Gopher Softball 2022

Gopher68

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If I were Ritter I would do everything humanly possible (within the rules, of course) to get Brandner back here. IMO she & Groenewegen are the 2 best all-around players MN has had, period. Brandner was as good a hitter as Lindaman even, and a better defensive player.
Her current partner is working in Chicago. Unfortunately, that makes Northwestern the most likely.
 


dlw4gophers

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Two years away from the game, not sure how she will adjust to the game. Would like her with the Gophers as we find out.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Who really knows how at least 5 of these 6 pitchers on the 2022 staff (Pease, Dueck, Jones, Hollifield, Leavitt, and Hostettler) can perform at the college level? And I have no clue if any of the six on the roster can take on Moulton/Groenewagen/Fiser levels of workload and still be effective.

With that said, if I were Ritter I would consider, with the exception of Pease, a high level of relief strategy where the non-Pease pitchers only have to get through the batting order once or so before they are relieved. It sounds like MLB’s middle relief strategy these days but it may be the best way to get wins, at least at the beginning of next year before one of these 5 pitchers can fully emerge as someone who can get through a batting order multiple times.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Honestly, it seems to me that our ultimate success for next year (2022) is largely dependent upon what happens this off-season at Ann Arbor and Evanston. I don’t see us up there with Michigan if Beaubien returns. And I see Northwestern as a likely second-in-the-B1G team if Rachel Lewis returns. If both do not return and our less-experienced players really step it up, we could make it interesting in the Big Ten tournament.

This will be the first off-season in many offseasons where I don’t see us in at least complete parity with Michigan for the next season... but it should still be a good Gopher team next year; likely no worse than third in the Big Ten, which is pretty good considering the talent and experience we will have lost.
Looks like three of Michigan’s really good players popped up on the softball transfer list, including Allen and Jimenez who really took it to the Gophers over a month ago.

Maybe Minnesota will be the favorite to win the BIG going in to next year.
 


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Anyone have SA membership for the transfer list? KB Sides grad transfer from Bama pretty big name in it, Sara Jubas JMU as well according to 1 tweet. Lou Allan Michigan grad transfer in and Jessi Puk from miss to ASU
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Anyone have SA membership for the transfer list? KB Sides grad transfer from Bama pretty big name in it, Sara Jubas JMU as well according to 1 tweet. Lou Allan Michigan grad transfer in and Jessi Puk from miss to ASU

Still just Brandner and Peterson on the transfer list (SA and D1 maintain lists viewable to members) from Minnesota. Now that the season is over, I would imagine if there were any other outgoing Gophers, we would see them pop up on that list very soon to allow themselves the greatest number of options.

While obviously not knowing all aspects of our players’ academic and relational happiness with the U of M community, purely as a matter of on-the-field softball stuff, the existing players on the roster may think there are enough openings in the lineup or available innings that will need to be pitched in 2022. Therefore, there would be opportunities for those players that played very little in 2021 to fairly compete for those spots in 2022so that transferring out may not yet make sense. I have some doubt that any other existing Gophers will pop up as an outgoing transfer until next Summer.
 


dlw4gophers

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Not defending her, but could all be upper classes and she is going with her recruits so they are not going to see the field
 




4EverAGopher

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Wonder if Nyomi Jones at Ole Miss is in the portal? One cannot forget that incident with the pushing of the ump around home plate. I for one could not believe she did that.
 
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ClassOf98Gopher

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Wonder if Nyomi Jones at Ole Miss is in the portal? One cannot forget that incident with the pushing of the ump atound home plate. I for one could not believe she did that.
Nyomi Jones is not presently in the transfer lists.

But Ole Miss has that giant, 11 person transfer group presently in there. I have long been a Trachsel apologist-of-sorts and moderately supportive of her as a head coach… but all of these transfers from Ole Miss makes me wonder if I was wrong. At least, it is another piece of evidence that maybe I was wrong about her. Who knows?
 

rowdaboat

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Vestal (2018 #1 recruit) and 2 or 3 others transferring Oklahoma. Tons to choose from in portal but not sure if Gophers could find any scholarship money
 




ClassOf98Gopher

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Grad transfer commit


22 players still seems to me to be a bit of a large roster number but maybe there could be rumors circulating among the coaches that there will be other outgoing transfers. I don’t know.

