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
    • Five Rebels Tabbed Preseason All-SEC in The Birmingham News

      Tuesday, June 30, 2015 -

      Five Ole Miss Rebels were chosen as preseason All-SEC selections by some of the people who work closest with the student-athletes, the football media relations directors. The 14 football media relations directors of the Southeastern Conference institutions voted in the... read more

    • Lindy's Sports Gives Seven Rebels Preseason Recognition

      Wednesday, June 24, 2015 -

      The preseason accolades just don't stop for the Ole Miss football team. Everywhere you look, Rebels can be found on preseason All-America teams. Lindy's Sports recognized seven Rebels for preseason honors, including four All-Americans. Four Ole Miss Football Rebels were... read more

    • Five Rebels Named Preseason All-America by Athlon Sports

      Tuesday, June 23, 2015 -

      With the season just 74 days away, members of the 2015 Ole Miss football team continue to earn recognition on Preseason All-America lists. Athlon Sports, the latest media outlet to release its 2015 college football preseason All-America team, gave five... read more

    • Sporting News Tabs Four Rebels to Preseason All-America Teams

      Monday, June 15, 2015 - Football

      Preseason All-America football teams continue to roll in, and Ole Miss has been well represented each time.Today, the Sporting News unveiled its preseason All-America first and second teams, which includes a total of four Rebels.OT Laremy Tunsil and DT Robert... read more

    • Athlon Sports Names Nine Rebels Preseason All-SEC

      Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - Football

      Individual preseason accolades continue to pile up for the Ole Miss football team as college football magazines look toward the 2015 season. Athlon Sports is the latest magazine to release its preseason all-conference teams, June 10; the magazine named nine... read more

    • Eleven Rebels Garner Phil Steele Preseason Honors

      Monday, June 1, 2015 - Football

      The start of summer heat and vacations is also the start of another tradition - preseason college football magazines.One of the first to produce a magazine every year is Phil Steele, whose 2015 version includes about as many Ole Miss... read more

    • Football Signees Report for Summer Classes

      Friday, May 29, 2015 - Football

      Although they will not begin competing for the Rebels until the fall, several members of the 2015 signing class have arrived at Ole Miss to begin their college journey this summer. The first of two summer sessions offered at the... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 28-May 4, 2015)

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 28-May 4, 2015Baseball - The Rebels started the week defeating the Bulldogs, 11-1 in the annual Governor's Cup. The 10-run win for the Rebels marked the largest margin of victory in the 36-year history... read more

    • VIDEO: Rebel Road Trip 2015

      Monday, May 4, 2015 - Athletics

      Rebel Road Trip 2015 from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • More on Steelers' Selection of Golson

      Friday, May 1, 2015 - Football

      Welcome to Pittsburgh...and welcome to #SteelersNation, @Quez_G! #SteelersDraft pic.twitter.com/oY8wZc10Kk-- Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 2, 2015 Congrats Senquez Golson! Drafted 56th overall in the 2015 #NFLDRAFT by the Pittsburgh Steelers. #HottyToddy #FinsUp pic.twitter.com/EPGayDNOu7-- Ole Miss Football (@OleMissFB) May 2, 2015 Ole... read more

    • Six Rebels Among Inaugural Scott County HOF Class

      Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - Athletics

      Six men with ties to Ole Miss were part of the inaugural class of 25 athletes and coaches inducted into the Scott County Hall of Fame this past Saturday at Roosevelt State Park in Morton. It is believed that this... read more

    • Freeze, Tuohy Conclude Play at Charity Golf Tournament

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Football

      In a tie for 7th place at 7-under, @OleMissFB takes home $30,000 in charity and scholarship. #CFAPBGolf pic.twitter.com/qd0JzilyYR-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 28, 2015 The Ole Miss team of head football coach Hugh Freeze and Sean Tuohy turned in a strong... read more

    • Tennis Teams React to NCAA Tournament Selections

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Men's Tennis

      The Ole Miss men's and women's tennis team learned their postseason destinations, as the men's and women's NCAA Tournament fields were announced Tuesday. The men, ranked No. 13 in the nation, are the No. 14 overall seed and will be... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (April 21-27, 2015)

      Tuesday, April 28, 2015 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewApril 21-27, 2015Baseball - During the five-game homestand, Ole Miss went 3-2 with a midweek win over Central Arkansas as well as claiming a weekend series over Alabama.  - The Rebels recorded 68 hits throughout... read more

    • Freeze Wins Long Drive Competition

      Monday, April 27, 2015 - Football

      With a distance of 287-yards, the 2015 #CFAPBGolf Coaches Division Long Drive Champion is @CoachHughFreeze! pic.twitter.com/ProCdgbbg9-- #CFAPBGolf (@CFAPeachBowl) April 27, 2015 Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze took home the long drive title at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Challenge... read more