loss apiece, while both of Gross' TFLs were sacks. Cornerback Kendarius Webster finished with three pass break-ups, and linebackers DeMarquis Gates and Terry Caldwell totaled five tackles each.

Women's Tennis

- No. 25 Ole Miss won twice this past week, shutting out Arkansas-Pine Bluff 6-0 and then rallying to top Mississippi State 4-3. The Rebels earned the No. 9 seed in the SEC Championship and will face the No. 8 seed, Kentucky, in the second round Friday at 9 a.m. CT.

- The Rebels have now won 26 straight against Mississippi State.

- Sophomore Zalina Khairudinova clinched the win, rallying from an 0-3 deficit in the final set.  It marked the SEC match for her to clinch this year, as she also clinched the 4-3 win over Auburn.

- Senior Julia Jones became the seventh member of the 100-club, winning her 100th match against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.  At 27-7 this year, she needs three wins to become the 10th player to record 30 in a season.

- The Rebels finished the regular season 8-3 at home.

Men's Tennis

- No. 14 Ole Miss split its last regular season matches, defeating South Carolina 4-2 in Columbia, before falling to No. 8 Georgia 4-0 in Athens.  The Rebels earned the No. 4 seed in the SEC Championship and will face the winner of the No. 5 Vanderbilt vs. No. 12 Auburn/No. 13 Arkansas winner in the quarterfinals Friday at 4 p.m.

- This marks the 17th time for the Rebels to finish in the top third of the SEC and receive a first round bye in the tournament.

- The Rebels defeated South Carolina for the second time this season after dropping the doubles point.  It marked the second SEC opponent the Rebels have beaten twice this year, including Florida.

- Junior Stefan Lindmark became the fifth player in program history to go undefeated in the SEC at 8-0.  He owns a 12-3 record at No. 2 singles and has won six in a row. His win at South Carolina was also his 20th of the year.

- Senior Nik Scholtz clinched the win over South Carolina, his fourth clinch in the SEC and second on the road.

- In the latest ITA Attendance Race Standings, the Rebels are ranked fourth in average attendance (290) for the season. They finished the month of March third in total attendance and second in average attendance (336).

Track & Field

- Ole Miss had a very productive Friday in Starkville at the 2015 Border Clash, as Rebel athletes claimed four event titles, produced 11 new marks that rank top 10 in school history, and had six results that moved them into the top 40 nationally this season.

- The Border Clash, which pitted four schools from Mississippi against four schools from Alabama, saw the Mississippi men prevail 98-93 and the Alabama women win 108-61.

- For the men, Jalen Miller won the 100m (10.34), Robert Semien won the 110m hurdles (13.98) and Dempsey McGuigan claimed the hammer throw title (210-1).

- Craig Engels and Holland Sherrer went 2-3 in the 800m with times of 1:48.27 and 1:48.63 that rank them top six in school history and top 30 in the nation this year.

- The women were led once again by the quartet of Nicole Henderson, Shannon Ray, Khadijah Suleman and Jhorden Hunter, who won the 4x100m relay in 44.55 that ranks them third in school history and No. 8 in the NCAA this year.

- Racquel Moses was runner-up in the 400m hurdles (59.55) and Britt Ummels was runner-up in the 1500m (4:28.61).

- Ole Miss men who rank top 50 in the NCAA are Phillip Young in the triple jump (12th, 52-2.75), Miller in the 100m (17th, 10.34), McGuigan in the hammer (17th, 212-7), Engels in the 800m (19th, 1:48.27), Sherrer in the 800m (26th, 1:48.63), Semien in the 110m hurdles (28th, 13.98), Trevor Gilley in the 1500m (41st, 3:56.60), Adam Aguirre in the high jump (45th, 6-10.75), Branden Greene in the high jump (45th, 6-10.75) and Nathan Loe in the hammer (46th, 202-3).

- Ole Miss women who rank top 50 in the NCAA are Ray in the 100m (8th, 11.41), the 4x100m relay (8th, 44.55), Kierra White in the long jump (30th, 20-1), Hunter in the 100m (36th, 11.58), Moses in the 400m hurdles (37th, 59.55) and Fabia McDonald in the long jump (47th, 19-8.25).

Softball

- The Rebels continue to show improvement in the first year under the direction of head coach Mike Smith, improving in the win column and in statistical categories upon recent previous seasons. 

