Junior centerfielder RT Cantillo will anchor the Rebels' outfield in 2013.
Feb. 1, 2013
This is the final part of a four-part series previewing the 2013 Ole Miss softball season. Part four focuses on the Rebels' outfield. Part one on the coaches and schedule can be seen here, and part two on the Rebels' pitching staff can be read here. Part three, which featured the Rebels' infield, can be seen here.
OXFORD, Miss. - Ole Miss doesn't have the depth in its outfield that it does in the infield, but does have kids who can play out there more, Ole Miss head coach Windy Thees said. Returning to the Rebels outfield is senior Brittany Broome and junior RT Cantillo, who was named Preseason All-SEC on Tuesday.
Broome, who has started in left field for each of the past two seasons, was third on the team in batting average last season (.291), while recording 30 runs, the second most on the team, and 37 hits.
"We've got Brittany Broome in left field and she was there for us almost all of last year," Thees said. "She's so fast. She can get to a lot of balls and she has a really quick release and strong arm."
In center field, the Rebels will look to Cantillo, who was a star last season until breaking her hand with 12 games remaining on the schedule, including eight conference matchups. Despite the missed games, Cantillo still scored a team-high 33 runs, had 37 hits, 26 RBI and a team-best .374 batting average.
"RT has really kind of come full circle, and this is the year she really wants to make her statement as an athlete and as a player," Thees said. "The kid hit .374 last year and had a great year, and if it wasn't for breaking her hand, who knows what kind of accolades she could have gotten because she didn't reach the minimum requirements for a lot of them. She's definitely motivated and getting after it. She realizes she needs to lead some of the younger ones too with so many younger players, and that's a new role for her. I think you're going to see RT have her best year yet."
In right field, junior Natalie Nimmo, who played in the infield last year, and freshman Bri Payne will battle for the starting job. Both players bring a lot of power to the plate, which is always an exciting prospect for a coach. Ole Miss also will have the option of moving other players to the outfield if it becomes necessary, as freshmen Melina Preciado and Natalie Martinez provide the versatility to be able to play multiple positions in the infield and outfield.
"Natalie and Bri both have such big bats. They just have power, they can drive the ball and it explodes off their bats," Thees said. "We'll probably keep rotating them out there until someone wins it. We also have Melina Preciado, she's kind of our jack of all trades. She can play any infield position, and any outfield position for us. Then you have Natalie Martinez, who can play a corner outfield position for us if we need her to."
The Rebels open the season with a doubleheader Feb. 7 in Honolulu against Saint Mary's and Hawaii as a part of the Oceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic. The Rebels will face Saint Mary's at 5 p.m. CT and tournament-host Hawaii at 10 p.m. CT.
In Thursday night's 61-58 loss at Kansas State, senior guard Marshall Henderson was 4-for-18, including 2-for-13 from 3-point range, and finished with 13 points. Three days later, Henderson responded with a career-high 39 points and school-record 10 3-pointers in a... read more
Ole Miss fell 17-10 in overtime to intrastate rival Mississippi State, but the Rebels' one score provided a special moment for two of the team's unsung players. Down 7-0 with 31 seconds left in the first half, Ole Miss called... read more
Ole Miss sent seniors Kellie Goss and Kara Morgan out with a win as the Rebels topped LSU 3-2 on Senior Night. "It was a great win," head coach Joe Getzin said. "We tweaked the lineup, and one of our... read more
One of the core values for the Ole Miss football program is mental toughness. With a rivalry game in a hostile environment, it will carry a greater importance. "You're going into a hostile environment, and that's the biggest thing," offensive... read more
The Egg Bowl returns to Thanksgiving night for the first time since 2003, which is also the last time Ole Miss won in Starkville. Thursday's game is the 110th meeting of one of the nation's most-played rivalries and the 86th... read more
Ole Miss had its four-game winning streak snapped with a 24-10 loss to No. 8 Missouri on Saturday night. The 24th-ranked Rebels now face a quick turnaround as they travel to face intrastate rival Mississippi State on Thursday night in... read more
Head coach Hugh Freeze meets with members of the media following Wednesday's practice.Ole Miss is the only school in the upper half of the SEC statistical rankings in every major offensive and defensive category. This week, the Rebels face one... read more
Photo Gallery Courtney Cunningham is a builder. While playing volleyball for Ole Miss from 2009-11, Cunningham helped build the Rebels into an NCAA Tournament team while also earning her civil engineering degree. From that degree, Cunningham is helping build... read more
There's a different air surrounding this week's primetime showdown with No. 8 Missouri, the Rebels' first top-10 test since a 27-24 win over then-No. 6 LSU back on Oct. 19. "It's a huge week for us," junior quarterback Bo Wallace... read more
Freshman wide receiver Laquon Treadwell caught a short pass from junior quarterback Bo Wallace, made six Troy defenders miss and dove into the end zone for a 25-yard touchdown. It was the start of a historic day for the Ole... read more
Ole Miss won its second ever NCAA Tournament game and set a school record for wins in a season with 16, as seven different Rebels scored in a 9-0 win over Jackson State Friday night. No. 22-ranked Ole Miss (16-5-2)... read more
Tony Dungy, who won a Super Bowl as head coach of the Indianapolis Colts, visited campus Wednesday. He spent time with head coach Hugh Freeze, spoke to the team and signed the equipment room Wall of Fame. "He's one of... read more
Ole Miss is bowl eligible for the second straight year under head coach Hugh Freeze after a 34-24 win over Arkansas this past Saturday. The Rebels are also 6-3 for the first time since 2009, when the started 8-3 before... read more
After Ole Miss took a 20-10 lead into halftime, the momentum swung in favor of Arkansas after an interception, a touchdown-scoring drive and a defensive three-and-out to start the third quarter. Now leading 20-17, senior quarterback Barry Brunetti converted a... read more