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
    • Grove Bowl to be Featured on SEC Network Platofrms

      Thursday, March 26, 2015 - Football

      The SEC Network will air every SEC spring football game with multiple viewing opportunities on both television and the network's digital platforms. All 12 spring football games will be carried live and in full on SEC Network + with additional... read more

    • Freeze, Players Talk Quarterback Competition

      Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - Football

      Through the first seven spring practices, or three weeks since the start of spring practice on March 3, there does not appear to be any separation between sophomores Ryan Buchanan and DeVante Kincade and junior college transfer Chad Kelly.  Whether... read more

    • VIDEO: 2015 Rebel Choice Awards

      Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - Athletics

      read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (March 17-23, 2015)

      Monday, March 23, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review March 17-23, 2015 Men's Basketball - Ole Miss scored 62 second-half points to overcome a 17-point halftime deficit, rallying past 11th-seeded BYU 94-90 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday. -... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- March 22

      Sunday, March 22, 2015 - Athletics

      The men's basketball team saw its run in the NCAA Tournament come to an end in the Round of 64 after a thrilling win in the First Four. The women's basketball team won two postseason WNIT games to continue its... read more

    • Trent, Bramlett Pitch Rebels Past No. 1 Florida

      Sunday, March 22, 2015 - Baseball

      Junior left-hander Christian Trent and sophomore right-hander Brady Bramlett picked up quality starts on the mound, and the offensive provided some timely hits, which proved to be a winning formula as Ole Miss claimed the weekend series over No. 1... read more

    • VIDEO: Insell Previews WNIT Matchup with GT

      Saturday, March 21, 2015 - Women's Basketball

      read more

    • Journey Ends for Five Seniors

      Thursday, March 19, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A four-year starter at point guard, one of the most accomplished players in program history, senior Jarvis Summers saw his Ole Miss career come to an end, as did four of his fellow seniors in LaDarius White,... read more

    • Kennedy, Mack Talk Familiarity, Preparations

      Thursday, March 19, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      From his five years at Cincinnati, three as an assistant coach and one each as associate head coach and interim head coach, head coach Andy Kennedy knows and has experienced the Xavier program first hand, having coached against the Musketeers... read more

    • Whirlwind Week Continues for the Rebels

      Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Ole Miss has gone through a two-day turn twice, as well as a one-day turn when the Rebels played No. 23 Creighton and Cincinnati in back-to-back days at the Emerald Coast Classic, but they haven't gone through a turn quite... read more

    • PHOTOS: Ole Miss Basketball Defeats BYU

      Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Photo Gallery "YOU BELONG!" - AK @OleMissMBB pic.twitter.com/N0E09nTXHy-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) March 18, 2015 REBS WIN!! REBS WIN!!! HELL YEAH DAMN RIGHT!!! @OleMissMBB #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/ak0Vwpq2He-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) March 18, 2015... read more

    • Ole Miss a Giant Killer against Xavier?

      Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Giant Killers come in many different shapes and forms in the NCAA Tournament. They are not just your teams from smaller and mid-major conferences, but also your lower-seeded power-conference teams. As defined by ESPN's Peter Keating and Jordan Brenner, Giants Killers... read more

    • What They're Saying: Rebels Take Down BYU

      Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      March Madness reigned in Dayton, as 11th-seeded Ole Miss scored 62 second-half points to overcome a 17-point halftime deficit, rallying past 11th-seeded BYU 94-90 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Tuesday. The nation watched, and they reacted to... read more

    • PHOTOS: Ole Miss Basketball in Dayton

      Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Photo Gallery Your NCAA Tournament Rebels! .@OleMissMBB pic.twitter.com/KkR8n8aF4Y-- OleMissPix (@OleMissPix) March 17, 2015... read more

    • Rebels Apply Lessons Learned in BYU Prep

      Monday, March 16, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Talking to members of the local media Sunday before leaving for Dayton on Monday, head coach Andy Kennedy and senior guard Jarvis Summers spoke of a familiarity with BYU, their First Four opponent, from watching the Cougars' 73-60 win at... read more