- The Rebels have 35 home runs on the season after hitting only 31 home runs a year ago. Freshman 1B Alex Schneider leads the Rebels with eight home runs on the year, while 10 different players have home runs - including eight with multiple home runs. 

- Ole Miss has also successfully stolen 76 bases on the year after only attempting 60 steals in 2014. 

- The Rebels hit the 23-win mark last week, defeating Samford in a midweek contest to pass the win total from a year ago and with five wins in SEC play surpassed the win total from last season as well. It also is one win away from totaling the number of SEC wins over the previous two seasons combined by the Rebels.

Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (March 24-30, 2015)

Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review

March 24-30, 2015

Women's Basketball

-The Ole Miss women's basketball team saw its record setting season some to a close with a loss to Middle Tennessee in the third round of the WNIT. The Rebels closed the season with a 19-14 mark, the best record since 2006-07 and reached the postseason for the first time since 2009-10. 

-Ole Miss' Tia Faleru concluded her decorated career with 1440 career points and 851 career rebounds. She ranks No 13 on Ole Miss' all-time scorers list. She also closed her career with 34 career double-doubles which ranks fifth all-time. 

Softball

- Ole Miss improved to 21-13 on the year and 5-7 in the Southeastern Conference this past week, going undefeated in four games to run its current active win streak to six consecutive games. 

- The Rebels posted a series sweep of the Arkansas Razorbacks, moving to five-straight wins in SEC play after the series win over No. 24 Mississippi State last weekend. 

- The series sweep at Arkansas was the first of a three-game series in SEC play for the Rebels since the 2012 season when Ole Miss closed the year with three-game sweep of South Carolina at home. 

- The sweep of the Razorbacks also marked the first three-game series sweep on the road in SEC play for the Rebels since the 2005 season when Ole Miss closed the season with a three-game sweep of Arkansas on the road. 

- Senior 3B Allison Brown was named SEC Player of the Week after leading the Rebels to a three-game series sweep at Arkansas. Brown paced the Rebels at the plate, batting at a .778 clip against the Razorbacks and did not strike out through four games on the week while posting an .800 on base percentage on the week. She also hit a three-run home run in a game-one win and drove in the game-tying run to set up an extra-inning win in game two against the Razorbacks.

- Junior RHP Madi Osias picked up all three wins on the weekend - two of them in relief - to improve her season record to 6-7 in the circle. 

- Freshman 1B Alex Schneider moved into the team lead in home runs as she notched her seventh of the season.

- Ole Miss has now hit 31 home runs on the year, passing last year's home run total in only 34 games played. Ole Miss has also stolen more bases this year (67) than the squad attempted all season in 2014.

Baseball

- After claiming a series against No. 1 Florida, Ole Miss did not continue the momentum, going 1-4 last week. 

- Along with their services behind the plate, catchers Austin Knight and Henri Lartigue led the Ole Miss bats throughout the week as the duo combined to hit .444. Knight had a weekly batting average of .455 with the help of tying his career high in hits versus Arkansas in the series finale. The senior went 3-for-4 at the plate with one double and a RBI. Lartigue posted an average of .429 throughout the week

- Speaking of personal bests, Cameron Dishon had a career night at the plate in the Rebels' win over Arkansas. Dishon led Ole Miss with a career-high three hits, including a solo home run for his second of the season. The Ole Miss right fielder crossed the plate twice and recorded a pair of RBI, knocking in the game's first run as well as his own on his blast to left field. 

- Brady Bramlett allowed two runs on seven hits and a pair of walks, while also striking out five Razorbacks, to earn the victory on the mound. Sophomore Colby Bortles also contributed to the win, hitting his third homer of 2015 in what ended up being the game-winning run. 

- In the series finale, junior college transfer Connor Cloyd recorded the first RBI base hit of his Ole Miss career. 

- One night after earning the save and sealing a Rebels' victory, sophomore Wyatt Short pitched 2.2 innings and allowed one run on two hits in relief. The solo home run surrendered by Short ended an impressive stretch for the southpaw as it was the first time he gave up a run over 13.1 innings in seven appearances. 

- Throughout the series against Arkansas, freshman Kyle Watson was the Rebels' first baserunner in all three games by drawing a walk in the second inning of each contest.

Women's Golf

-Ole Miss claimed its first tournament title since wining the Johnie Imes Invitational in 2008 by winning the 2015 Samford Invitational with a three-roud score of 907. Ole Miss was led by senior Stani Schiavone who claimed her first career tournament title with a 7-under par 65 in the final round. Alison Hovatter took runner-up honors.

