Softball Season Preview: Outfield

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Junior centerfielder RT Cantillo will anchor the Rebels' outfield in 2013.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Junior centerfielder RT Cantillo will anchor the Rebels' outfield in 2013.
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

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.

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
    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 4

      Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 4 - ULL (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.In case you missed it, The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 1, The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 2 and The Season: Ole Miss... read more

    • Freeze Talks Open Date, SEC West

      Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's time on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of the Rebels' open date and return to action on Saturday, Sept. 27 against Memphis.Freeze's time on the call begins at the 1:50:18 mark. For the... read more

    • NASCAR's Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Visits Ole Miss

      Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - Football

      NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr., visited Ole Miss on Wednesday. The Olive Branch, Mississippi, native spoke to various student groups, including the football team. Stenhouse Jr. presented head coach Hugh Freeze with a firesuit, and Freeze presented him with an... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Sept. 8-14)

      Monday, September 15, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewSept. 8-14, 2014Volleyball- Ole Miss captured the Magnolia Invitational this past weekend to improve to 10-0, its best start in school history.- The Rebels downed UAB and Mercer 3-0 and then defeated Jacksonville State 3-1... read more

    • Historic Start to the Football Season

      Sunday, September 14, 2014 - Football

      After a 56-15 win over Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday, Ole Miss moved up four spots to No. 10 in the latest Associated Press poll, released on Sunday.  Despite breaking into the top 10, the Rebels remain fifth among Southeastern Conference Western Division... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House - Sept. 14

      Sunday, September 14, 2014 - Athletics

      This is the third installment of Observations from the Best Seat in the House. The idea of this weekly feature will be to bring you all some of our observations from the previous week in Ole Miss Sports. This week... read more

    • Three Rebels Net First Goals of the Season

      Sunday, September 14, 2014 - Soccer

      Leading 1-0 after controlling the play for much of the game, Ole Miss opened up a 3-0 lead on Middle Tennessee with a pair of goals in the final minute of the first half on the way to a 4-0... read more

    • Golson's Buy-In Pays Off

      Saturday, September 13, 2014 - Football

      Senior cornerback Senquez Golson has come a long way since he was a freshman.  That season, he was most notably on the receiving end of a highlight reel juke from Alabama running back Trent Richardson. Three years later, as part... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss-ULL Motivational

      Saturday, September 13, 2014 - Football

      Ole Miss vs ULL Official Team Motivational from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-ULL

      Saturday, September 13, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as Ole Miss faces Louisiana-Lafayette in its home opener Saturday. Wearing the Bull's-Eye After a 2-0 start with wins over Boise State and Vanderbilt, Ole Miss moved up to No. 14 in the Associated Press poll,... read more

    • Thompson Lifts Rebels to Historic Start

      Friday, September 12, 2014 - Volleyball

      With a chance to make history, Ole Miss dropped a first set for the first time this season. The Rebels answered the bell winning the next three sets to defeat Jacksonville State 3-1 and improve to 10-0 on the season,... read more

    • VIDEO: Return of The Grove

      Friday, September 12, 2014 - Football

      read more

    • Rebel Nation Remembers Stan Sandroni

      Thursday, September 11, 2014 - Football

      Rebel Nation goes into its home opener Saturday excited for the return of football at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, but also saddened by the loss of one of its most renowned voices.Stan Sandroni, 64, passed away of a heart attack late Wednesday.... read more

    • Freeze Talks Schedule, Areas for Team to Improve

      Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - Football

      Highlights from Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze's time on the SEC teleconference Wednesday, ahead of the Rebels' home opener Saturday against Louisiana-Lafayette. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. from Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and will be televised on the SEC Network.Freeze's time... read more

    • Former football player releases Chucky Mullins book

      Wednesday, September 10, 2014 - Football

      Former Ole Miss football player Jody Hill has partnered with Square Books in Oxford to launch his book, "38: The Chucky Mullins Effect," celebrating the life and impact of his Ole Miss teammate Chucky Mullins. Hill will be signing copies... read more