Softball Opens 2014 Season at FGCU

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Feb. 6, 2014

Ole Miss Softball Notes Get Acrobat Reader

FORT MYERS, Fla. - After weeks and months of preparation, the 2014 season has finally arrived for the Ole Miss softball team. The Rebels will head south to Fort Myers, Fla., to the home of Florida Gulf Coast University to compete in the FGCU/Four Points by Sheraton Invitational.

Ole Miss begins play at the tournament Friday against Western Kentucky at 1:30 p.m. CT. The Hilltoppers won the Sun Belt Conference regular season championship last season after going 20-3 in league play. WKU enters the 2014 season receiving votes in the preseason USA Today/NFCA Coaches top 25 and the preseason ESPN.com/USA Softball top 25. The Rebels will then turn around and play host school Florida Gulf Coast at 3:45 p.m. CT.

"We want to get off to a fast start," Ole Miss head coach Windy Thees said. "We've been swinging the bat a lot because of this horrible weather, so we've gotten a lot of extra cuts in the cages. We've been able to have a lot of at-bats and swings, so we want to make sure we're scoring a lot of runs this weekend.

"Our pitchers have done a really good job of developing all of their pitches and all of their pitches at different speeds. The speed differential is what I'm really focusing on this year to take us to the next level as a pitching staff and hopefully bring that ERA down so that if we score four runs we're going to win no matter what."

On Saturday, Ole Miss will face Georgetown at 9:00 a.m. CT, followed by a matchup against Liberty at 1:30 p.m. CT that same day. The Rebels will close out play in the tournament on Sunday with the opponent and time of game dependent on performance in the tournament.

The Rebels return eight of nine starters from a year ago, including four of five pitchers and 13 of 16 letterwinners. Ole Miss will be looking to build on its fantastic defense from a year ago where it set a program record with a .979 mark, which ranked fifth nationally.

With the season finally here, Thees said it's a funny balance of wishing the season would finally arrive, and then realizing it actually is here.

"The preseason is like, `Oh man, this is going on and on,' and now that the season is here you're like, `Wait, did we put this in, did we do this, did we do that?' " said Thees, who is beginning her third season at Ole Miss. "We've gone over our first and third plays, our bunt and slap defense, we've gone over cuts, but then in your head you're like, `Did we go over it enough?' A few weeks ago you're like, `Man, can we get the season here?'

"As a coach, the season is great because your players are playing, but your opportunities to teach kind of shrink down. Now you're just making minor adjustments throughout the season," Thees said. "Now it's more about strategizing, preparing for games and teams. It's a different type of coaching, whereas before it's actually teaching the game and instructing the players. This is game time, x's and o's, putting the right people in and making the right substitutions."

Ole Miss got off to the second best start in program history through 25 games last season when it began 16-9. The Rebels will look to top that mark this season and continue to re-write the record books under Thees' tutelage.

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