-Schiavone become the second Ole Miss player to take medalist honors a the Samford Invitational joining teammate Abby Newton who won the Memphis FedEx Intercollegiate in the fall. Schiavone's final round 65 was a new 18-hole career low and was the lowest round for a Rebel this season. 

-For her efforts Schiavone was named SEC Women's Golfer of the Week. It as her first career accolade and the first SEC honor for Ole Miss since Abby Newton was named SEC Freshman of the Week in 2013. 

Track & Field

- Ole Miss won five event victories at the Yellow Jacket Invitational in Atlanta this past weekend, the second meet of the 2015 outdoor season.

- The Rebel men were led by victories from Jalen Miller in the 100 meters, Robert Semien in the 110-meter hurdles and Adam Aguirre in the high jump. The women added titles from Brooke Feldmeier in the 1500 meters and the 4x100-meter relay team.

- Despite resting several normal contributors, the Rebels added a few more veteran players to the mix than they had in the season opener in Tuscaloosa. The results were favorable, as Ole Miss posted 10 more top-three event finishes in addition to the five victories.

- Rebel men who rank among the NCAA's top 30 are Miller in the 100m (26th, 10.50), Semien in the 110m hurdles (20th, 14.21), Aguirre in the high jump (T-28th, 6-10.75), Branden Greene in the high jump (T-28th, 6-10.75) and Nathan Loe in the hammer throw (25th, 202-3).

- Rebel women who rank among the NCAA's top 30 are Jhorden Hunter in the 100m (19th, 11.69), Shannon Ray in the 100m (30th, 11.74), the 4x100m relay (7th, 44.73), Kierra White in the long jump (16th, 19-10.25) and Fabia McDonald in the long jump (20th, 19-8.25).

Men's Tennis

- The Rebels went 1-2 last week, losing a close match at Mississippi State and then rallying to beat No. 24 LSU 4-3 before dropping the final match of the road trip to No. 9 Texas A&M.  The Rebels enter the final two weeks of SEC regular season play at 13-6 overall and 5-3 in the SEC.

- Senior Nik Scholtz saved six match points against LSU to clinch the victory and hand the Tigers their first home loss of the season.  He improved to 11-3 at No. 1 singles and is now one win away from his 80th career victory.

- Junior Stefan Lindmark continued his impressive play.  He won in straight sets at LSU to remain undefeated in the SEC at 6-0 and is 10-3 at No. 2 singles.  He needs just two more wins to get to 20 this year.

Women's Tennis

- Playing without their No. 2 player, the Rebels lost a pair of matches at home to LSU and No. 15 Texas A&M by a 4-2 score to fall to 13-7 overall and 3-7 in the SEC.

- Senior Julia Jones won both her matches to improve to 25-7 overall this year, 15-4 at No. 1 singles.  She earned her 15th nationally ranked win on Sunday and also her 98th career win. She needs just two more to join the 100-club.

Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (March 17-23, 2015)

Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review

March 17-23, 2015

Men's Basketball

- Ole Miss scored 62 second-half points to overcome a 17-point halftime deficit, rallying past 11th-seeded BYU 94-90 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday.

- The Rebels fell to Xavier 76-57 Thursday in the NCAA Tournament Second Round to end their season with a record of 21-13.

- Ole Miss is one of only three schools in the SEC (Florida and Kentucky) to advance to the NCAA Tournament two of the last three years.

Women's Basketball

- Ole Miss moved to 2-0 in WNIT action with a 63-48 win over Georgia Tech in second round WNIT action. Ole Miss is now 22-22 all-time in postseason action and is a perfect 3-0 in WNIT games played at Tad Smith Coliseum.

- The win sets up a rematch with Middle Tennessee, the team that handed Ole Miss its first loss of the season which happens to be coached by Rick Insell, father of Ole Miss head coach Matt Insell.

- Tia Faleru posted her 14th double-double of the season and her 34th career double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds against Georgia Tech. She also reached the 20-point mark for the 18th time in her career and for the first time since scoring 23 in a road win at Auburn on Feb. 19.

- With its two WNIT games, Ole Miss is just one win away from the first 20-win season since 2006-07. Ole Miss, who advances to the third round of the WNIT for the just the second time, will take on the winner of NC State vs. Temple if they should defeat the Blue Raiders.

- Ole MissĀ¹ 20 assists vs. UT Martin in opening round action are the most for the Rebels in the WNIT and the 80 points are the third most for Ole Miss in WNIT action. Additionally, the 14 steals against Georgia Tech are the most in WNIT action.

