Gopher softball 2021

mngolf

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To me it seems the trajectory of the past decade of the college sport of softball is that batters are catching up and reducing the dominance of the great college pitchers.

Oklahoma’s current lineup is an example of an entire lineup being able to hit good pitching. I think a decade ago players at the end of the lineup had very little chance at all against great pitching.
And, since players at younger ages are throwing harder(as a 12u my daughter faced 60's 2 yrs ago) batters are seeing this more often and able to handle it. She regularly sees 60's now as a 14u.
 

Gsbfan10

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So, the NCAA Seeding committee did another snub job on the Big Ten. Arguably, Northwestern (Big #3). has the easiest Regional. At Kentucky.

Michigan with just 6 losses is not a top 16 host? Washington hosts them ranked #5? Gophers 54-3 and ranked #1 in 2017 were also not awarded a regional…and sent to Alabama.

Gophers ranked #23 this year, who won their regional and advanced to the WCWS… in 2019…are sent to go to #2 defending National champ, UCLA.

SEC Bias is alive and well. No respect for BIG10…Something needs to be done. 12 SEC teams in the tournament? Just stupid.

Those of you looking for reasons why coaches leave and it’s hard to recruit? Look no further.

Obviously BIG playing itself only didn’t help this year. But I’ll back the decision for health reasons. Michigan and Minnesota need once again to try and shock the softball world to gain respect. Again held to a whole different standard than anyone else, anywhere!
 

Hrothgar

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The Big Ten's final stats show how dominant Michigan was, especially in pitching. They led the league in team batting average, ERA, and fielding. Their ERA was 1.05, and the next lowest was the Gophers at 2.10. Their pitchers gave up 45 earned runs; Minnesota gave up 83; and only one other team was under 100. They shut out their opponents 18 times; next highest was Northwestern with 10 (Gophers had 8). Michigan pitchers had 447 strikeouts; the next highest was Northwestern at 269 (Gophers had 241). Though the Gophers and Michigan gave up a similar number of walks (73 and 76, respectively) the Gophers' 24 wild pitches was the second highest (Nebraska had the most at 26); Michigan pitchers, incredibly, had 3 wild pitches for the season.

On the batting side, Michigan was at .306; Northwestern was 2nd in batting average at .289 (Gophers batted .248). The on-base percentage stats were much closer, with Northwestern #1 at .371, Michigan next at .367, and Minnesota 3rd at .364, with a big drop-off after that. The Gophers led in home runs with 47; Michigan was 2nd at 37. Michigan led in fewest strikeouts at 177, with Illinois at 194. Those were the only two teams under 200. The Gophers were 4th at 214. And the Gophers led in walks with 166; Wisconsin was 2nd at 115 (Michigan had 90).
These are eye-opening statistics & admirably compiled. VERY revealing quantitative info. However, I think the qualitative/sports psychology angle is equally revealing. The Gophers didn't live up to the axiom that good teams don't lose to teams they should beat. Gophers lost the BIG title not by losing 3 games to Michigan, but by failing to show up mentally in losses to weak teams like Maryland, Ohio St., Iowa, Purdue, Nebraska, PSU, & to an extent even IL. MN was darned exciting as a team for about 32 games, but didn't show up for 6 or 8 others. MI seems to have been there for every game they played all season, enough for a title.
 

rowdaboat

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The problem is relying on metrics mainly being RPI that are just a circle jerk of strength of schedule. LSU 32-19 with 10-9 on road no way they should be #6. Barely even deserve a seed with their record against tourney teams
 

Gsbfan10

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The problem is relying on metrics mainly being RPI that are just a circle jerk of strength of schedule. LSU 32-19 with 10-9 on road no way they should be #6. Barely even deserve a seed with their record against tourney teams
Yes, and ironically… LSU who Minny beat in their home regional bid in 2019…!!!
 



rugger14

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The playing field is not equal.

Tough to compete in a partial scholarship sport when we have to charge out of state tuition to the best players in the country and no lottery scholarships for the in-state girls. It is amazing that the Gophers do so well.
 


Jaydee

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How can the NCAA put a regional in California with these requirements? They didn't have Duke host their own regional for the Covid policies that would not work to host. How can UCLA/California make these demands on the teams?

This should be a MUCH bigger story.
Here’s a screen grab from a late April story talking about UCLA’s upcoming Covid policy. The FDA has not fully approved any COV vaccine, nor is it the Fall Semester. So what are they doing enacting this policy now, unannounced?
 

