By Adam Brown
The Ole Miss softball team returned to the diamond Tuesday to prepare for the 2020 season that gets underway in less than a month. They do so under the new leadership of interim head coach, Ruben Felix.
The Rebels return 18 of 22 letter winners to the team from last season that made a run to the super regionals of the NCAA Softball Tournament. Ole Miss’ run came to an end in Tucson, Arizona against the Arizona Wildcats. At the end of the season, the Rebels’ record stood at 41-20.
Over the past five seasons, the Rebels have prided themselves on having speed, strong pitching and defense.
“I am not going to fix what is not broken,” said Felix, who has been with the team for the last five years. “That is how we built this team around speed, pitching and defense.”
Felix steps into the head coaching position after former coach Mike Smith resigned amid an internal audit in December.
“We have always been prepared,” Felix said. “I think change is not always easy, especially on young athletes. They are mature enough and know that we have a job to do. We are still here to do that job.”
Ole Miss needs to create momentum early in the season for Felix to know where the team stands going into conference action.
“We don’t need to run over teams. We need to be challenged,” Felix said.
Ole Miss opens the season Feb. 5-7 at the NFCA Division 1 Leadoff Classic in Clearwater, Florida. The Rebels will take the field for five games matching up with Louisville, NC State, Illinois, Notre Dame and Liberty.