New Faces Look To Ignite Rebel Softball
Lauren Lindsey

Oct. 13, 2011

By: John Holt

Exciting, fearless and motivated are three words one might use to describe the 2012 Ole Miss softball freshmen class.

Allison Brown, Sarah Craig, Hayley Davis, Dallas Hardin and Lauren Lindsey make up the class and each bring with them a winning mentality to Oxford.   

While the Rebels concluded their 2011 season with a disappointing 18-38 record and have never made an NCAA Tournament in the history of the program, many believe these five newcomers have what it takes to get the program there. 

 "We have a good group of freshmen," senior Cali Overbeck said.  "I'm excited to see what they can do on the field.  This fall they've worked really hard.  A few of them have the chance to start, if not all of them.  Everyone has an equal opportunity especially with a new coach.  Everyone on the team is basically a freshman again."

All five of the freshman produced outstanding high school careers.  However the class is led by Brown whom Overbeck stated, `has one of the best gloves I've ever seen.' 

While attending Los Alamitos High School, Brown a native of Los Alamitos, Cali., was named to the first team All-Sunset League as well as the Long Beach Press-Telegram 2010 Dream Team.  She also earned Team MVP honors in 2010 and won the ESPN Rise National Championship while a part of the So Cal Athletics.                

"Allison is a great utility player," Overbeck said.  "She's the whole package and can play wherever we need her to.  She's such a good athlete.  I'm pretty excited to see her mold into form.  Wherever we have a weakness, she's going to fill it in."

Although Brown has only been in Oxford two months, she said her individual adjustment from high school to college has been a smooth one for the most part.    

"It's been a great transition so far," Brown said.  "Its hasn't been that hard.  The hardest thing has been, having to deal with the schedule of everything.  Also, the weather here in Mississippi is a lot different than it is back in California."  

Brown played alongside fellow freshman Sarah Craig on the So Cal Athletics.  The duo has known each other for two years and today they are best friends.

Davis is the third member of the class and third, from the state of California.  A pitcher, and native of Santa Monica she led Righetti High School to an undefeated season and league championship in 2009.  Davis also, hails from an athletic background.  Her mother Tracy, was an All-American pitcher at UCLA while her father Glen, was an all-world pitcher for New Zealand.  In the end, she chose Ole Miss over fellow SEC rival, LSU.      

"I always wanted to play in the SEC," Davis said.  "My aunt coached at Florida and that's when I absolutely fell in love with the conference."  

Hardin comes to Oxford from Covington, Ga.  While attending Alcovy High School she was a three-time team MVP and twice was named All-Region Pitcher of the Year.  Most impressively however, is the fact that she carries a National Championship beside her name.  She won the ASA Gold 18U National Championship in 2010, when she was a member of the East Cobb Bullets 18U Gold team.  

  "We want to come in and have a better season this year, a winning season," Hardin said.  "That's our top goal and then possibly make it to the College World Series."

Lindsey, the last member of the class, is a talented two-way player from Decatur, Ala.  She earned honorable mention 6A All-State honors in 2008 and was a five-year letterwinner in softball attending Austin High School.  Lindsey noted that her official visit last fall to Oxford helped make it an easier decision when she committed to Ole Miss over her home state, Alabama. 

"I'm looking forward to playing Alabama and Auburn this year," Lindsey said.  "They're both going to be big, emotional games for me." 

 Yet when the five-member class committed to the program, they each thought and assumed they would be playing for the coach that recruited them.  However when former head coach Missy Dickerson was fired in May, it put the freshman in an unfamiliar position. 

In June, the program hired Windy Thees from Memphis to replace Dickerson.  While all five agreed that one of the biggest reasons they committed to the program was to play for Dickerson they also admitted they never reconsidered looking to go elsewhere after they learned of Dickerson's firing. 

"I was nervous when I first heard about it because I didn't know what to expect," Craig said.  "Normally it makes any adjustment easier when you know your coaches, but I really like Coach Thees.  She makes us work really hard and we're benefitting from it."

Brown added, "With a new coach, it's like a clean slate.  Everyone's mindset is clear and we can all, build from that.  Coach Thees' big thing is for everyone to play in the moment.  She's all about giving it your all, every time you're on the field."

Overbeck said that she along with the fellow upperclassmen on the team have tried to guide the freshman along the right path. 

"There are so many consequences to the little things," Overbeck said.  "It's not just softball that's going to make you a better player.  It's also how the community looks at you and accountability.  One of the biggest things that our freshmen have to learn is accountability for themselves and just doing the little things right.  We tell them if they do the little things it will work out for them."

One thing is obviously clear.  This freshman class displays an attitude of hope and belief.  They're confident they can change the culture and perception of Ole Miss softball.  Now, it's only a matter of time before they set off to achieve that goal.      

