Season Preview: Rebels `Want More' In 2014

Ole Miss softball is looking to reach new heights in 2014.

Ole Miss softball is looking to reach new heights in 2014.

Jan. 31, 2014

This is part five of a five-part series previewing the 2014 Ole Miss softball season. Part five takes a broader outlook on the upcoming 2014 season. Part four looked at the Rebels’ outfield, while part three was on the Ole Miss infield. Part two focused on the Ole Miss pitching staff, and part one was on the Rebels’ coaches and schedule.

OXFORD, Miss. – After the Ole Miss softball team closed out the 2013 season with a pair of emphatic victories, the team huddled together one final time. It was in that huddle that one season finished, and the next season began.

“It was said in the final postgame huddle, ‘We want more,’ ” Ole Miss head coach Windy Thees recalled. “Yeah, we had a lot of people telling us how great we were doing and how much better we’ve been than we have ever been before, but our players actually got frustrated with that. You don’t want to be congratulated when you didn’t make the goals you set out for yourself, even if they were harder and higher than the program has ever reached before.”

Throughout the fall and spring, the Rebels kept that in mind as they worked on and off the field. Returning eight of nine starters from a season ago, paired with a strong incoming class, the future is bright in Oxford for the softball program, and Thees has more options at her disposal than she’s ever had before.

“It’s going to be an exciting year for me to figure out how to use our depth effectively and making more switches than I’ve ever had to make, which is a great problem to have when you have so many talented kids,” Thees said. “It will be more about the best matchup and the best defense against certain teams and the best offense against certain teams.”

One trait Thees is particularly excited about with this year’s team is its versatility, a trait she says she looks for in prospective student-athletes when recruiting. Now, with so many players on the roster who can play multiple positions, Thees said she has enjoyed scrimmaging and switching people around the field to different positions and the players not lose a step.

With so much depth on the Ole Miss roster, along with that versatility, that daily competition has raised the bar in performance and focus, or as Thees calls it, “focused fun.”

“If you over-focus and don’t have fun, you’re going to stress out, fail and wallow in it and get some head cases happening. Then if you don’t focus and you just have fun you’re not going to care as much. You want to have that focused fun. That’s the key to winning and really, really enjoying your sport.”

The NCAA Tournament, as always, remains the No. 1 goal for the softball team. With a nation-leading eight Southeastern Conference teams being ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Division I preseason top 25 poll, the conference season will be as challenging and exciting as ever.

“We want to achieve higher goals for Ole Miss than has ever been reached before,” Thees said. “We want to be that first program to do a lot of things. This year, we need to make the SEC Tournament and we need to make the NCAA Tournament because that’s something we have the potential to do.”

So now with the 2014 season just one week away, the Rebels want one thing: More.

“We’ve tried to make sure we incorporate that into everything we do,” Thees said.

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

    • Seniors Shine, Records Broken in Magnolia Bowl

      Saturday, November 21, 2015 - Football

      By Steven Oubre, Ole Miss Athletics Media RelationsAfter a bounce that didn't go their way against Arkansas, the Rebels knew tonight was a must-win situation. No. 22 Ole Miss knocked off rival No. 15 LSU 38-17 in a top-25 matchup... read more

    • Drama Rules The Day at Vaught-Hemingway

      Saturday, November 7, 2015 - Football

      By Brandon Lee, Ole Miss Athletics Media RelationsDrama in front of a sold-out crowd of 60,680 between the No. 18 Rebels and Arkansas? It was that and a whole lot more in a back-and-forth Saturday night knockdown, drag-out SEC West... read more

    • Rebels Dominate In Prime-Time Spotlight

      Saturday, October 24, 2015 - Football

      By Steven Oubre, Ole Miss Athletics Media RelationsIt wasn't pretty, but the Rebels got the job done. No. 23 Ole Miss and No. 15 Texas A&M combined for seven turnovers, but a dominant defense and a balanced offense led to... read more

    • Midseason Checkpoint: Rebels Control Their Own Destiny

      Wednesday, October 14, 2015 -

      It seemed like it was just yesterday that the Ole Miss football team continued through the motions of fall camp, and we all were just ready for the season to finally begin. Fast forward with a little Talladega up-tempo... read more

    • Rebels Bounce Back at Home

      Saturday, October 10, 2015 -

      By Steven Oubre, Ole Miss Athletics Media RelationsOle Miss raced past another non-conference opponent at home this week. The Rebels returned to their usual form after a conference loss at Florida last week, racking up 665 yards of total offense,... read more

    • Ratings, Exposure Huge for Ole Miss-Alabama

      Tuesday, September 22, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss' historic win over Alabama last Saturday was not only popular with members of Rebel Nation, it was among the most-watched college football games of the year.The Rebels' thrilling 43-37 victory over the Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium was the... read more

    • Rebels Pass First Test in Search of Playoff Berth

      Sunday, September 20, 2015 - Football

      By Steven Oubre, Ole Miss Athletics Media RelationsThe road to the College Football Playoff includes many tests along the way. The Ole Miss Rebels (3-0, 1-0 SEC) just passed their first, proving that they are a legitimate contender after knocking... read more

    • Kelly Makes Statement in Big Rebel Win

      Saturday, September 12, 2015 - Football

      By Steven Oubre, Ole Miss Athletics Media Relations Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri;... read more

    • Big Plays Highlight Season-Opening Win

      Saturday, September 5, 2015 - Football

      Offense, defense and special teams. Ole Miss dominated all three aspects of the game as the 15th-ranked Rebels routed UT Martin 76-3 in the season opener. The 60,186 fans, mostly dressed in white, anticipated an exciting start to the 2015... read more

    • Time to Take a Stand

      Monday, August 31, 2015 -

      It's finally week! It's been 242 days since the Ole Miss Rebels last took to the gridiron for a clash of the helmets. After a successful 2014 campaign in which Ole Miss knocked off a No. 1-ranked team... read more

    • Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge to Air on ESPNU Aug. 1

      Thursday, July 30, 2015 -

      Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE ATLANTA - On Saturday, fans can tune in to see the Rebels duo of Head Football Coach Hugh Freeze and former Ole Miss basketball player Sean Tuohy compete in the Chick-fil-A... read more

    • Rebels Emerge on Four Watch Lists This Week

      Friday, July 17, 2015 -

      Only 50 days until The Grove is full, the constant shouts of "Hotty Toddy" are in the air, and football kicks off 100 years in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium! Looking forward to this upcoming college football season, seven Rebels were named to... read more

    • Football Rebels All Over First Week of Watch List Releases

      Friday, July 10, 2015 -

      As we near the 2015 college football season, national organizations have started to release watch lists for their respective awards. Through the first week of watch lists being released, multiple Rebels have been announced as players that fans need to... read more

    • Engram, Hilton and Johnson to Represent Ole Miss at SEC Football Media Days

      Wednesday, July 8, 2015 -

      Along with head coach Hugh Freeze, three Rebels will represent Ole Miss at the annual SEC Football Media Days next week. Junior Evan Engram, just named to the John Mackey Award Watch List for college football's most outstanding tight end,... read more

    • Five Rebels Tabbed Preseason All-SEC in The Birmingham News

      Tuesday, June 30, 2015 -

      Five Ole Miss Rebels were chosen as preseason All-SEC selections by some of the people who work closest with the student-athletes, the football media relations directors. The 14 football media relations directors of the Southeastern Conference institutions voted in the... read more




  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago



» «