Baseball

- The Rebels went 3-1 this week, including taking 2-of-3 from No. 1 Florida. Ole Miss started the week by rallying in the bottom of the ninth to defeat Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 7-6. Behind solid pitching and home runs in the first inning of each game, the Rebs continued their winning ways with victories in the first two games against Florida to claim the series. 

- Through his first two career SEC starts, Brady Bramlett has allowed just two earned runs in 13.0 innings of work. 

- With the series win, Ole Miss has won 12 of its last 18 home series against top-10 teams, dating back to 2003, including a 4-0 record against No. 1 ranked teams. The stretch also included series wins over No. 1 Georgia in 2009, No. 1 South Carolina in 2011 and No. 1 Florida in 2012. 

- Ole Miss was 3-0 this week with the senior Orvis in the lineup, including a pair of victories over No. 1 Florida. In the first two weekends of SEC play, Orvis is hitting .421 with three doubles, two home runs and nine RBI for an .895 slugging percentage, all team highs. 

- Freshman Will Golsan earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors, first for Golsan in his young Ole Miss career as well as the Rebels' first weekly accolade of the 2015 season

- Golsan led Ole Miss with a .389 average at the plate this week. He helped spark a ninth-inning rally before scoring the game-winning run against UAPB. He also recorded three multi-hit games throughout the week and scored a team-high four runs.

Softball

- The Rebels picked up the first SEC win of the season and a series win over nationally-ranked Mississippi State this past weekend.

- The series win over Mississippi State marked the first since the 2010 season.

- It also provided Ole Miss its first series win against a nationally-ranked opponent since the 2009 season (No. 12 Tennessee).

- Ole Miss picked up an 8-7 win in nine innings and a 14-8 win to sweep a doubleheader and claim the series.

Men's Tennis

- No. 13 Ole Miss won both its SEC matches this past weekend, downing Auburn 4-1 and No. 15 Florida 4-0 to improve to 12-4 overall and 4-1 in the SEC.

 - It marked the second win over Florida this season.

 - Senior Nik Scholtz went 4-0 in singles and doubles including clinching the win against Florida. He is now 10-3 at No. 1 singles.

 - Freshman Gustav Hansson went 3-0 in singles and doubles, including clinching the doubles point against Auburn in a tiebreaker.

 - Junior Stefan Lindmark also went 3-0 in singles and doubles, clinching both the doubles point and the match against Auburn. He improved to 9-3 at No. 2 singles.

Track & Field

- Led by freshman sprinter Shannon Ray, the Ole Miss women posted a pair of event victories and saw several personal bests during the outdoor season opener at the Alabama Relays this past weekend. Ray won the 100-meter title in her college outdoor debut Friday, clocking a personal best of 11.74, which ranks her top 10 in school history. Senior Jhorden Hunter was runner-up in 11.79.

- The Ole Miss women captured the 4x100-meter relay crown Saturday with a time of 44.73 that ranks sixth-best in school history and sixth-best in the nation so far this outdoor season. The Rebels' squad consisted of Nicole Henderson, Ray, Khadijah Suleman and Hunter.

- A number of other freshmen had strong outdoor debuts on the women's side. Brittany Kelly tied for third in the high jump with a clearance of 5-7 that ties her for 10th in school history. Lanae Newsome got sixth in the triple jump and ranks 10th in school history with a mark of 39-5.75. Emily Bean ran 17:25.15 to enter the school record books at No. 9 in the 5,000 meters.

- Ole Miss' small contingent of men had some highlights despite resting most of the normal stars. Juniors Dameon Morgan and Holland Sherrer, who normally run the 800 meters, got fourth and fifth in the 400 in 48.59 and 48.80, respectively. In the high jump, junior Adam Aguirre cleared 6-8.75 to place fifth. 

- On Thursday night, Nathan Loe and Kevin Conway put up solid marks in the hammer throw. Loe went 202-3 to place fourth overall (15th-best in NCAA this year), while Conway posted a personal-best mark of 195-11 that moved him up to third-best in the school record books.

Women's Tennis

- No. 17 Ole Miss dropped both its matches this past weekend, falling to No. 2 Florida and South Carolina on the road.  The Rebels are now 11-6 overall and 3-5 in the SEC.

- Senior Julia Jones beat the No. 5 ranked player in the nation on Friday for her 96th career win. She needs just four more to become the fifth player in program history to join the 100-club.