One thing that I assume and that is that Lauren Espalin wants to play here.
 

rowdaboat

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22 players still seems to me to be a bit of a large roster number but maybe there could be rumors circulating among the coaches that there will be other outgoing transfers. I don’t know.

One thing that I assume and that is that Lauren Espalin wants to play here.
There's definitely not enough playing time to go around. With the free covid year not a bad decision to just set up for grad degree and stay instead of potentially wasting credits by transferring
 

4EverAGopher

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So, do we need a backup Catcher or another starting Catcher or a DH when it comes to our newest addition? If her talents are utilized, where will that be?
 

rwlarson

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So, do we need a backup Catcher or another starting Catcher or a DH when it comes to our newest addition? If her talents are utilized, where will that be?
She also could play OF if Strelow is pegged to return to the IF. Played some there for Cal. Good hitter. She could put up really good numbers in the Big Ten. Not the impact of a Brandner, but should be one of the top hitters on the team next season.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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She also could play OF if Strelow is pegged to return to the IF. Played some there for Cal. Good hitter. She could put up really good numbers in the Big Ten. Not the impact of a Brandner, but should be one of the top hitters on the team next season.
I just don’t know. I would bet money Strelow is a middle infielder next year, potentially opening up right field. But I don’t see how Espalin gets ahead of Kinch at Catch or Cox at DH (they just have too much power as compared to Espalin to not let them get the swings). And honestly, I like Evans’ power and ball contact percentage as a stater in the outfield to go along with DenHartog and Jensen.

This seems like insurance to me. Maybe there is a very specific academic program side of this as well attracting Espalin to Minnesota.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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In other transfer news: Pitcher/Right-Fielder Kianna Jones is transferring out. I wish she had a little more of a shot here. I was assuming for a few weeks that she was a potential out-transfer but hoping against it.
 

Hrothgar

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In other transfer news: Pitcher/Right-Fielder Kianna Jones is transferring out. I wish she had a little more of a shot here. I was assuming for a few weeks that she was a potential out-transfer but hoping against it.
Unusual development. Kianna was pretty much touted as a potential superstar when she was brought in, but she faded into zero visibility as 2021 progressed. Was she overrated or was it simply poor initial publicity about her? There seemed not even to be any decision if she was a player in the field/ hitter or a pitcher. In the end, she was neither. What happened?
 

rwlarson

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I just don’t know. I would bet money Strelow is a middle infielder next year, potentially opening up right field. But I don’t see how Espalin gets ahead of Kinch at Catch or Cox at DH (they just have too much power as compared to Espalin to not let them get the swings). And honestly, I like Evans’ power and ball contact percentage as a stater in the outfield to go along with DenHartog and Jensen.

This seems like insurance to me. Maybe there is a very specific academic program side of this as well attracting Espalin to Minnesota.
Sure, she isn’t guaranteed anything, but Carly didn’t bring Espalin in here with the idea that she would be a backup. She has hit at the top of Cal’s lineup virtually her entire career. Unless she shows up completely out of shape and/or mentally not into it, she definitely has the talent to start and help this team win games, especially in the postseason, when we need someone to step up and drive in runs against elite pitchers. Espalin has demonstrated that ability, whereas few others on our roster have.

Granted, we don’t really know how good Evans can be yet, nor have we seen enough of Cox to know how she would do with extended at bats and increased scouting scrutiny.