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MRJ

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Several teams got shafted by the selection committee, which has always had a bad-case of SEC/deep south slurpitis. The PAC 12 got royally screwed this year. Washington as the No. 16? Yeah, okay. Texas at No. 12? Um, sure. Not to mention Clemson. WTF was that?

The entire selection process needs to be addressed with college softball. Looks an awful like the good ole' boys network whenever the selection committee comes out with their brackets.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Several teams got shafted by the selection committee, which has always had a bad-case of SEC/deep south slurpitis. The PAC 12 got royally screwed this year. Washington as the No. 16? Yeah, okay. Texas at No. 12? Um, sure. Not to mention Clemson. WTF was that?

The entire selection process needs to be addressed with college softball. Looks an awful like the good ole' boys network whenever the selection committee comes out with their brackets.
I am beginning to see now why SEC schools got some favorable hosting treatment... their states are workable with the NCAA on COVID public policy as regarding massed events like ballgames. I just don’t know how it is fair to our Gopher ball players if they chose not to get a shot (for the record and my own credibility on this matter... I got my two dose COVID vaccine shots.). I am mad about this.
 

Hrothgar

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Is anyone willing to give a quickie overview of the preceived injustices of the bracket? (I haven't been able to catch up on them.) Much appreciated if possible to do.
 

2nd Degree Gopher

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I understand that this policy could have an impact on the Gophers (or any team coming into the state) and that, given the timing, there isn't any way to "correct" the problem by getting vaccinated before the trip, but do we know whether it will have any actual impact on the Gopher softball team this weekend? Put another way, do we know if there are Gopher players who might have their ability to play impacted by not having completed the vaccine protocol?
 



rowdaboat

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Is anyone willing to give a quickie overview of the preceived injustices of the bracket? (I haven't been able to catch up on them.) Much appreciated if possible to do.
If it is 1-16 and 17-32 S-curve vs coaches poll

#6 Washington - 16
#10 Oregon - 20 vs old coach for drama
#13 Clemson - 30 vs Alabama
#14 Missouri - 8 seed despite 15 losses
#15 Louisiana - 25 vs LSU
#16 LSU - 7 seed despite 19 losses
#18 Tennessee - 9 seed with #22 JMU #25 Liberty
#23 Wichita State - 32
#24 Gophers - 31
#26 Georgia - 21
 

MNMaroonMom

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I understand that this policy could have an impact on the Gophers (or any team coming into the state) and that, given the timing, there isn't any way to "correct" the problem by getting vaccinated before the trip, but do we know whether it will have any actual impact on the Gopher softball team this weekend? Put another way, do we know if there are Gopher players who might have their ability to play impacted by not having completed the vaccine protocol?
I was wondering the same thing
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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If it is 1-16 and 17-32 S-curve vs coaches poll

#6 Washington - 16
#10 Oregon - 20 vs old coach for drama
#13 Clemson - 30 vs Alabama
#14 Missouri - 8 seed despite 15 losses
#15 Louisiana - 25 vs LSU
#16 LSU - 7 seed despite 19 losses
#18 Tennessee - 9 seed with #22 JMU #25 Liberty
#23 Wichita State - 32
#24 Gophers - 31
#26 Georgia - 21
The 17 through 32 teams (#2 seeds in their regional) always get these weird placements because the NCAA softball selection committee places them based upon: 1. not being in the same conference as the #1 seeds combined with 2. this weird “maximum busing” requirement - so as to avoid air travel costs I assume. It is always this weird way of seating that makes looking at the 17-32 team seating always look irrational every year.
 

Tucker

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The 17 through 32 teams (#2 seeds in their regional) always get these weird placements because the NCAA softball selection committee places them based upon: 1. not being in the same conference as the #1 seeds combined with 2. this weird “maximum busing” requirement - so as to avoid air travel costs I assume. It is always this weird way of seating that makes looking at the 17-32 team seating always look irrational every year.
Northwestern is just barely less than 400 miles from Lexington. So they get to be in Kentucky’s regional and we don’t, to say the least.

If we were playing Kentucky, maybe we wouldn’t have the best of chances but, I would for sure be hopeful. I find it pretty difficult to feel too hopeful playing UCLA.
 

