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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

National Team Training Camp an Eye-Opening Experience for Kizer

Thumbnail image for IMG_0632_CROP.jpgOXFORD, Miss. - CeCe Kizer established herself as one of the SEC's premier attacking players in 2017, and last month she showcased her skills at an even higher level at a training camp with the United States Under-23 National Team.

The week-long training session featured the top soccer players in the country. It was Kizer's second invite to the camp in as many months, putting her squarely in the thick of the pool of players the national team keeps on its radar.

"The training was definitely intense," Kizer said. "It was a hard environment to go into because everyone is trying to show their stuff, but overall it was a good experience. I learned a lot. I love learning more about the game. I still think I have a lot of areas I can develop in but it is exciting to know I may have a future with the national team program."

The speed of the game is night-and-day from the SEC level. Kizer knew this, but it didn't deter her and she certainly was up for the challenge.

"The speed of play is quicker," Kizer said. "Your mind and everything have to be on all the time. Everything is going 100 miles per hour. It was kind of hard to get adjusted to, but I had been to a camp before that so I had some experience under my belt."

Kizer first found out she'd be involved with the UWSNT U-23 program back in the fall. It was a dream come true for the Ole Miss star. 

"It's always been my dream so there were so many emotions," Kizer said. "I was excited and terrified and nervous, but I let it soak in and realized I deserve this and it's something I'd been working for for a long time."

Ole Miss head coach Matt Mott was proud but certainly not surprised.

"She's really well-respected throughout the entire league," Mott said. "The idea that she is in the national team pool shows you she is one of the best players in the country without question."

Mott is also well-aware of the difference in speed and skill level from the SEC to the national team level.

"It's the quality," Mott said. "You are taking all of the best college players, and even some pros, and putting them together. U-23 is just one step from the senior national team. That's when you really weed out and start getting the top players."

Perhaps the most invaluable thing the experience gave Kizer was confidence. Knowing she belongs with the best players in the country and being able to keep up and excel.

"Just knowing my hard work is continuing to pay off and learning more things I need to develop and get better at," Kizer said. "It helps making my training harder. It is huge for confidence because if you don't have that you are not going to play at your full potential."

Entering the 2018 campaign as a senior, Kizer wants to be a leader in her final year in Oxford. Playing at a higher level has taught her how important communication is. She'd like to carry that over to next season.

"Being that leader for the team," Kizer said. "I am a senior now and I need to communicate a lot more and make the players around me better."

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

Testing One, Two, Three




While the Rebels have enjoyed a solid fall on the fields and courts and look forward to the upcoming Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and more basketball games, all student-athletes are busy this week proving they are champions in the classroom as well, with final exams taking place. 

"Every finals' period is different.  But after the success that all of our student-athletes experienced athletically, we wanted to encourage them in a different way." said senior associate athletics director for academics and student-athlete development, Derek Cowherd. "Our sports production staff is second to none. I came up with the concept and within days, it was done.  Of course nothing takes the place of working hard, attending class or studying and preparing all year, but this added boost should remind all students that we care about how they perform academically as well."

 

Game, Set, Regular Season

2013 RebelsDespite losing the All-American twin duo of Marcel and Chris Thiemann and playing in the toughest conference in America, Ole Miss finished the 2013 regular season with a ranking of No. 7 in the nation.

The regular season was highlighted by Ole Miss' 4-3 win over No. 3 ranked Georgia.  The loss was the Bulldog's only SEC loss of the year.  The Rebels also own two wins over No. 6 Tennessee, two wins over No. 12 Mississippi State and a win over No. 13 Baylor.

The Rebels claimed their 10th SEC Western Division title, giving them the title in 10 of the 12 years it has been awarded.  In addition, Ole Miss also finished in the top four overall in the SEC for the 17th time in 19 years.

All of Ole Miss' success this year has come in the toughest conference in collegiate tennis.  The SEC features 11 of the top 25 teams in the country, with four in the top 10.  The conference also boasts many of the top players in both singles and doubles.  Seven of the top 25 singles players are from the SEC and Ole Miss' Nik Scholtz and Jonas Lutjen are ranked No. 15 and No. 20, respectively.  In fact, Ole Miss is the only SEC school and only one of two schools in the nation (the other four-time defending national champion Southern Cal) to feature two top 20 ranked players.  The SEC is even stronger in doubles, featuring seven of the top 10 teams including Scholtz and Lutjen at No. 4.  

The 2013 regular season came to a conclusion as Ole Miss hosted the SEC Men's Tennis Championship at the Palmer/Salloum Tennis Center this past weekend.  Thirteen of the nation's best teams descended upon Oxford for an exciting weekend of tennis.  Following the tournament's conclusion, 12 of the 13 SEC teams are expected to make the NCAA Championships, which begin May 10.  

The Rebels are in line to host the first and seconds round of the NCAA Championships.  They have been selected to the NCAAs 20 consecutive years and hosted the first and second rounds 10 times.

(Chris Lawyer, Media Relations Student Assistant)


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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

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    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:

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    in post Fast Runner From Down Under