- Freshman Natalie Suk also picked up a big win Friday, defeating the No. 32 ranked player.

Men's Golf

- Junior Forrest Gamble notched six birdies in his final round en route to a 69 at the Schenkel Invitational Saturday.

- Gamble posted 1-over 73 in the second round earlier in the day that included five birdies and tied in a tie for 40th.

- Ole Miss finished 14th in the team standings with a score of 7-over par 871.

Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- March 22

The men's basketball team saw its run in the NCAA Tournament come to an end in the Round of 64 after a thrilling win in the First Four. The women's basketball team won two postseason WNIT games to continue its postseason run. And the spring sports on posted some big wins over the weekend. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was:

- The Ole Miss men's basketball team tipped off the madness of March and captured the nation's attention with their 94-90 win over BYU in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Rebels scored 62 second-half points to erase a 17-point halftime deficit.

"Having to play in the First Four, I thought, was a very unique experience, exciting, very exciting as the kickoff to March Madness," head coach Andy Kennedy said. "And now we have the advantage of having won a game and having played awfully well, and quite frankly, catching the eye and the ear of the world of college basketball for one small segment."

- Before Ole Miss and Xavier tipped off on Thursday, I arrived at Jacksonville's Veterans Memorial Arena early to watch No. 3 seed Baylor take on No. 14 seed Georgia State and came upon one of the signature moments that makes March Madness. The lower-seeded Panthers outscored Baylor 13-0 over the last 2:53 for the 57-56 win. Georgia State head coach Ron Hunter's son, R.J. Hunter, accounted for 12 of the 13 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds left. And if you haven't seen it, check out the Vine, shot, celebration and all.

- Ole Miss unable to repeat the feat in the third round, unable to overcome a 33 percent shooting night and a 6-for-27 mark from 3-point range in a 76-57 loss to Xavier. Every time the Rebels made a run, the Musketeers had an answer, paced by leading scorer and Uber driver Matt Stainbrook, who scored a game-high 20 points.

- We're only days removed from the end of the 2014-15 season, but looking back, the 2014-15 team will go down in history as one of Kennedy's best coaching jobs and one of the most accomplished teams in program history. This year's team finished with a 21-13 record and went to NCAA Tournament for the eighth time in program history, where they picked up the fifth NCAA Tournament win in program history.

- Five seniors saw their Ole Miss careers come to an end, none more accomplished than four-year starting point guard Jarvis Summers. The Jackson native finishes his career as just the fourth player in SEC history with 1,600 points and 500 assists. He is also one of only nine players in Ole Miss history with 80 career wins.

- The Rebels received plenty of local and national coverage during its NCAA Tournament run. One of my favorite stories that came out of the run was a feature on former player and current assistant coach Todd Abernethy from The Clarion-Ledger's Hugh Kellenberger.

- Xavier, by the way, has advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 75-67 win over Georgia State in the Round of 32 on Saturday. One of the most consistent program in recent years, Xavier has now advanced to five Sweet 16 in eight years.

- The women's basketball team has made some history of its own, picking up two wins in the Postseason WNIT, an 80-70 win over UT Martin, followed by a 63-48 win over Georgia Tech. Ole Miss last won multiple games in a postseason appearance in 2006-07, when the Rebels reached the NCAA Elite Eight. The Rebels are also just one win away from their first 20-win season, also since 2006-07.

- Earlier this season, head coach Matt Insell visited fraternity and sorority houses to drum up support for his team and program. This week, he challenged fans to hit him up on Twitter for tickets to attend their game against Georgia Tech. And his efforts have begun to show with higher attendance and a better home court experience in recent games, two things that will only continue to grow and improve as his process continues and the Rebels move into their new home at The Pavilion of Ole Miss.

"Playing in the postseason, we have momentum in our program," head coach Matt Insell said. "This program hasn't momentum in a long time. Nobody has talked about this program in a long time. Last year, about this time, we were getting ready to play Auburn and we were lucky to have 200 people here. Now, we have people who are coming and into our game. We're gathering support. It's huge momentum for recruiting and it's huge momentum for our young kids to continue to get practice time and game experience."

- For Matt Insell and the Rebels, the win over Georgia Tech sets up a rematch with Matt's father, Rick, and his Middle Tennessee State team in the Sweet 16 of the Postseason WNIT. The elder Insell got the better of the younger Insell in their earlier meeting this season in Oxford, while the rematch will be Thursday at 7 p.m. in Murfreesboro.

