Hummel Readies For Final Chapter Of Journey

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Carley Hummel

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM
Carley Hummel
OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM

Nov. 12, 2013

By Metz Camfield
Assistant Director, Ole Miss Athletics Media Relations

Ole Miss softball senior pitcher Carly Hummel is a long way from home in Bakersfield, Calif. Her journey to Oxford has included three years at the University of Memphis, multiple surgeries to her pitching hand and two stints with Ole Miss head coach Windy Thees. Now she has one more season to help make history again.

As a junior in high school in 2007, Hummel committed to play for Thees at Memphis after Thees got wind of the 5-foot-5 right-hander from a parent of another prospect she had been recruiting.

“She seemed really cool and I felt like our personalities really matched,” said Hummel of Thees upon first meeting her. “A lot of girls I knew went on to play at all these great schools but ended up hating it because they couldn’t get along with their coach. I thought from day one that she and I had always had a pretty good connection.”

After a strong freshman campaign for the Tigers in which she was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman team, Hummel excelled as a sophomore in 2011 by leading Memphis to its first NCAA Tournament berth in program history.

As a sophomore, Hummel set school records in ERA (1.46), opponent batting average (.140) and shutouts (8). Hummel averaged 8.15 strikeouts per seven innings that season, and became the first pitcher in school history to throw three no-hitters.

“When I was a sophomore I was at the peak of my performance,” Hummel said. “Coach Thees, myself and the team went places that it hadn’t been to ever and hasn’t since. It was an important year for us as players, her as a coach and Memphis as a program.”

Thees, who started the Memphis softball program in 2005, caught the attention of Ole Miss with her impressive and quick construction of the Tigers’ program, and was named the Rebels’ fourth head coach in program history on June 30, 2011 following Memphis’ historic season.

Hummel’s first response to the news of her head coach taking another job, “Take me.”

But it wasn’t that easy for Hummel. Not wanting to leave her teammates and friends, Hummel decided to stay at Memphis for what would have been her junior season, but sustained an injury to her pitching hand and had to undergo surgery. Because the injury occurred so early in the season, Hummel was able to log a medical redshirt and reevaluate things before ultimately deciding to transfer to Ole Miss.

“The injury was a blessing in disguise,” Hummel said. “This is the best place I ever could have imagined. This is awesome, and all the people I’ve met here and all the friends and family. It’s a cool thing when the South takes over a California girl’s heart.”

Reunited with her coach, Hummel led the Rebels as a junior last season in wins, ERA, innings pitched and strikeouts, but never felt quite right. After the season, Hummel went under the knife again and had her second surgery to her hand to attempt to get it back to where she was in 2011.

“When I agreed to do the first surgery I wasn’t under the impression that it was going to be as intense as it was,” Hummel said. “It was hard, but I’m back now to where I used to be as a sophomore. It takes times like that.”

“She gets down like anybody else when we lose, but she doesn’t stay down,” Thees said. “She gets mad, and then she says, ‘Give me the ball, let’s go. I’m going to figure this out.’ That’s one thing, when people get down, can you bounce back? She has been able to do that, and because she’s been able to do that in softball games, she’s been able to do that through her injuries as well.”

Because she has pitched in an NCAA Regional, and because she does have the experience she does, many Rebels go to Hummel and look to her as a leader on the team. Hummel said it isn’t a role she ever aspired to attain, but it more or less just came from experience. Hummel is fine with being a leader on the team, but said she doesn’t want to be treated any differently. Leadership to her is more about attitude than what year you are.

When asked, both Thees and Hummel agreed they each could see a bit of themselves in the other. Thees said she likes “feisty” players, and that she herself was a feisty player and is still a pretty feisty coach.

“If we can get more kids like Carly, our team is going to be a perennial NCAA team and we’re going to be in the top 20,” Thees said. “She wants this and because of that she’s very outspoken. She speaks her mind, she wants it and she wants other people to push it and make it great. She can lead us to where we want to go.”

Now a senior and feeling healthy again, Hummel will attempt to regain her 2011 form and create more firsts at her second school.

“She can be a part of this team and help take us to our first regional just like she helped Memphis, and that’s been her goal,” Thees said. “When she transferred here she wanted to do what she did at Memphis here at Ole Miss. And how special would that be for her to be able to accomplish that?”

