May 2017 Archives

Ole Miss Historian Recalls Early Days of CoSIDA

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Long time Ole Miss sports information director, Langston Rogers is not just an Ole Miss historian, he's a College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) historian as well.

Rogers spent 29 years serving as Ole Miss' sports information director and belongs to eight Halls of Fame, including being inducted into the CoSIDA Hall of Fame in 1990. He's received CoSIDA's Arch Award, Trailblazer award and is the namesake of the Langston Rogers postgraduate scholarship presented annually to a minority or female media relations professional.

Rogers, who retired as Ole Miss sports information director in 2010, will be attending his 52nd CoSIDA convention this summer and has seen the organization change, and in some ways stay the same, in its 60 years and shared his thoughts in the latest edition of CoSIDA 360 magazine.

Click HERE to read article.

Ole Miss Wins Oxford Regional

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There was no championship hangover for Ole Miss in the Oxford Regional, and the Rebels proved last week was no fluke. Ole Miss needed just three games to claim the regional and advance to the super regionals as one of the 16 teams left standing in the NCAA Tournament. Despite falling behind 2-0 after two innings, the Rebels never flinched. Kaitlin Lee settled in by allowing just one hit over the final five frames, and the Rebel offense supplied the support she needed. A two-run home run by Brittany Finney in the sixth gave Ole Miss its first lead of the game at 4-2. From there, Ole Miss would add three insurance runs in the seventh inning to eliminate North Carolina and move on for the first time in program history.

Key Moment: In the bottom of the fifth, North Carolina had their best chance to reclaim the lead and force a second game. A two-out double and a walk put runners on first and second. Mike Smith made the decision to intentionally walk Kendra Lynch and her .380 batting average to load up the bases. The decision proved to be the right one, as Kaitlin Lee forced the next batter to ground out and end the threat. That sparked the Ole Miss offense in the top of the sixth. After a one-out single, Brittany Finney broke the tie by blasting a 1-1 pitch over the left field wall for a two-run bomb. 

Player of the Game: Brittany Finney. When Ole Miss needed a big hit on Sunday, Finney delivered by driving in three of the Rebels' first four runs. The sophomore came through with the hit in the fourth inning to tie the game up at two. Then in the top of the sixth, her two-run homer was the lift Ole Miss needed to win the Oxford Regional and advance to the super regionals. 

Oxford Regional: Ole Miss 2, Arizona State 0

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After an easy opening game win, the Rebels were locked in a tight one to open the day on Saturday against the two-seed Arizona State. The two pitchers in the circle were in control for most of the game, putting up five frames of scoreless innings to start the contest. In the sixth inning, Ole Miss would break through to advance to Sunday in the Oxford Regional and send Arizona State to the losers bracket.

Key Moment: For five innings, both pitchers Kaitlin Lee and Dale Ryndak traded scoreless innings. Entering the sixth, the two teams had combined for only five hits. In the bottom half of the inning, the Ole Miss offense would give Lee the only runs she would need. Elantra Cox tripled over the right fielder's head to open the inning, and the Rebels wasted no time getting her home. Kylan Becker, who drove in five runs last night, stepped up again with an RBI-triple to break the 0-0 tie. The Rebels weren't done yet, though. With two outs, Miranda Strother laced a double to right to bring in the second run of the inning. Two runs for Kaitlin Lee? Plenty. 

Player of the Game: Kaitlin Lee. Last night, Ole Miss' ace pitched with a pretty sizable cushion for most of the game in the run-rule victory. Today, she didn't have much room for error in a tight game. She was unfazed. The junior allowed just three hits and never let Arizona State get anything going. In five of her seven innings, she faced only three Arizona State batters. It was another efficient and dominant performance for Lee as she stifled another high-quality opponent.  

Numbers of the Game: Arizona State didn't have many baserunners. When they did manage one, Lee wasn't allowing anything else. Arizona State only had one hit in just five at-bats with a runner on base. Adding to that, the Sun Devils had only one at-bat and no hits with a runner in scoring position. When Lee recorded the second out in an inning, it was as good as over. Arizona State was 0-for-7 with two outs.

Quotable: "We kept battling," Ole Miss head coach Mike Smith said. "We stayed the course. Every game that we've played this year prepared us for this opportunity. It was a huge throw by Miranda (Strother) at the end. It was a great pitching performance by Kaitlin (Lee), again. I can't say enough about what Elantra (Cox), our catalyst, did at the top with that leadoff triple."

