Softball Season Preview: Coaches, Schedule

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Ole Miss softball head coach Windy Thees and the Rebels are aiming for regionals in 2013.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Ole Miss softball head coach Windy Thees and the Rebels are aiming for regionals in 2013.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Jan. 29, 2013

This is part one of a four-part series previewing the 2013 Ole Miss softball season. Part one focuses on the Rebels' coaching staff and schedule.

OXFORD, Miss. - There's a different vibe at the Ole Miss Softball Complex these days. As Ole Miss softball head coach Windy Thees prepares the Rebels for their 17th year in program history, and their second under her tutelage, the goal is clear: Regionals.

It's a place Ole Miss has never been before, but it's a place and date Thees has made the Rebels save on their calendar.

"We don't have a saying or anything that we're going with, but we do have an expectation, and that is that we will be in regionals for the first time this year," Thees said. "That is our expectation, and anything short of that will make this a disappointing season for us."

COACHES

Last year, Ole Miss improved its overall win total by eight games, and its conference win total by four. Gone are four position starters from that team, and coming in are nine newcomers, including two junior transfers and seven freshmen. Helping Thees get every player on the same page will be assistant coaches Julie Meyer and Mike Perniciaro, who both return from last year's squad, a key Thees says is imperative to a team's success.

"It's the bench mark of almost every successful program," Thees said. "You don't really see teams win that rotate their staff out a lot. You just don't see it happen. When you find a good staff, you keep them and you keep them happy as much as you can and do everything in your power to help their career, but keep them happy so maybe they'll want to stick around."

One of the many advantages of having continuity in a coaching staff is in the world of recruiting. With Meyer and Perniciaro back, the recruiting pitch remains consistent. When talking with potential recruits, the three coaches lay out what they're looking for and what they are going to expect from them. In the words of Thees, those student-athletes are extremely tough and extremely competitive and they don't accept losing.

"We're winners here," Thees said. "Coach Pooch, Julie and I, that's what we are, and that's who we're recruiting. We're recruiting kids who want to be at the start of what we're doing, because that's where we are right now. This is an amazing school, with an amazing facility and an absolutely fabulous athletic department. Getting kids to come here to this school is fine, now we have to convince them that, `We want you to come, but you better come ready to play and ready to help take us to Oklahoma City, which is where we want to go.' "

SCHEDULE

The Rebels schedule is both difficult and exciting. Spanning from Hawaii to Florida, the 2013 Rebels will get to see many places and face many great opponents, including 12 teams ranked or receiving votes in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 preseason poll.

The Rebels open the season in Honolulu with the Oceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic, where they will face No. 25 Hawaii and No. 16 Washington, in addition to Saint Mary's and UAB.

Ole Miss' home opener will be against LSU in a rare non-conference matchup. Because the two teams do not face each other in the SEC regular season, Thees and LSU head coach Beth Torina decided they would like to continue the rivalry by playing one game against each other in a non-conference game setting. The game will also be special as the Rebels and Tigers will be playing it as a charity event.

"We're going to do it as a charity event where we're going to be donating new or gently used sports equipment to their Geaux Play program that was started by former LSU All-American Brittany Mack," Thees said. "It's a really cool program and we're excited to be a part of it."

Ole Miss will host the Red and Blue Classic from Feb. 22-24, where it will face McNeese State, Tennessee-Martin, Drake, Middle Tennessee State and Mississippi Valley State.

In SEC action, the Rebels will travel to Kentucky, Georgia, Auburn and Mississippi State. Ole Miss will host SEC newcomers No. 7 Missouri and No. 17 Texas A&M, in addition to No. 15 Florida and No. 5 Tennessee.

With the grueling 56-game regular season schedule in front of them, the Rebels are ready and excited to play ball. The goal is to rewrite the Ole Miss record book and make NCAA regionals, and they know the journey will be tough, Thees said, but the Rebels are ready for it.

"We're on a mission," Thees said. "We're going to have fun, but we're on a mission. When we don't achieve something one day we need to be disappointed. We need to be mad. We need to accept the fact that the coaches are going to yell. You're going to have to work harder. This mission that we're on to get to postseason play is going to be more intense, but that's exactly what the girls have fed on all fall."

