Senior Carly Hummel returns as the Rebels' most experienced pitcher entering the 2014 season.
Jan. 28, 2014
This is part two of a five-part series previewing the 2014 Ole Miss softball season. Part two focuses on the Rebels’ pitching staff, while part one was on the Ole Miss coaches and schedule.
OXFORD, Miss. – As is the case with the start of every new season, excitement is brimming. One of the many causes for excitement at the Ole Miss Softball Complex in 2014 is the Rebels’ pitching staff, which includes an intriguing blend of youth and experience.
Seniors Carly Hummel and Shelby Jo Fenter each return for their second years in the Southeastern Conference after transferring to Ole Miss from Memphis and Vol State Community College, respectively. Hummel led the Rebels with 147 innings pitched in 2013, while Fenter was second on the team with 82 innings.
“This year has been really great because we have kids who have pitched at the highest level and we have some really talented youth,” Ole Miss head coach Windy Thees said.
Sophomore Madi Osias and junior Lauren Lindsey were fourth and fifth on the team last season in innings pitched, and both also boast SEC experience.
Coming into the 2014 season is redshirt-freshman Emily Gaitan and true freshman Emily Boyd, who each had strong showings in the fall.
As opposed to last season when she could not pitch in the fall due to a hand injury, Hummel was able to go all fall this season and is the Rebels’ most experienced pitcher.
“Having that experience of playing in the SEC and being healthy in the fall is great,” said Thees, who coached Hummel for two years at Memphis prior to her transfer to Ole Miss. “We’re excited for her to have a tremendous senior year.”
Fenter enters 2014 as Ole Miss’ second-most experienced pitcher after making 15 starts as a junior and striking out 80 batters. Thees said to pitch at the Division I level for the first time and face SEC competition was an eye-opening experience for the West Memphis, Ark., native.
“One thing about Shelby Jo is she’s such a hard worker,” Thees said. “She and Carly have really done a good job of having their work ethic show the younger ones what they need to do, and they have set the bar pretty high.”
Osias enters her sophomore year coming off a very promising freshman campaign. The Tustin, Calif., native was third on the team in innings pitched in conference play, and tied for second in strikeouts vs. SEC opponents. She then carried over her hard work from her rookie season into the fall where she again impressed the Rebel coaches.
“As the year went on last season she got more and more experience and more and more opportunities, and going into her sophomore year that’s going to help,” Thees said. “She had a tremendous fall – the best fall of anyone on our staff, really.”
Lindsey, a junior from Decatur, Ala., made seven appearances in the circle last season, including six appearances in conference games. The southpaw has worked hard throughout the offseason and Thees said that hard work will pay off for her this season in the form of more opportunities.
“She’s making me a believer with how hard she worked this fall and how well she did when we gave her opportunities,” Thees said. “She got outs and you can’t look at stats and not see that. That’s saying something. She will get her opportunities to get outs in the spring as well.”
Gaitan and Boyd are the Rebels’ two freshmen pitchers in 2014. Gaitan, an early enrollee in 2013 who traveled and practiced with the team throughout the year while redshirting, enters her rookie year with a lot of knowledge about the SEC and playing collegiately despite never having made an appearance.
“She’s a freshman, but not really,” said Thees of Gaitan. “She has amazing stuff and it’s going to be fun to see her develop.”
Boyd comes to Oxford with impressive high school credentials and has made it known to Thees that despite being just a freshman, she wants to make a mark in 2014.
“She came into my office at the end of the fall this year and said, ‘I want to contribute this year, Coach. I know we have a plan, but I’m going to be ready to get on the mound this year and help our team win,’ ” Thees said. “That was one of my favorite end-of-the-fall meetings. That’s what you want to hear out of your freshmen.”
The calendar turned to March, as the men's and women's basketball teams march toward the SEC Tournament and postseason play. The baseball team faced perhaps its biggest challenge of nonconference play. The softball and men's tennis teams each had another... read more
The numbers and bracket projections may not be in his favor at this point, but head women's basketball coach Matt Insell is selling the NCAA Tournament selection committee on his team passing the eye test, as Ole Miss enters its... read more
BATON ROUGE, La. -- With an opportunity to perhaps lock itself into the NCAA Tournament, or at the very least enhance its resume, Ole Miss lost back-to-back games for the first time all season, falling on the road at LSU... read more
Despite the most recent home loss to Georgia on Wednesday night, Ole Miss remains a team projected to be solidly in the field, as the Rebels put their school record four-game SEC road winning streak on the line when they... read more
Here's a collection of snow days photos from Ole Miss Athletics Photographer Josh McCoy (@OleMissPix):The Pavillion at Ole Miss in winter! #SnowDay2015 #WAOM @OleMissSports @OleMissMBB @OleMissWBB pic.twitter.com/nHyhVPlDvG-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) February 25, 2015 Awweeee.... #SnowDay2015 #WAOM @OleMissSports @OleMissFB pic.twitter.com/R1BDZ0shvS-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix)... read more
If recent history is any indication, Ole Miss and Georgia are likely to go down to the wire on Wednesday night. Four of the last five meetings over the last three seasons have been decided by five points or less,... read more
The defensive backs, including former Ole Miss players Senquez Golson and Cody Prewitt, participated in on-field workouts at the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine on Monday in Indianapolis. Looking ahead, Ole Miss will hold its annual pro day on March 5... read more
Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review Feb. 17-23, 2015 Men's Basketball - Ole Miss posted a 2-0 mark last week with a 71-65 win at Mississippi State and a 59-57 victory over Tennessee. The Rebels improved to 10-4 in the... read more
Despite winter weather that affected many teams, it was a busy week for Ole Miss athletics. The men's basketball completed a 2-0 week and has positioned itself well entering the last two weeks of the regular season. The baseball, women's... read more
After missing the end of the 2013 season and the entire 2014 season due to recovery from a torn labrum, sophomore right-hander Brady Bramlett has been brilliant in his first two outings back in 2015, fanning 19 batters through 12.0... read more
For the second time in as many weeks, Ole Miss embarks on a Thursday-Saturday swing, returning home to host Tennessee on Saturday after a 71-65 win on Thursday at Mississippi State. During the previous week, Ole Miss was on the... read more
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The game hung in the balance. Mississippi State had just regained a 54-52 lead with 6:25 left, taking advantage of a 6-0 run. Head coach Andy Kennedy challenged his team, and junior guard Stefan Moody answered the... read more