Ole Miss Gear
    Facebook
    Twitter
    • Loading Tweets...
      1 second ago
    Blog
    • Volleyball Keeps NCAA Tournament Hopes Alive

      Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - Volleyball

      The goal from day one for head coach Steven McRoberts was to lead Ole Miss to its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance and its first since 2010.  Entering the team's final two matches, McRoberts said he felt as though they were... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 12

      Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 12 - Arkansas (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Wommack, Rebels Prep for Prescott

      Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - Football

      Battling injury, junior quarterback Dak Prescott came off the bench and helped rally Mississippi State to a come-from-behind 17-10 win in last year's Egg Bowl. He led a drive that ended with the game-tying field goal at 10-10 and then... read more

    • Rebels Not Lacking Motivation in Rivalry Matchup

      Tuesday, November 25, 2014 - Football

      Head coach Hugh Freeze called the Egg Bowl the most prized possession of this university's football program, and getting the Egg Bowl back should be enough motivation for his team entering Saturday's game against Mississippi State.  An Independence, Mississippi, native,... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Nov. 17-23, 2014)

      Monday, November 24, 2014 -

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 17-23, 2014Men's Basketball- Ole Miss posted a 2-0 mark last week with wins over Southern University and Northern Arizona as part of the Emerald Coast Classic, improving to 3-1 on the season.- Ole Miss... read more

    • Golson Named Finalist for Conerly Trophy

      Monday, November 24, 2014 - Football

      Senior cornerback Senquez Golson, one of five finalists for the Bronco Nagurski Award, which honors the national defensive player of the year, will represent Ole Miss as one of 10 finalists for the C Spire Conerly Trophy, which honors the... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Nov. 23

      Sunday, November 23, 2014 - Athletics

      It's that busy time of the year with the Ole Miss football, volleyball, men's and women's basketball teams all in action. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was in Ole Miss sports:- A slow start (17-0... read more

    • Rebels Unable to Overcome Slow Start

      Saturday, November 22, 2014 - Football

      FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Arkansas jumped out to a 17-0 in the first quarter and took advantage of six Ole Miss turnovers on the way to a 30-0 shutout win Saturday in Fayetteville."I was concerned all week, for whatever reason, that... read more

    • Three and Out: Keys to Ole Miss-Arkansas

      Saturday, November 22, 2014 - Football

      Three areas to watch as No. 8 Ole Miss travels to Arkansas in its final road game of the regular season Saturday. Slowing the Hogs' Ground Attack The extra week of preparation, defensive coordinator Dave Wommack said, should prove beneficial... read more

    • Rebels Ahead of Schedule in Year Three

      Thursday, November 20, 2014 - Football

      It's sometimes easy to forget where the Ole Miss football program was just three short years ago, when Hugh Freeze was interviewing for the head coaching position. The Rebels had won just two games in 2011 and had lost 14... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Nov. 10-16, 2014)

      Monday, November 17, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 10-16, 2014Women's Basketball- The Ole Miss women's basketball team opened up the 2014-15 season with two wins over the weekend. The Rebels took down Grambling 92-67 in the season opener on Friday and followed... read more

    • Observations from the Best Seat in the House -- Nov. 16

      Sunday, November 16, 2014 - Athletics

      The Ole Miss football team was off, but it was a busy week in Ole Miss athletics nevertheless, as the men's and women's basketball teams opened their respective seasons. Here are some thoughts and opinions on the week that was:-... read more

    • Getting Healthy, Staying Sharp on the Bye Week

      Friday, November 14, 2014 - Football

      No. 10 Ole Miss was without several starters and regular contributors against Presbyterian, and many others were limited.  But given an extra week of rest, head coach Hugh Freeze said he expects everyone, with the exception of the players out... read more

    • The Season: Ole Miss Football Episode 11

      Wednesday, November 12, 2014 - Football

      The Season: Ole Miss Football - Episode 11 - Presbyterian (2014) from Ole Miss Rebels on Vimeo.... read more

    • Ole Miss Athletics Week in Review (Nov. 3-9, 2014)

      Monday, November 10, 2014 - Athletics

      Ole Miss Athletics Week in ReviewNov. 3-9, 2014Football- Ole Miss took a break from the rugged Southeastern Conference and earned a 48-0 shutout win over Presbyterian on Saturday.- It was the Rebels' first shutout since beating Tulane 39-0 in 2012.-... read more