Gsbfan10

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I am beginning to see now why SEC schools got some favorable hosting treatment... their states are workable with the NCAA on COVID public policy as regarding massed events like ballgames. I just don’t know how it is fair to our Gopher ball players if they chose not to get a shot (for the record and my own credibility on this matter... I got my two dose COVID vaccine shots.). I am mad about this.
The 17 through 32 teams (#2 seeds in their regional) always get these weird placements because the NCAA softball selection committee places them based upon: 1. not being in the same conference as the #1 seeds combined with 2. this weird “maximum busing” requirement - so as to avoid air travel costs I assume. It is always this weird way of seating that makes looking at the 17-32 team seating always look irrational every year.
It’s not the “S-Curve”, it’s the “SEC Bias” curve. Having a higher ranking should have meant hosting for Michigan, not a team like Georgia for God’s sake with well over 20 losses. Missouri or Duke aren’t far from Michigan if you want to use geography for some sort of rationale. Sending Michigan to Washington and Minnesota to UCLA makes no geographic sense. Lower seeded Northwestern is fine to go to UCLA or Washington because they didn’t “earn” it by record and losing to both higher Big foes. Washington gets screwed even worse having to play Michigan, and the winner between them having to go to #1 Oklahoma for the Super Regional.
 

AZGopher8

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Heather Tarr said it best when she was being interviewed afterwards about the walk out and being disrespected by the committee, saying, "it's par for the course" in regards to the terrible job the selection committee does every year. That is ridiculous. Clearly, an SEC bias (and to be honest, I love watching SEC softball, but LSU is a great example of a seriously overrated SEC team). They should have been very lucky to get a 16 seed or have been a 2nd seed in someone else's region.
 

Hrothgar

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Heather Tarr said it best when she was being interviewed afterwards about the walk out and being disrespected by the committee, saying, "it's par for the course" in regards to the terrible job the selection committee does every year. That is ridiculous. Clearly, an SEC bias (and to be honest, I love watching SEC softball, but LSU is a great example of a seriously overrated SEC team). They should have been very lucky to get a 16 seed or have been a 2nd seed in someone else's region.
In both NCAA softball and baseball, various Northern & Western programs occasionally discuss forming their own season beginning later in the winter and continuing later into the spring or early summer. It's strange that this movement is never followed up on.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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In both NCAA softball and baseball, various Northern & Western programs occasionally discuss forming their own season beginning later in the winter and continuing later into the spring or early summer. It's strange that this movement is never followed up on.

Weather and seasons are a problem for northern schools vis-a-vis southern schools for college baseball and softball. I live in Tennessee... it is so darn hot in the summer. Playing baseball/softball in the summer heat would be really hard (possibly deadly). So the issue is how do you do an NCAA championship? And when?

I just think the Big Ten schools (and their states high school associations) need to make a major commitment to these sports. College softball is the most popular women’s tournament sport. Put the money into it and try to compete by leaning in to their reality... recruit by saying to teenagers: “if you play college softball in the BIG 10, you will travel the country. If you want to travel the nation, come to the Big Ten.”
 

AZGopher8

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Weather and seasons are a problem for northern schools vis-a-vis southern schools for college baseball and softball. I live in Tennessee... it is so darn hot in the summer. Playing baseball/softball in the summer heat would be really hard (possibly deadly). So the issue is how do you do an NCAA championship? And when?

I just think the Big Ten schools (and their states high school associations) need to make a major commitment to these sports. College softball is the most popular women’s tournament sport. Put the money into it and try to compete by leaning in to their reality... recruit by saying to teenagers: “if you play college softball in the BIG 10, you will travel the country. If you want to travel the nation, come to the Big Ten.”
I agree with this. I live in AZ (obviously) and coach an elite level club softball team. We rarely play in Arizona in June, July, and August. We travel to play in national events in other states. However we do play 11+ months of the year, so we have a huge advantage over the northern club teams.

I think the Big Ten did a HUGE disservice to their student athletes in baseball and softball by playing a conference only schedule when most of the rest of the nation found a way to play some non-conference games. They showed little dedication to those sports when they found a way to play non-conference basketball for women and men (for example). The Big Ten basically said that baseball and softball are not as high on the priority list as other sports. Therefore, my athletes will likely not look their direction if any of the other 4 Power 5 conferences come calling.
 

rowdaboat

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In both NCAA softball and baseball, various Northern & Western programs occasionally discuss forming their own season beginning later in the winter and continuing later into the spring or early summer. It's strange that this movement is never followed up on.
A lot of the softball players still are playing 18U club ball the summer after freshman year, that's better playing time and experience than extending the college season. North schools need to arrange nonconf invitationals in Florida like big ten was doing or indoor complexes so they can compete for SOS
 


Gsbfan10

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COVID did NOT create the committee’s unacceptable SEC Bias. It was birthed in 2017 when the Gophers were ranked #1 in the nation (54-3) and didn’t get seeded top 16 to
host a regional.

This years most obvious snubs are Michigan and Washington (PAC 12). And those 2 schools in less favor than SEC teams with losing conference records!