Oxford Regional: Ole Miss 8, Southern Illinois 0

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In the Rebels first game at home in a regional, Ole Miss kicked things off in emphatic fashion. The Rebels used two big innings to run-rule the Salukis in five innings and advance into the winners bracket game against Arizona State to begin the day on Saturday. Kaitlin Lee delivered another gem to shut out Southern Illinois while Kylan Becker led the way at the plate to help Ole Miss coast to an 8-0 regional victory. 

Key Moment: After a quiet first inning, the Rebel bats came to life and put the game to rest in the second inning. A Miranda Strother walk followed by a Kaylee Horton double set the Rebels up with one out to grab the early lead, and Ole Miss took advantage of the opportunity. Courtney Syrett dropped down a perfect bunt to bring the first run of the game in on the squeeze play, and that opened the flood gates in the inning. Paige McKinney knocked in another run with an RBI single. The Rebels would proceed to load up the bases with two-outs, and Kylan Becker would deliver in a big way. A bases-clearing triple opened the lead up to 5-0, and Ole Miss would never look back. With a pitcher like Kaitlin Lee on the mound, that was plenty of runs.

Player of the Game: Kylan Becker. She came up with runners on base, and she made Southern Illinois pay by breaking the game wide open. The sophomore tallied a bases-clearing triple as well as an inside-the-park home run to drive in a career-high five runs and give Rebel ace Kaitlin Lee plenty of breathing room. 

Numbers of the Game: When Ole Miss had opportunities to score, the Rebels took advance. In five at-bats with runners in scoring position, Ole Miss came through with a hit four times. On top of that, the Rebels managed a runner on third with fewer than two outs twice. Both times that runner crossed the plate. The offense was extremely efficient with the eight runs on eight hits. 

On the mound, Lee didn't give the Salukis much of anything. She only allowed four hits in her five innings of shutout work and all of them were singles. Southern Illinois only managed two at-bats with runners in scoring position and came up empty both times.

Quotable: "It's a great day to be a Rebel," Ole Miss head coach Mike Smith said. "Wow, how electric was that crowd tonight? We're excited. It was a great game that Southern Illinois played tonight. They're a very good team. The score didn't indicate how good they are. They're a scrappy team. That's a good pitcher there. They attacked Kaitlin early. They had a really good game plan. They sat on the changeup. We swung the bats pretty well tonight. We're excited about being able to play in the confines of our complex. Hotty Toddy." 

Game 3: Ole Miss 6, Texas A&M 3

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Ole Miss battled and manufactured runs at the plate on Sunday, and that would be enough for the Rebel pitching staff that allowed the Aggies just three runs. Ole Miss scored in some less traditional ways to get the lead, with the first three runs coming off of a sac fly, rundown play, and safety squeeze. Ole Miss had plenty of chances to increase the lead but couldn't get the hit to bring guys home. David Parkinson's performance on the mound made up for the runners left on base, however. In the bottom of the eighth inning, the team captains put the game away with home runs in the final home game of the season. Both Tate Blackman and Colby Bortles sent deep shots over the left field fall to stretch the Rebel lead out. 

Key Moment: With Ole Miss leading 2-0, the Aggies had their biggest opportunity to put a big number on the scoreboard in the top of the third. Four of the first five A&M batters reached to bring in a run and keep the bases loaded with one out against Rebel leftie David Parkinson. Instead of letting the game get away from Ole Miss, Parkinson battled back in impressive fashion. He fanned the next two batters to leave them loaded with just the one run crossing the plate. Ole Miss would never trail in the game. 

Player of the Game: David Parkinson. Parkinson had struggled in is last three starts, but on Sunday he returned to the form Ole Miss fans are accustomed to. He worked around some base runners to work six strong innings of one-run baseball. Since he battled the way he did, he mitigated the effect of Ole Miss' offense struggling to get the hit with runners in scoring position. 

Quotable: "Today, (Parkinson) was terrific," Ole Miss head coach Mike Bianco said. "He had a big inning where he comes and gets a couple big strikeouts of (Braden) Shewmake and (Joel) Davis. That was probably the biggest turning point in the game. It was early. People forget that, but those are the pitches that win games."