- The Ole Miss baseball team took two of three from No. 1 Florida, their fourth straight home series win over a top-ranked team. With the series win over the top-ranked Gators, the Rebels have gone 4-4 against top-10 team over the last two week, a stretch that included a midweek series at No. 8 Louisville, a weekend series on the road at No. 1 LSU and a weekend series at home against No. 1 Florida.

- The double-barrel of Christian Trent and Brady Bramlett continue to lead the way on the mound. They have made five quality starts in six starts each this season. Here's more on Trent, Bramlett and the series win over Florida.

- Sikes Orvis, a social media star after his heroics in a win over No. 1 LSU last weekend, continued his tear at the plate, going 2-for-2 with a double, home run and four RBI in the series-clincher against No. 1 Florida. Through the first two weekends of SEC play, Orvis is hitting .421 with three doubles, two home run and nine RBI, all team highs.

- In softball action, head coach Mike Smith picked up his first SEC win and first SEC series win, as Ole Miss took both games of Saturday's doubleheader from No. 24 Mississippi State to claim the weekend series with the Bulldogs. The Rebels won the first game in dramatic fashion, rallying in extra innings and scoring the game-winning run on a walk-off wild pitch.  In the second game, the Rebels batted around as part of an eight-run first inning on the way to a 14-8 win.

- With the series win, Ole Miss improves to 8-3 against Mississippi State in head-to-head competition during the 2014-15 school year, including wins in football and soccer, a season sweep in volleyball and men's basketball and now a series win in softball.

- The No. 13 ranked Ole Miss men's tennis team won both of its weekend matches, highlighted by a 4-0 win over No. 15 Florida on Sunday. It was a rematch of their earlier meeting at the ITA Kickoff Weekend in Gainesville, where the Rebels rallied for a 4-3 win. Senior Nik Scholtz clinched the 4-0 win with a three-set win at No. 1 singles.

- Ole Miss Athletics photographer Josh McCoy had a busy week, traveling with the men's basketball team from Oxford, to Dayton, to Jacksonville, back to Oxford, where he shot a busy weekend on the Ole Miss campus. Check out his many galleries from the week that was. My personal favorite is his gallery from the men's basketball win over BYU.

- Don't forget, Ole Miss will be honoring the athletic achievements of Ole Miss student-athletes over the past year at the fifth annual Rebels' Choice Awards on Monday. Three of the awards, Play of the Year, Game of the Year and Fan Favorite Rebel, were determined by fan vote. Stay tuned to the official website for a full recap.

Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Feb. 24-March 2, 2015)

Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review

Feb. 24-March 2, 2015

Track & Field

- Ole Miss got SEC titles from Jalen Miller (60m), Daniel Bulmer (mile) and the distance medley relay, and the Rebels achieved their best SEC indoor finish since 1984.

- The Ole Miss men scored 62 points to finish fourth in the team standings, their third-best result in school history and best since tying for third 31 years ago. The team's 62 points were also their most at an SEC indoor meet since that year.

- Overall on the weekend, Ole Miss snagged three SEC titles, two runners-up and two school records. The only other time the Rebels won three titles at the SEC indoor meet was 1983.

- The Rebels' success was notable because 20 of the team's 44 participants were competing in their first SEC Championships, and the men were without injured distance standouts Sean Tobin and Robert Domanic.

- Miller has won every 60-meter race in which he's lined up this year, and captured the school's first ever SEC crown in the event with a time of 6.56 on Saturday.

- Bulmer and Craig Engels finished 1-2 in the men's mile at 4:03.28 and 4:03.76, respectively. Bulmer is the first SEC mile champion in Ole Miss history.

- Bulmer and Engels teamed with Dameon Morgan and Holland Sherrer to capture to Rebels' second straight SEC distance medley relay title. Crazy enough, it was four different men than last year's championship relay team.

- The women were highlighted a pair of school records. Freshman Brooke Feldmeier earned a silver medal in the 800 meters with a school-record time of 2:04.34, and senior Fabia McDonald broke her own record in the pentathlon (4,168) to place sixth.

Women's Basketball

- Ole Miss closed the regular-season with a 2-1 record in the final week of action, which included wins over No. 11/13 Kentucky and LSU before losing to instate rival, Mississippi State in the regular season finale. 

- Ole Miss concludes the regular season with a 17-12, 7-9 SEC record -- the most overall and SEC wins since 2009-10. 

