#28 Ole Miss Softball 2021 Preview

Ole Miss Rebels
Overall Rank: #28
Conference Rank: #11 SEC
 Ole Miss Logo
Mississippi is going through some changes on the sidelines. Coach Mike Smith resigned in December after being placed on administrative leave in November while the school conducted an audit of the program.
Ruben Felix was the interim coach in 2020 before the Rebels named Jamie Trachsel the head coach in April. She spent the last four seasons as the head coach of Iowa State and Minnesota.
2019: 41-20, 13-10
2019 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Ruben Felix
Key Departed Players:
Kylan Becker, OF, .426 BA, 1 HR, 28 RBI, 34 SB
Brittany Finney, P, 2.70 ERA, 18-10 W/L, 147.2 IP, 129 SO
Kaylee Horton, UTL, .289 BA, 28 RBI, 23 SB
Molly Jacobsen, P, 2.15 ERA, 14-8 W/L, 166.1 IP, 166 SO
Key Returning Players:
Abbey Latham, 1B/DP, .330 BA, 10 HR, 54 RBI, 17 SB
Tate Whitley, OF, .290 BA, 12 RBI
Jessica Puk, UTL, .250 BA, 9 HR, 41 RBI, 11 SB
Autumn Gillespie, C, .243 BA, 5 HR, 25 RBI
Ava Tillmann, P, 1.99 ERA, 8-2 W/L, 74.0 IP, 43 SO
Molly Jacobsen was the workhorse in the circle in 2019, tallying 166.1 innings pitched. She went 14-8 with a 2.15 ERA and was off to another solid start in 2020. But now she is at Texas and Ole Miss will have to find a new ace. Ava Tillmann should fill that role after posting a 1.99 ERA in 74.0 innings of work as a sophomore in 2019. With Anna Borgen emerging as a very dangerous option last season and Lindsey Johnson providing more depth, Ole Miss should be in good shape in the circle. The offense returns just about everybody, but losing Kylan Becker is a big blow. She hit .426 last season and scored 55 runs. Abbey Latham is a great piece to build around and she hit .330 with 10 homeruns, 54 RBIs and 17 stolen bases in 2019. But without Becker on base all of the time, it will not be quite as easy to drive in that many runs again in 2021. Tate Whitley has proven to be a consistent hitter and Jessica Puk and Autumn Gillespie have some power. If everybody can pick up their game a little bit, replacing Becker is possible and that should be enough to get Ole Miss back to the NCAA Tournament.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament