Season Preview: Rebels `Want More' In 2014

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

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

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 OleMissSports.com and follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissSoftball and on Facebook at Ole Miss Softball.

    • From the Tee Box at the 2016 SEC Championships

      Sunday, April 17, 2016 - Athletics

      Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA 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:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} As the Ole Miss women's golf... read more

    • From the Tee Box at the 2016 SEC Championships

      Saturday, April 16, 2016 - Athletics

      Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA 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:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} As the Ole Miss women's golf... read more

    • From the Tee Box at the 2016 SEC Championships

      Friday, April 15, 2016 - Athletics

      Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA 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:12.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} As the Ole Miss women's golf... read more

    • Ole Miss School Of Pharmacy Names Todd Sandroni Distinguished Alum

      Saturday, April 9, 2016 - Football

      By Steven Oubre, Ole Miss Athletics Media RelationsThis weekend, the School of Pharmacy at the University of Mississippi will name former Rebel football player Todd Sandroni their 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Award. From 1987-1990, Todd Sandroni stalked the football field... read more

    • The Journey to this Point...2016 Ole Miss Baseball

      Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - Baseball

      By Tate Hawkins, Ole Miss Athletics Media Relations In case you missed it, or you've been focused on the winter sports, Ole Miss Baseball is already five weeks into the 2016 season. After an 8-2 win over UT Martin on... read more

    • Break Out the Powder Blue

      Monday, February 29, 2016 - Baseball

      By Tate Hawkins, Student Assistant, Ole Miss Athletics Media RelationsYou've seen it all over athletics and campus. From jerseys, hats, helmets, and even to T-shirts that get tossed into the crowd. Fans have clung to this over the past... read more

    • Watch Six Rebels at NFL Combine on NFL Network

      Thursday, February 25, 2016 - Football

      Who doesn't enjoy seeing their favorite Rebels suit up on Sundays and represent Ole Miss in the National Football League?Well, there are about to be a few more NFL Rebels to watch on TV this fall.The Path to the Draft... read more

    • Welcome Back to Baseball

      Monday, February 22, 2016 - Baseball

      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:12.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} By Tate Hawkins, Student Assistant, Ole... read more

    • Ole Miss Baseball 2016 Walk Out Music

      Friday, February 19, 2016 - Baseball

      With the 2016 Ole Miss Baseball season beginning today at Swayze Field (4 p.m. CT vs. FIU), check out the always much-anticipated walk out music list. Which song is your favorite?#1 DJ Miller: "Go DJ" by Lil Wayne#2 Ryan Olenek:... read more

    • Ole Miss to Appear at SEC Football Media Days on July 14

      Tuesday, February 16, 2016 - Football

      The Southeastern Conference today announced Kickoff '16, its annual football media days, will be held July 11-14 at the Hyatt Regency Birmingham - Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Alabama. Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and selected players (TBA) will visit... read more

    • Rebels Rule NCAA Stats, SEC History

      Tuesday, January 19, 2016 - Football

      Last week, I wrote this story about the 64 school records and numerous program firsts that Hugh Freeze's Ole Miss football team accomplished in 2015.Today let's take a closer look at where the Rebels' season stacked up in the national... read more

    • What They're Saying in 2015

      Tuesday, December 15, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss Football is one of five programs in the nation to make back-to-back New Year's Six bowl games and will play in the Allstate Sugar Bowl (Jan. 1, 2016) for the first time since 1970. The Rebels are the... read more

    • Ole Miss Football: 2015 Offensive Juggernaut

      Thursday, December 3, 2015 -

      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:12.0pt; mso-bidi-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; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;} Rebel Offense Shatters School Records... read more

    • 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

OFFICIAL STORE

GET SOCIAL

Twitter

  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago

Instagram

Facebook

» «