- The Rebels, who were picked to finish 14th in the preseason SEC poll, finished tied for seventh and earned the No. 8 seed in the SEC Tournament -- its highest seed since 2009-10. 

- Tia Faleru posted double-doubles in two of the final three games of the regular season. She now has 13 double-doubles on the season and 33 career double-doubles. It is the second consecutive season the senior has recorded 10 ore more double-doubles after entering her junior campaign with just five career double-doubles. 

- Ole Miss' win over Kentucky gave the Rebels two wins over a ranked opponent this season and gave Ole Miss head coach Matt Insell his first win over his former team. The last time Ole Miss defeated two ranked foes was in 2009-10 when they had wins over No. 8 Georgia and No. 12 LSU. Additionally, the win over a top 15 foe was the first in the last 20 tries. 

Baseball

- The No. 18 Ole Miss baseball team went 2-2 last week with all four games being decided by one run

- The Rebels started with a 2-1 victory over Arkansas State in their first midweek game of the season.

- Sophomore left-hander Evan Anderson picked up the win, going five innings and allowing just one run on one hit and two walks while also adding four strikeouts to his stat line. Freshman Will Stokes closed out the game to earn the first save of his career.

- After the midweek victory, the Rebels hit the road for the first time this season, taking on an undefeated UCF team that was ranked 15th in the nation.

- In the series opener Friday night, Ole Miss saw the Knights rally from a four-run deficit before a walk-off base hit in the bottom of the ninth lifted UCF to the 5-4 decision.

- Errol Robinson's diving catch and flip for a double play was No. 2 on Sportscenter's Top 10 Plays Friday night, Feb. 27.

 - Due to inclement weather on Saturday, Ole Miss and UCF played in a doubleheader on Sunday. It marked the third straight weekend the Rebels played a doubleheader, and for the third time, Ole Miss split the two games. The Rebels fell, 3-2, in a shortened 7-inning game one before claiming the series finale, 4-3.

- The Sunday victory gave UCF its first loss of the season. Florida natives Tate Blackman, Colby Bortles and Sikes Orvis recorded all four RBI in the win. Blackman doubled in the first run of the game, and Bortles hit his second homer of the season. Orvis also played long ball with a solo shot of his own before drawing a bases-loaded walk in the top of the ninth that brought in the winning run.

Men's Basketball

- Ole Miss dropped a pair of games last week versus Georgia and at LSU, snapping its school record four-game SEC road winning streak. 

- With one more win, Ole Miss will reach 20 wins for the seventh time in nine seasons under head coach Andy Kennedy. The Rebels recorded just seven 20-win campaigns in the 96 seasons before Kennedy's arrival. 

- The Rebels have 35 wins against SEC foes over the last three years trailing only Florida and Kentucky in the SEC. 

- Ole Miss ranks fourth in the nation in free throw percentage, hitting 77.6 percent of its attempts. The Rebels have hit 326 of their last 416 (.784) attempts from the line. Junior guard Stefan Moody leads the SEC and ranks fifth in the nation shooting 91.2 percent from the free throw line.  

- Head coach Andy Kennedy is tied with Alabama's Wimp Sanderson for the third-most wins in SEC history with by a coach in his first nine years in the league at one school with 190. He trails only Kentucky's Joe B. Hall (205) and Florida's Billy Donovan (193). 

- Junior guard Stefan Moody averaged 25.5 ppg and knocked down 14 3-pointers in wins over MSU and Tennessee en route to his second SEC Player of the Week honor of the month. Moody is averaging 19.6 ppg over his last nine games and leads the SEC in scoring in league play at 18.4 ppg. 

- Senior guard Jarvis Summers is tied for the lead the league in assists in SEC play at 5.3/game and has posted 75 assists in his last 13 games. 

- Summers is the SEC active career leader in points (1,580), assists (500), minutes (3,730) and wins (82), and is just the fifth player in SEC history with 1,500 career points and 500 career assists.

Men's Tennis

- Ole Miss rose to No. 10 in the ITA National Rankings last week, their highest ranking since ending the 2013 season in the top 10. The Rebels finished the week 4-0 including wins over Tulane and No. 16 Vanderbilt to improve to 9-2 overall, 1-0 in the SEC.

- Senior Nik Scholtz went a combined 5-0 in doubles and singles on the week, including wins over the No. 14 ranked and No. 9 ranked players in singles.  His come-from-behind win over No. 9 Gonzales Austin clinched the Rebels' 4-0 victory against the Commodores.  He improved to 7-1 at No. 1 singles.

