Special day: OM baseball excited to offer forum for ladies

Ole Miss baseball assistant Marc MacMillan and the rest of the coaching staff is excited about the inaugural Ladies Baseball Forum set for Feb. 11 at Oxford-University Stadium. (Josh McCoy/Ole Miss)

Ole Miss baseball assistant Marc MacMillan and the rest of the coaching staff is excited about the inaugural Ladies Baseball Forum set for Feb. 11 at Oxford-University Stadium. (Josh McCoy/Ole Miss)

By John Davis

Sports Editor

Women who want to learn more about baseball and the inner workings of the Rebels can take part in the Ole Miss Ladies Baseball Forum sponsored by The Face and Body Center on Feb. 11. The one-day camp will provide the ins and outs of how the program operates, as well as a better understanding of the sport.

Assistant coach Marc MacMillan helped organize the event that is similar to the one the football program offers each year. So far the response has been good and the interest level should continue as the deadline nears.

There will be a defensive presentation as well as one on defense and MacMillan said the women will be active participants.

“One thing we want to make sure we’re doing is the physicality of it, whether it’s swinging a bat or making a pitch, we feel like that’s important,” MacMillan said. “We will do a Q and A with selected players. We would like to do some general baseball knowledge. We feel like that helps. My experience with it is my brother’s wife. We bought her a scorebook and we taught her how to keep score and she just became an absolute fanatic. Then we looked at introducing what we do from a strength and training standpoint so they can really understand what these guys go through during the week and the season.”

Another big point of the day is an intrasquad that the group can watch. The 2017 baseball season starts a week after the forum.

“We want them to also ask our wives questions as well as show them what a recruit may experience during their visit and then give them a chance to go into our hitting indoor and give them a chance for some live swings so to speak,” MacMillan said. “It’s a 9 to 4 event and we really want them to leave there with a really good feel of Ole Miss baseball and what we do. We’ll learn from it and this is something we can do yearly. It’s one reason we’re being critical of ourselves and what do we present. We feel like there are a lot of options we can advance in. The sports performance center opens up a whole new avenue.”

MacMillan and Jeremy Massie, the coordinator of operations for Ole Miss baseball, walked in on the Ladies Football Forum this past July. Seeing the number of participants there and seeing what was taking place, the two looked at each other and felt like they could do the same thing for baseball.

“We spoke with Megan McCurdy and met with her and she was extremely helpful and supportive to help us get an idea on what we should do,” MacMillan said. “We were able together a tentative game plan and present it to (Mike Bianco) and then we went back and just trimmed it up a bit. It was something they had discussed in years past that they wanted to do something for our women’s fan base. We had a good grasp of what we wanted and then he pulled the trigger.”

img_1393-2The date was decided to correspond to the start of the season, and the forum is tied in with the Ole Miss men’s basketball game with Auburn.

“We feel like with us opening up a week after, we were thinking that fans would turn their attention towards that and we could make it work,” MacMillan said. “That Saturday is typically an intrasquad day. It’s a little different than a normal practice. For us as coaches, it’s like a game day. This is the structure and it makes it a little easier for us for what we want to do from a practice standpoint. It’s a kick off of the season and it’s a showcase for our female fan base, which makes up a huge part of our fan base.”

MacMillan, who also helps with the Diamond Girls, also used that as a backdrop to help get the forum off the ground.

“There is a part of the fan base out there that we can help provide this to and I’m just grateful that coach was excited about it and said let’s go with it,” MacMillan said. “We’re all excited about it. I think we have a great day ahead of them and I think they’re going to leave there saying it was fantastic.”

Registration for the event ends Wednesday. Cost is $175 and that also includes a ticket to the Ole Miss-Auburn game that will begin at 5 p.m. Lunch is also provided during the forum.

For more information or to register for the 2017 Forum, visit www.olemissbaseballcamps.com or contact MacMillan or camp assistant Olivia Schnetzler at ombsbladiesforum@gmail.com or 662-915-6643.

john.davis@journalinc.com

Twitter: @oxfordcitizenjd



About John Davis

Eighteen years in the business. Dedicated to providing the best local content for sports. Oxford, Lafayette, Ole Miss, youth sports, outdoors and the things nobody else wants to cover.