The Ole Miss Softball Complex has been the home for the Rebel softball team for nearly the entirety of the program, bringing in thousands of fans over the years to Oxford. When the University first started its fastpitch program in 1997, it opened with no venue of its own as the team competed at the city softball fields. But, a year later, that changed as the Rebels opened up the Ole Miss Softball Complex in 1998, and have called it home ever since. A venue that hosted the 2011 SEC Softball Championship, the complex features an outfield terrace behind the left field wall similar to the outfield seating at Swayze Field where the Ole Miss baseball team competes. In preparation for the league championship in 2011, upgrades were made to include the outfield terrace, as well as a grilling area, pavilion and a camera platform in center field. Other improvements at the time included a new LED video board and scoreboard, but that has since been replaced prior to the 2016 season by a state-of-the art board that ranks as one of the biggest and brightest in college softball.
A $1.2 million renovation project completed in the spring of 2006 included a new indoor hitting/practice facility, a new press box, refurbished dugouts, new video and audio systems, a brick facade lining the grandstands, new lighting, new fencing and netting and a central seating section with chair-back seats.
The 2016 campaign saw record numbers of fans pass through the gates, as the Rebels shattered the seaon attendance record, as well as nearly all 10 of the single-game marks. A record 13,506 fans witnessed the Rebels play their 29 home contests, which shattered the previous record of 7,529 set in 2015. Twice throughout the home stretch of the season saw a record number fans for a single game, as the recorded attendance of 1,410 against No. 9 Tennessee on May 7 became the new mark for the highest attended game in school history. A month prior, 1,342 witnessed the Rebels take on No. 2 Florida on April 9, as both weekends resulted in series attendance records with 3,028 fans in the Florida series, and 2,990 in the weekend against the Vols. At season’s end, seven of the single-game attendance marks were the highest in program history, as only three of the top-10 crowds of all-time were in a season other than 2016. The fan support was instrumental in 2016 helping the Rebels win a school record 21 home games, en route to a 41-22 campaign that included the team’s first ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
In the spring of 1996, ground was broken for the construction of a new multi-sport facility, and in July 1997, the complex, the Gillom Sports Center, ushered in a new era in women’s athletics at Ole Miss.
The building houses offices and locker rooms for the rifle, soccer, softball and volleyball programs, and contains three indoor tennis courts, a championship volleyball court and another court which can be used for both volleyball and basketball practices.
On April 28, 2000, the complex was dedicated as the Gillom Sports Center in honor of Rebel basketball legends Peggie and Jennifer Gillom. The Gillom sisters are the top two scorers in the history of the program.
The facility, which was built on the University’s intramural fields on Hathorn Road near Highway 6, is a metal structure with a brick front similar to other campus edifices.
Other than the locker rooms and offices, the 54,142 square-foot building contains equipment and team meeting rooms for soccer, softball and volleyball, a training room, a laundry room and two visitors locker rooms. The two volleyball courts are of hardwood construction and can be converted for basketball practice or other uses.’The Gillom Sports Center is scheduled to get an overhaul in 2016.