- Freshman Grey Hamilton came up big in his first SEC match, serving twice to stay in it at No. 3 doubles and then hitting a forehand winner down the line at 5-5 in the tiebreaker, setting up Scholtz' to serve it out for the first point of the match.

- The Rebels are a combined 14-3 at the two spots in the lineup, as junior Stefan Lindmark owns a 7-2 mark at No. 2 singles. He won both his doubles and singles to help in the win over Vanderbilt.

- The Rebels have now won 10 of the last 11 meetings against Vanderbilt.

Softball

- Ole Miss is coming off a 4-1 performance at the Felsberg Invitational hosted by FIU this past weekend in Miami.

- The Rebels' 12-5 start is the best through 17 games since posting the same mark to open the 2010 season.

- With a pair of one-run wins this past weekend, the Rebels have played in seven one-run games with a 5-2 record.

- Ole Miss has played 18 consecutive games on the road and will play 21-of-22 on the road to open the season.

- The Rebels have four players hitting over the .350 mark, paced by sophomore OF Miranda Strother at a .537 clip.

- Sophomore P Emily Gaitan helped lead the Rebels at FIU, posting a 3-1 record and is now 7-1 with a 1.53 ERA.

Women's Tennis

- The Ole Miss women rose to No. 15 in the rankings last week, their highest ranking since 1999.

- The Rebels opened SEC play on the road at No. 25 Kentucky and No. 13 Vanderbilt and lost a tight match to the Wildcats, 4-3, before dropping a 6-1 decision to the Commodores to close out the road trip.

- Senior Julia Jones, ranked No. 14, went 1-1 in singles and picked up her 93rd career last Friday in the loss to Kentucky. She is now 19-5 overall and 9-2 at No. 1 singles.

Rifle

- Ole Miss hosted the Great American Rifle Conference (GARC) Championships this past weekend and finished fifth overall with a 4613 aggregate.

- Freshman Jessica Haig led the Rebels with a personal best 579 in smallbore followed by a 590 in air rifle.  She finished with the 11th best combined score in her first conference championships.

- Sophomore Sarah Emery shot a career-best 584 in air rifle.

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    Tiffany J. Moore said:

    This is amazing with what he have done so far! Hope that he'll achieve more in the future!

    in post Evan Engram Hauls in Midseason Accolades

    Fiftyyears fan said:

    How can you have five straight top 25 recruiting classes and look as bad as Ole Miss has this year. Easy lack of coaching fundamentals. Look at Mason at Vandy, nothing but 2 and 3 star recruits out of high school and he developers players that want to win. Hugh freeze has 3, 4 & 5 recruits and he expects them to win because of what they were in High School. Mr. Freeze you have not been teaching the fundamentals of football or winning in life. Mr. Freeze you have quit on your players because you have some false expectations of what they are instead of what you can develop in them. Either do your job or quit. Oh yea, please quit running your smoke and mirrors offense, everyone has figured it out. Run a physical offense that can open up holes for your running backs and then your pass attack want require 12 are 14 four and five star receivers. Mr. Freeze you have problems and you need to know that you are not smarter than the rest of the coaches in the SEC.

    in post Rebels Unable to Send Senior Class Out on a High Note

    Karen Holden said:

    Not every pass can be caught. Too low, too short whatever. Not every Kelly pass is perfect. Records were broken by receivers also. But they sre not going to catch every ball thrown. The loss to Auburn was not one players fault. You win or lose as a team.

    in post Late Mistake Spoils Chad Kelly's Historic Performance

    Trent browning said:

    Hey I was just wandering if these are the only 2 olemiss players signing. If there are more signing please respond to me ASAP. Also wondering if neil everett will sign any autographs. Thank you very much

    in post Heisman House Tour Heads to Oxford for Ole Miss-Georgia

    Smithb733 said:

    I like what you guys are up too. Such smart work and reporting! Keep up the superb works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my site

    in post Madden 17 Ratings for Former Rebels

    Jamie laverty said:

    Bulmer I love you and ole Miss

    in post Fast Runner From Down Under

    Sharon Hamlin said:

    Hi! Really Bulmer is very fantastic & dedicated in his job. Really outstanding & well done... :-)

    in post Fast Runner From Down Under

    Sharon Hamlin said:

    Hi! Really motivating post & outstanding job did Bulmer .Loved it... :-)

    in post Fast Runner From Down Under