Softball Season Preview: Pitching

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Senior Erinn Jayjohn pitched the most innings for the Rebels in 2012 among Ole Miss returners.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Senior Erinn Jayjohn pitched the most innings for the Rebels in 2012 among Ole Miss returners.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Jan. 30, 2013

This is part two of a four-part series previewing the 2013 Ole Miss softball season. Part two focuses on the Rebels’ pitching staff. Part one on the coaches and schedule can be seen here.

OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss softball head coach Windy Thees is passionate. It’s a quality she believes in and coaches with in each practice and each game.

With little history to back up her belief of the Rebels making regionals during the 2013 season, Thees said she knows some people may not have as high of expectations for the Rebels as her. That does not make her any less passionate about her belief, though. For Thees, it’s the only way to go about a season, and the Rebels will work to break every record they can in 2013.

“We’ve got to do things for the first time here at Ole Miss,” Thees said. “This is the next step for us. Last year was a solid first step. Our recruiting classes are getting stronger and stronger every year. I love the kids that we have in right now. Our next step is going to the postseason this year, and anything short of that will make this not a great season.”

A key part in making the Rebels’ goal come to fruition will be the performance of the pitching staff.

PITCHING

The Rebels welcome in two junior transfers in Shelby Jo Fenter and Carly Hummel. Fenter hails from West Memphis, Ark., and was one of the top junior college pitchers in the country last season at Vol State Community College. Hummel reunites with Thees at Ole Miss after pitching for the Rebels’ second-year head coach for two seasons at Memphis.

“The best thing about those two is that they both have something to prove and they both have a chip on their shoulder, and I absolutely love coaching players with a chip on their shoulder,” Thees said. “As a player, I always had that because I was undersized and small. So I love players who have chips on their shoulders because it’s just one more thing that motivates you when you go out there.

“They both have tremendous work ethics in the classroom, on the field and in their workouts. They have also added a wonderful leadership role to the team that we were missing.”

Fenter posted a 24-4 record last season as a sophomore, striking out 330 batters in 164.1 innings for a 2.01 strikeouts per inning rate and a 1.19 ERA. At the plate, Fenter batted .429 with 56 runs, 76 RBI, 73 hits and nine home runs.

Hummel comes to Ole Miss after having set the Memphis career records in ERA (1.60), lowest opponent batting average (.146), most strikeouts per seven innings (8.22), shutouts (13), strikeouts (406) and strikeouts looking (116).

“Shelby Jo and Carly are going to be our aces,” Thees said. “They’re our juniors and they’re proven. I think we’re going to be able to use our staff very effectively.”

Joining Fenter and Hummel in the circle this year will be senior Erinn Jayjohn, sophomore Lauren Lindsey and freshman Madi Osias. Jayjohn returns to the Rebels after pitching 89.1 innings last season a junior, the most among Ole Miss returners. Lindsey logged 17.2 innings last year, while Osias comes in as a second team All-State selection from Tustin, Calif.

“Madi Osias had a great fall,” Thees said. “She had a strikeout ratio this fall of 2.15 per inning. It’s nice to have that kind of new staff in the circle. And you still have Erinn Jayjohn and Lauren Lindsey and they’re still out there doing what they do.”

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.

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