If Espalin can’t crack the starting lineup here, it bodes very well for us offensively, because it would mean several of our younger players are breaking out at the same time.
 

rwlarson

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Unusual development. Kianna was pretty much touted as a potential superstar when she was brought in, but she faded into zero visibility as 2021 progressed. Was she overrated or was it simply poor initial publicity about her? There seemed not even to be any decision if she was a player in the field/ hitter or a pitcher. In the end, she was neither. What happened?
I think her coming in from Canada immediately after Groenewegen left contributed to her being a little overhyped. But Groenewegen herself just kind of snuck up on everyone. Unfortunately, Kianna just never seemed to be able to get hitters out when she did get an opportunity, and since the coaches didn’t just keep throwing her out there, it must have confirmed things they were seeing in bullpen sessions.

I actually thought she showed some promise as a hitter with some pop in 2020, but she never really had enough chances to hit in 2021 for us fans to see if she could make it as a hitter. Maybe like Kendal Judge before her, she just didn’t develop or couldn’t adapt to this level of hitter. When Fiser and Judge both came in, just reading their bios I admit I couldn’t have told you which one would end up having the most success at this level.

It will be interesting to see what Kianna’s future holds, both collegiately and for Softball Canada.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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…nor have we seen enough of Cox to know how she would do with extended at bats and increased scouting scrutiny.

If Espalin can’t crack the starting lineup here, it bodes very well for us offensively, because it would mean several of our younger players are breaking out at the same time.
These are two very strong points… and oddly, potentially related.
 


Hrothgar

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Many ifs and ands here, all well argued, but in the end I can't see the Gophers going forward unless they get a batting order that sheds its passivity at the plate and finds hitters who produce big hits with runners in scoring position. The most repeated comment I've found from posters the past 2-3 years has been frustration with the team's failure to drive in runners with big hits that can blow a game open. Fiser and Pease were vicitmized in this way over and over during 2021.
 

rowdaboat

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In other transfer news: Pitcher/Right-Fielder Kianna Jones is transferring out. I wish she had a little more of a shot here. I was assuming for a few weeks that she was a potential out-transfer but hoping against it.
Not surprising, never got much of a chance pitching
 

Hrothgar

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Sure, she isn’t guaranteed anything, but Carly didn’t bring Espalin in here with the idea that she would be a backup. She has hit at the top of Cal’s lineup virtually her entire career. Unless she shows up completely out of shape and/or mentally not into it, she definitely has the talent to start and help this team win games, especially in the postseason, when we need someone to step up and drive in runs against elite pitchers. Espalin has demonstrated that ability, whereas few others on our roster have.

Granted, we don’t really know how good Evans can be yet, nor have we seen enough of Cox to know how she would do with extended at bats and increased scouting scrutiny.

If Espalin can’t crack the starting lineup here, it bodes very well for us offensively, because it would mean several of our younger players are breaking out at the same time.
Hasn't Cal been relatively mediocre in recent years (I'm only guessing)? Espalin may've hit at the top with Cal, but would she even have been in the lineup at all with, say, UCLA, Oklahoma, Washington, AZ,other top ten teams? I hope the answer is yes, bec we need her then.
 

4EverAGopher

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Dray was brought in this past season. Does anybody know if she is staying? Because, personally, I didn't feel she brought much needed power to our offense. Also, I was not that impressed with her defense at either catching or first.

Just tossing this out there. If we need a backup catcher next season for whatever reason, Dray is not the answer.......so in comes Espalin.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Dray was brought in this past season. Does anybody know if she is staying? Because, personally, I didn't feel she brought much needed power to our offense. Also, I was not that impressed with her defense at either catching or first.

Just tossing this out there. If we need a backup catcher next season for whatever reason, Dray is not the answer.......so in comes Espalin.

Dray didn’t have an awesome year, that is clear. But she did have that home run against UCLA… which in my mind made the transfer worth it.

I still think both Dray and Espalin are role players who want to be here… which is something. I mean, let’s be honest with ourselves, we are not going to get the Hope Troutweins, Ally Shipmans, or Skyler Wallaces of the transfer world. They will always go to the Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida-type teams. We just need to get transfers that can co tribute something, on average (Allie Arneson-style). Brandner and Pease exceeded expectations; which was great.
 




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