Here’s the litmus test. Does Georgia have a chance to win the NCAA Tiourney? God No. Do Washington (#6 Ranking)? Michigan 36-6? Absolutely.

Who is responsible? Who will advocate? If this was the NCAA Men’s BB Tournament, it would be all over sports TV and someone woul have to answer and explain.

We all thought the Gophers had broken this barrier in 2019 when they were awarded a top seeding and won their way at home vs. LSU to the WCWS.

Gophers being sent to a loaded UCLA this year likely seals their fate, but Michigan has the 1-2 pitching punch that might get it done at Washington…and then at #1 Oklahoma.
 


AZGopher8

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It is a COVID year. Next year the ladies will spend the early part of the season down south and out west like always.
Now there's a great recruiting line sure to get all the nations best fired up to go to Big Ten schools!
 

Hrothgar

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Weather and seasons are a problem for northern schools vis-a-vis southern schools for college baseball and softball. I live in Tennessee... it is so darn hot in the summer. Playing baseball/softball in the summer heat would be really hard (possibly deadly). So the issue is how do you do an NCAA championship? And when?

I just think the Big Ten schools (and their states high school associations) need to make a major commitment to these sports. College softball is the most popular women’s tournament sport. Put the money into it and try to compete by leaning in to their reality... recruit by saying to teenagers: “if you play college softball in the BIG 10, you will travel the country. If you want to travel the nation, come to the Big Ten.”
I live in MN but I grew up in deep southern IL & competed in KY & Tenn. We played baseball or softball all spring & summer in any weather, including over a hundred often & once in a while during snow flurries. Young people well-trained can play in lots of conditions. It's the athletic depts & universities that must wake up from their biases & decide that women athletes deserve fair and equal treatment. In that respect, I wasn't just suggesting adjustments that allow Northern & Western programs to stay in the NCAA but also possibly forming other leagues and panoplies to compete under.
 

AZGopher8

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I live in MN but I grew up in deep southern IL & competed in KY & Tenn. We played baseball or softball all spring & summer in any weather, including over a hundred often & once in a while during snow flurries. Young people well-trained can play in lots of conditions. It's the athletic depts & universities that must wake up from their biases & decide that women athletes deserve fair and equal treatment. In that respect, I wasn't just suggesting adjustments that allow Northern & Western programs to stay in the NCAA but also possibly forming other leagues and panoplies to compete under.
This is the key!! Add the Big Ten leadership into that mix as well.
 

Tucker

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Oklahoma Coach Gasso speaks her mind:

“Some of the matchups throughout the entire tournament are mind boggling, just the worst I think I’ve seen since I’ve been doing this; no rhyme, no reason where you think, ‘OK, it looks like they used strength of schedule here, but they didn’t use strength of schedule with this team,’” started Gasso, who mentioned she was also surprised the committee gave her team the nod at No. 1. “No, it’s mind boggling, and what they did with the PAC-12 is just—I don’t know. It’s just like unjust, unjust. It was all of them, with the exception of Arizona, which is still kind of a surprise to me. The first PAC-12 team that was seeded was UCLA. The next one was Arizona, and they finished fourth in their conference. You put the second place finisher at 16, which is absolutely a disgrace and disrespect to Washington, which creates a challenge for us.

“But it also has Michigan going there, and I thought Michigan earned a host. But because they were in a different setting with their schedule—and I’ve driven by their conference—they got penalized for that. Washington got penalized for losing to two unranked teams. But you know how many teams that are ranked that they did beat? I felt that Arizona State got seeded too low. They should have probably been more in the 12-, 13-spot.

“So, there’s absolute adoration and love for the SEC. I felt that. I definitely felt that, some of it warranted, some of it not. I thought Wichita State coming here is unfair to them. They deserve better.

“So there’s just a lot of things. Like, Clemson going to Alabama is unreal. So I don’t know. It just saddens me that we all put in a hard body of work and some of everybody’s limitations, whether it’s their conference or their university saying, ‘Hey, we don’t have the money to send you here, or we can’t do this or that because of COVID,’ I just felt like there were zero COVID exceptions in all of this. There wasn’t accountability for some of that.

“I don’t know. I don’t know. There are so many conspiracy theories out there, like ESPN’s trying to create headlines and trying to create these [storylines]. Like Oregon going to Texas, come on. Don’t do that. Don’t do that. But they did.

“And I saw it all playing out, and I’m like, ‘This is ludicrous. It is ludicrous.’ So it’s set up for some, not set up for others. And especially some of these teams that have been in the Top 5, Top 10 in the country all year long, and they get hosed like that, not right, not right.”
 




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