The Ole Miss Rebel softball team looks to open the 2015 season with high hopes of expanding on the 22 wins from a season ago. Next week the team will open the year off in the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona.
Arizona State will welcome 31 different teams to participate in the Classic that will take place over a four-day span. Ole Miss will play in six games in the classic, taking the field against Oregon State, San Jose State, Arizona State, Fresno State, UC Santa Barbara and Western Michigan.
Last season, the Rebels went 22-31 overall and 3-21 inside of conference play. This season, Ole Miss has key offensive production returning to the lineup in Allison Brown, Haley Culley and Melina Perciado.
Brown was very instrumental at the plate in 2014 as she hit .338 with 51 hits, 12 doubles, 4 home runs and scored 28 runs. She also tailed a total of 28 RBI which was second on the team right behind Londen Ladner who drove in 34 on the year. Her teammate Culley returns with an average of .301 at the plate a season ago with 49 hits, 5 doubles, 1 triple and 2 home runs. She drove in 20 RBIs on the year.
Junior Preciado returns after a sophomore campaign, where she hit .283 on 15 hits and 2 doubles on the year.
In the circle, the Rebels will look to sophomore Emily Gaitan, who had a 4-7 record on the season with a 3.93 ERA through 73.0 innings of work.
The first pitch of the season is set for 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5 against the Oregon State Beavers out in Tempe, Arizona.
Adam Brown HottyToddy.com sports editor and he can be reached at email@example.com.