Ladner Carries The Flag For Mississippi

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Londen Ladner
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Londen Ladner
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

April 24, 2014

By Austin Miller, OleMissSports.com

As Londen Ladner prepares for the end of her four-year career at Ole Miss, she hopes she advanced the sport of softball in Mississippi and paved the way for future student-athletes, if only a small part.

The Brandon, Miss., native was the Gatorade Player of the Year for Mississippi as a junior and senior at Northwest Rankin High School. And unlike most players at the collegiate level, Ladner played both slow-pitch and fast-pitch in high school.

She had plenty of walk-on offers throughout the Southeastern Conference, but she narrowed her choices to Ole Miss, Central Arkansas and Louisiana-Lafayette. She had better offers from other schools, but she wanted to stay in state and for other great players in Mississippi to look in state to see the potential.

“As a kid, I always wanted to play in the SEC, and as I got older I noticed there weren’t a lot of players from in-state on the roster,” Ladner said. “It became a goal of mine to stay in state because we do have talent, even though we’re a little behind. It’s awesome to be able to represent your state on the field.”

Lander has been a four-year starter at third base and first base, playing in 204 games with 202 starts. She ranks third in school history with 25 home runs and also ranks in the top 10 in batting average (.295), hits (158), doubles (33), runs batted in (121), walks (91), total bases (266), slugging percentage (.498), and on-base percentage (.417).

The lone native Mississippian on this year’s roster, she has carried the flag for the state, on and off the field, and even on the recruiting trail. An emotional leader and dynamic personality, people are drawn to her and feed off her energy.

“She’s a special kid,” Ole Miss head coach Windy Thees said. “She has actually helped us recruit some kids in the state of Mississippi that we will have coming here to Ole Miss over the next couple of years. She has so much pride in her state and her school. She’s a great person to show how someone can play fast pitch and slow pitch and come through those ranks. She’s developed so much as a hitter and as a player. She has become a complete player over her four years and has been a leader since I have been here.”

“Mississippi is a small state, so growing up, everyone knew my name because I got Gatorade Player of the Year my junior and senior years,” Ladner said. It’s good to be able to play for those kids who look up to you, especially here at Ole Miss. I work all the camps, and you see a lot of familiar faces, and they’re always like, ‘We’re from Mississippi, too. I want to be in your shoes when I get older.’ I take a lot of pride in that. It’s something great to hear and it keeps me going day in and day out.”

As a part of this year’s six-member senior class, she has helped change the culture and direction of Ole Miss softball. Teams in the past lost, and they were used to it. Now, the team has a mentality of going into games knowing they should win.

Ladner and her senior teammates were a part of that change in culture in hopes of the program taking the next step forward to be in the top 25 and go to the SEC and NCAA tournaments.

She hopes to be a part of a similar change within her home state and show you can rise through the ranks in Mississippi and play collegiate softball at the highest level.

“The best thing about it is knowing that it’s possible,” Ladner said. “If you put in the time, effort, practice, and you get your name out with recruiting and you go to camps and you do all those great things, you can be doing the same thing I’m doing. It was a challenge, but you can do it.”

Austin Miller is a writer and blogger for OleMissSports.com. He joined the staff in June 2013 after serving as sports editor of the Daily Mississippian. Follow him on Twitter @austinkmiller

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    • Loading Tweets...
      1 second ago
    Blog
    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Jan. 20-26, 2015)

      Monday, January 26, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewJan. 20-26, 2015Men's Basketball - Senior guard Jarvis Summers scored 4 points in the final 26.6 seconds to lift Ole Miss to a 72-71 victory over Florida Saturday. Summers scored a team-high 16 points, including... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Jan. 25

      Sunday, January 25, 2015 - Athletics

      Classes started on the Ole Miss campus this past week, as the men's and women's basketball teams enter the heart of Southeastern Conference play. Some of the spring sports have started their 2015 seasons, while others are gearing up for... read more

    • Prewitt Caps Impressive Week at Senior Bowl

      Sunday, January 25, 2015 - Football

      Former Ole Miss safety Cody Prewitt capped an impressive week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, with a game-high five tackles in the game itself Saturday. His former teammate, cornerback Senquez Golson sat out the game with a hamstring... read more

    • VIDEO: Home is Ole Miss

      Friday, January 23, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss Football: Home is Ole Miss from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • VIDEO: Ole Miss Baseball Omaha Challenge

      Friday, January 23, 2015 - Baseball

      The Season: Ole Miss Baseball: Omaha Challenge 2014 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Rivalry Game with NCAA Tournament Implications

      Thursday, January 22, 2015 - Women's Basketball

      Ole Miss closes out a three-game stretch in which they will have faced three consecutive ranked opponents when they welcome No. 18 Mississippi State on Thursday night. The Rebels are 1-1 through the first two games of the stretch, having... read more

    • Prewitt, Golson Impress at Senior Bowl Practices

      Thursday, January 22, 2015 - Football

       Photo GalleryCody Prewitt and Senquez Golson will represent Ole Miss in the Senior Bowl, which will take place Saturday at 3 p.m. CT from Mobile, Alabama, and will be televised by the NFL Network. The duo have already had a busy... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Jan. 13-19, 2015)

      Monday, January 19, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewJan. 13-19, 2015Men's Basketball - Ole Miss thrashed No. 19 Arkansas 96-82 on Saturday. The Rebels picked up their first true road win over a ranked opponent since 2003 and scored the second-most points ever... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Jan. 18

      Sunday, January 18, 2015 - Athletics

      The Ole Miss men's and women's basketball teams both made some history, while the men's and women's tennis teams started their spring seasons. National Signing Day (Feb. 4) and the start of baseball season (Feb. 13) are less than a... read more

    • Key Stretch Starts with Tough Test in LSU

      Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      After an up-and-down non-conference slate that included wins over Creighton, Cincinnati and Oregon, all away from home, and losses to Charleston Southern and Western Kentucky, both at home, Ole Miss learned a lot about itself in the first week of... read more

    • Way-Too-Early Preseason Top 25 Rankings

      Tuesday, January 13, 2015 - Football

      Ole Miss football finished the 2014 football season with a 9-4 record and a top-20 final national rankings in both polls. The Rebels come in at No. 17 in the Associated Press poll and No. 19 in the Amway Coach... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Jan. 6-12, 2015)

      Monday, January 12, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewJan. 6-12, 2015Women's Basketball - Ole Miss went 2-0 on the week with a road win at Florida and a win at home against Alabama, moving to 13-4 overall and 3-1 in SEC action while... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Jan. 11

      Sunday, January 11, 2015 - Athletics

      The Ole Miss men's basketball team opened SEC play, while the Ole Miss women's basketball team continued SEC play, as we enter the heart of college basketball season. Over the weekend, the men's and women's teams posted wire-to-wire wins on... read more

    • Rebels to Open SEC Play ' in Grand Fashion'

      Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - Men's Basketball

      Ole Miss looks to reverse history, as the Rebels (9-4) travel to No. 1 Kentucky tonight (6 p.m., SEC Network), the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams. Ole Miss is 0-15 all-time against the nation's top ranked team, last playing... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Dec. 29, 2014-Jan. 5, 2015)

      Monday, January 5, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewDec. 29, 2014-Jan. 5, 2015Football- The No. 9 Ole Miss football team finished the 2014 football season with a 9-4 record, its best since 2009, after a 42-3 defeat to No. 6 TCU in the... read more