"They know how to win," Overbeck said.  "That definitely will help us because we haven't had a winning season the past three years I've been here, so with having freshman come in that have a winning background, its great.  They know how to win and they know what it feels like to win.  They're going to bring that winning intensity here." 


 

 

    • Former Rebel Coach Ron Aldy Honored at Kirk Academy

      Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - Women's Basketball

      Former Women's Basketball Head Coach Ron Aldy and his family at gym floor dedication at Kirk Academy today. pic.twitter.com/Ruyc9TFui5-- Holmes Athletics (@holmesathletics) January 14, 2017 p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px... read more

    • Tunsil Named AFC East Rookie of the Year by ESPN

      Monday, January 16, 2017 - Football

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; min-height: 17.0px} Miami Dolphins offensive lineman and Ole Miss' former blind side protector Laremy Tunsil was named AFC East rookie of... read more

    • Three Rebel Coaches Among Top-20 Recruiters Nationally

      Friday, January 13, 2017 - Football

      With the hiring of Jacob Peeler as wide receiver coach, #OleMiss now has three asst coaches ranked in @247Sports '16 Top 20 best recruiters.-- Brad Logan (@BradLoganCOTE) January 10, 2017 Ole Miss football bolstered its coaching staff by adding coaching... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Georgia

      Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - Men's Basketball

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; min-height: 17.0px} Georgia (10-5, 2-1) KenPom ranking: 61 Best win: at No. 103 Auburn Worst loss: at No. 79 Oakland Ole... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Auburn

      Saturday, January 7, 2017 -

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; min-height: 17.0px} Know the Opponent: Auburn (10-4) KenPom ranking: 105 Best win: No. 28 Texas Tech Worst loss: No. 172 Boston... read more

    • Longo Named FCS Coordinator of the Year

      Wednesday, January 4, 2017 - Football

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; min-height: 17.0px} p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 14.0px Helvetica; color: #333333; -webkit-text-stroke: #333333; background-color: #ffffff; min-height: 17.0px} p.p4 {margin:... read more

    • Freeze to Join Finebaum Film Room During Peach Bowl

      Friday, December 30, 2016 -

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 13.0px Helvetica; min-height: 16.0px} ESPN is providing fans multiple ways to view the College Football Playoff, and Ole Miss head coach is playing... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Kentucky

      Thursday, December 29, 2016 - Men's Basketball

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px} Know the Opponent: Kentucky (10-2)KenPom ranking: 4Best win: No. 3 North CarolinaWorst loss: No. 13 UCLAOle Miss opens up... read more

    • Know the Opponent: South Alabama

      Thursday, December 22, 2016 - Men's Basketball

      Know the Opponent: South Alabama (7-5)KenPom ranking: 218 Best win: at No. 187 UNLV Worst loss: at No. 303 Stetson Ole Miss has one final tuneup before conference play begins and it comes in the form of South Alabama. South Alabama on Offense:... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Bradley

      Monday, December 19, 2016 - Men's Basketball

      Know the Opponent: Bradley (5-6) KenPom ranking: 235 Best win: at No. 222 Eastern Illinois Worst loss: No. 253 Delaware Ole Miss faces Bradley in the second-to-last nonconference matchup before SEC play begins. Bradley on Offense: Bradley has not been great this season on... read more

    • New Coordinators Help Address Critical Areas

      Friday, December 16, 2016 - Football

      Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze had specific deficiencies that he wanted his coordinator hires to address. On offense, he wanted to improve the rushing attack, third down efficiency, and red zone scoring. On defense, Freeze wanted his new coordinator... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Murray State

      Thursday, December 15, 2016 - Men's Basketball

      Know the Opponent: Murray State (5-5) KenPom ranking: 162  Ole Miss returns home to face Murray State in its first home game in nearly two weeks in a matchup of two strong offenses.Murray State on Offense: Once again, Ole Miss... read more

    • Haynes' Return a Boon for Ole Miss Defense

      Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - Football

      p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica} p.p2 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 12.0px Helvetica; min-height: 14.0px} p.p3 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 15.4px 'Helvetica Neue'; color: #292f33; -webkit-text-stroke: #292f33} p.p4 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px... read more

    • Know the Opponent: Virginia Tech

      Sunday, December 11, 2016 - Men's Basketball

      Know the Opponent: Virginia Tech (7-1) KenPom ranking: 36 Ole Miss faces one of the most well-rounded teams in the nation Sunday in Blacksburg, Virginia. Virginia Tech. Va Tech's offensive efficiency ranks 24th nationally, while their defensive efficiency also strong at 67th.... read more

    • Archie to Receive Gold Medal from NFF on Tuesday

      Monday, December 5, 2016 - Football

      Ole Miss legend Archie Manning will be receiving the National Football Foundation (NFF) and College Hall of Fame Gold Medal on Tuesday, December 6, at the 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner. The highest and most prestigious award presented by the National... read more

OFFICIAL STORE

GET SOCIAL

Twitter

  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago

Instagram

Facebook