For all Ole Miss softball news and information, go to OleMissSports.com and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissSoftball and on Facebook at Ole Miss Softball.

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    • Loading Tweets...
      1 second ago
    Blog
    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 28-May 4, 2015)

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 28-May 4, 2015Baseball - 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... read more

    • VIDEO: Rebel Road Trip 2015

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Rebel Road Trip 2015 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • More on Steelers' Selection of Golson

      Friday, May 1, 2015 - Football

      Welcome to Pittsburgh...and welcome to #SteelersNation, @Quez_G! #SteelersDraft pic.twitter.com/oY8wZc10Kk-- Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 2, 2015 Congrats Senquez Golson! Drafted 56th overall in the 2015 #NFLDRAFT by the Pittsburgh Steelers. #HottyToddy #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/EPGayDNOu7-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) May 2, 2015 Ole... read more

    • Six Rebels Among Inaugural Scott County HOF Class

      Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - Athletics

      Six men with ties to Ole Miss were part of the inaugural class of 25 athletes and coaches inducted into the Scott County Hall of Fame this past Saturday at Roosevelt State Park in Morton. It is believed that this... read more

    • Freeze, Tuohy Conclude Play at Charity Golf Tournament

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Football

      In a tie for 7th place at 7-under, @OleMissFB takes home $30,000 in charity and scholarship. #CFAPBGolf pic.twitter.com/qd0JzilyYR-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 28, 2015 The Ole Miss team of head football coach Hugh Freeze and Sean Tuohy turned in a strong... read more

    • Tennis Teams React to NCAA Tournament Selections

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Men's Tennis

      The Ole Miss men's and women's tennis team learned their postseason destinations, as the men's and women's NCAA Tournament fields were announced Tuesday. The men, ranked No. 13 in the nation, are the No. 14 overall seed and will be... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 21-27, 2015)

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 21-27, 2015Baseball - During the five-game homestand, Ole Miss went 3-2 with a midweek win over Central Arkansas as well as claiming a weekend series over Alabama.  - The Rebels recorded 68 hits throughout... read more

    • Freeze Wins Long Drive Competition

      Monday, April 27, 2015 - Football

      With a distance of 287-yards, the 2015 #CFAPBGolf Coaches Division Long Drive Champion is @CoachHughFreeze! pic.twitter.com/ProCdgbbg9-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 27, 2015 Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze took home the long drive title at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- April 26

      Sunday, April 26, 2015 - Athletics

      Hugh Freeze and Ross Bjork embarked on the Rebel Road Trip, the baseball team claimed their weekend series over Alabama that featured the largest crowd of the season and the football program's NFL presence is expected to grow with the... read more

    • Bramlett Helps Rebels Complete DH Sweep, Clinch Series

      Sunday, April 26, 2015 - Baseball

      Ole Miss swept a doubleheader Saturday, defeating Alabama 10-2 in Game One and 4-0 in Game Two. As a pitching staff, the Rebels allowed just one earned run and scattered a combined 12 hits with 17 strikeouts compared to just... read more

    • Freeze, Tuohy to Rep Ole Miss at Charity Golf Tournament

      Friday, April 24, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze will team with former All-SEC basketball player Sean Tuohy to represent the Rebels for the fourth straight year and compete for a share of the $520,000 total purse in the ninth annual Chick-fil-A... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Football Season Tickets Promo

      Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - Football

      read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Baseball Stars Wars Night Intro

      Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - Baseball

      read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 14-20, 2015)

      Monday, April 20, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 14-20, 2015Men's Tennis- Ole Miss downed No. 22 Vanderbilt 4-1 to advance to the SEC Tournament semifinals for the 16th time in program history.- The Rebels rallied to take the doubles point and then got... read more

    • Rebels Continue Push to Host in NCAA's

      Thursday, April 16, 2015 - Men's Tennis

      With a split of road matches at South Carolina and No. 8 Georgia, the Ole Miss men's tennis team moved up one spot to No. 13 in the nation entering the Southeastern Conference Men's Tennis Championship this week in College... read more