Game 2: Ole Miss 6, Texas A&M 4

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Ole Miss desperately needed a win on a Saturday. The Rebels are on the NCAA Tournament bubble, so each remaining game is precious. Through seven innings, it didn't appear like Ole Miss was going to get the win it needed. Ole Miss hung around throughout the game, but it seemed like A&M's hits just found holes when the Aggies needed it while Ole Miss' found gloves. However, things changed for the better in the eighth for the Rebels. A four-run eighth inning pushed the Rebels past the Aggies to even up the series.

Key Moment: It would take just three batters for Ole Miss to erase the A&M lead. Ole Miss was in business quickly in the eighth inning after back-to-back singles from Nick Fortes and Ryan Olenek to open the frame. Things began to shift Ole Miss' way after an A&M pickoff attempt led to Olenek taking second base by sliding around the tag. Tim Rowe bounced a grounder to the shortstop, but it was misplayed. Both runners would score on that grounder to tie it up, but the Rebels weren't stopping with a tie game. After two strikeouts, Grae Kessinger stepped up and delivered. The freshman smoked one into the left-center gap for a double to bring home Rowe and give Ole Miss its first lead. Two batters later, Will Golsan provided Rebel closer Dallas Woolfolk an extra run of insurance with an RBI single. Woolfolk would secure the win for the Rebels in the top of the ninth. 

Player of the Game: Grae Kessinger. Ole Miss needed someone to step up to give the Rebels a much needed win. That player turned out to be Kessinger. With a 2-2 count in a tie game, the freshman produced one of his best swings of the year as he crushed the pitch into the left-center gap. Outside of the late-inning heroics, the Ole Miss shortstop was on base all night as he walked in two other plate appearances. 

Quotable: "It was great," Kessinger said. "You dream about stuff like that, getting the big hit and everybody going crazy. It was a big win for all of us to give us momentum going into tomorrow. Games like this can turn everything around in a heartbeat. Baseball is a great game for that reason. You can struggle for a little bit then come out and play a great game and everything is fixed."

We Meet Again

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As the Ole Miss men's tennis team gets set for its NCAA first round match against UC Santa Barbara Friday, we throw it back to 1997, the first ever meeting between the two schools that kicked off an NCAA Tournament run to the Final Four for the Rebels. That meeting also took place at UCLA.

Back then the top eight teams advanced to the finals site and then the rest of the Final 16 was determined by regionals around the country. The Rebels were the No. 2 overall seed that year, while UC Santa Barbara beat Washington and Pepperdine 4-1 in a regional to set up the round of 16 meeting.

Senior Ricardo Jorge was just a toddler and freshman Tim Sandkaulen wasn't even born yet, when the Rebels downed the Gauchos 4-0 in the Sweet Sixteen in 1997 on their way to the second of four Final Four appearances.

Led by All-Americans Johan Hede, Sebastien DeChaunac and Johan Landsberg at the top of the lineup, the Rebels downed the Gauchos 4-0. After winning the doubles, Ole Miss picked up singles wins from Landsberg at three, Martin Sjoqvist at four and Vikrant Chadha at five.

The Rebels went on to beat seventh-ranked Boise State 4-3 in the quarterfinals with DeChaunac clinching the win at No. 2 singles, setting up a semifinal showdown with Stanford. The Cardinal ended up winning the match 4-2, but the Rebels ended an outstanding year ranked No. 4 in the nation.

"This was another outstanding year for the Ole Miss tennis program," said hall of fame coach Billy Chadwick, following one of the best years in program history. "We won the SEC Tournament as well as the overall SEC Championship, and positioned ourselves for a run at the National Championship."

Twenty years later, Ole Miss and UCSB will face off for the second time Friday at 12 p.m. CT, from the Sunset Canyon Tennis Courts on the UCLA campus. 

The Rebels have won eight of their last nine matches, while the Gauchos come in on a school-record 12-match win streak after capturing the Big West Tournament title to earn the automatic bid.

It's NCAA tennis time!

From the Tennis Court to Dr. Rangel

Five years ago, Gabby Rangel helped lead the Ole Miss women's tennis team to the NCAA Championships and a final national ranking of No. 18. She also graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in economics and international studies.


This past weekend, Rangel received her doctorate of philosophy in political science, from the University of Kentucky.

Rangel has been serving as a teaching assistant at Kentucky, while working on her doctorate in Comparative Politics with a focus on the Latin American region. She has taught several political science classes to undergraduate students at UK. Rangel earned her master's in political science from the University of Kentucky in 2015.

18319033_10208941409921833_7534276313369206926_o.jpgCongrats Gabby on all your success from your Ole Miss family! #HottyToddy 

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