Gopher Softball 2022

Hrothgar

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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.
I see why recruits or transfers are drawn to glamorous places like FLA or CA, sun & palm trees. It's hard to imagine anyone dreaming of ALA or OKLA as a place to be. Do these places succeed bec they put more money in their softball programs? Or have coaches who are geniuses at recruiting?
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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I see why recruits or transfers are drawn to glamorous places like FLA or CA, sun & palm trees. It's hard to imagine anyone dreaming of ALA or OKLA as a place to be. Do these places succeed bec they put more money in their softball programs? Or have coaches who are geniuses at recruiting?
A theory: they have coaches (Patrick Murphy and Patti Gasso) who everyone who plays softball knows by name and every recruit knows coaches like them will be there throughout their entire college career. Murphy and Gasso are not going anywhere. They are committed.

Also, the Sooners are in the very state where the WCWS is played… that can’t hurt.
 





Gopher68

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According to another softball forum, Makenna Dowell, starting shortstop from Auburn, transfers to MN.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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According to another softball forum, Makenna Dowell, starting shortstop from Auburn, transfers to MN.

I am not absolutely sure I understand the reason for bringing in these two transfers (if the Dowell transfer is true). 22 players on the roster seems a player or two too large for a preferred roster size.

I believe Espalin and Dowell are good ball players. I just wonder which, if any, good ball players on the current roster who committed to the Minnesota Gopher Softball program at age 17 or earlier and to the University of Minnesota academic experience along with that are now going to have to sit on the bench more in 2022.

Maybe there are other factors at play that I don’t understand.
 

4EverAGopher

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At this point, I see the roster was updated with the removal of the Super Seniors and those that transferred out.

Hopefully, there will be a 2021 fall schedule and it will be played. Always nice to get a feel for who the potential starters during the regular season will be.
 

rowdaboat

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I am not absolutely sure I understand the reason for bringing in these two transfers (if the Dowell transfer is true). 22 players on the roster seems a player or two too large for a preferred roster size.

I believe Espalin and Dowell are good ball players. I just wonder which, if any, good ball players on the current roster who committed to the Minnesota Gopher Softball program at age 17 or earlier and to the University of Minnesota academic experience along with that are now going to have to sit on the bench more in 2022.

Maybe there are other factors at play that I don’t understand.
There's still roughly 6 on the current roster that I wouldn't be surprised if they transfer, don't know what sort of deadlines there are for the fall semester to enter portal.
 



Gopher68

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There's still roughly 6 on the current roster that I wouldn't be surprised if they transfer, don't know what sort of deadlines there are for the fall semester to enter portal.
The following is my understanding of the transer portal. I don't think there is a deadline for entering the portal. If they transfer before the start of the semester, they will lose any aid they were getting from Minnesota. If they transfer after the semester starts, they retain their aid until the end of the semester.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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The following is my understanding of the transer portal. I don't think there is a deadline for entering the portal. If they transfer before the start of the semester, they will lose any aid they were getting from Minnesota. If they transfer after the semester starts, they retain their aid until the end of the semester.
I can’t imagine that any player who is not already a proven commodity on the soccer field would want to transfer in the Fall/Winter as compared to the summer.

Players who have proven themselves in college may be more willing to transfer later in the school year.

I don’t know who rowdaboat’s 6 are, but I assume they are mostly players who have barely stepped on the field. I just assume they would have entered their names in the portal by now.
 

Roland Brooks

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UST could be a landing spot for a couple players if they decide to leave. Who knows? Has UST hired a new coach yet?
 

Gopher68

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I can’t imagine that any player who is not already a proven commodity on the soccer field would want to transfer in the Fall/Winter as compared to the summer.

Players who have proven themselves in college may be more willing to transfer later in the school year.

I don’t know who rowdaboat’s 6 are, but I assume they are mostly players who have barely stepped on the field. I just assume they would have entered their names in the portal by now.
I assume you meant softball player. Lindaman transferred after the fall season.
 



Waffle

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According to another softball forum, Makenna Dowell, starting shortstop from Auburn, transfers to MN.
Apparently Dowell's girlfriend Justus Perry (1B) is also transferring from Auburn to Minnesota. Perry is a Prior Lake native. There is an Instagram post on Perry's page of them both in Minnesota softball sweatshirts so I assume they are both playing. Taking in a couple could lead to drama, we'll see.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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I can’t imagine that any player who is not already a proven commodity on the SOFTBALL field would want to transfer in the Fall/Winter as compared to the summer.

Players who have proven themselves in college may be more willing to transfer later in the school year.

I don’t know who rowdaboat’s 6 are, but I assume they are mostly players who have barely stepped on the field. I just assume they would have entered their names in the portal by now.
I assume you meant softball player. Lindaman transferred after the fall season.

Yeah… softball, I gotta do a better job in my proofreading before sending these posts. My fault.

I just think if a player is a Lindaman-type player they can wait much later in the school year and transfer then and still get in the starting lineup with their new team at the start of the 2022 season. But if a player is completely unproven player (like Petersen or Jones or a host of players on our roster who have not really played college ball at all), they are going to want to transfer now so as to be able to be part of fall-ball with their new team so as to show their new coaches what they got.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Apparently Dowell's girlfriend Justus Perry (1B) is also transferring from Auburn to Minnesota. Perry is a Prior Lake native. There is an Instagram post on Perry's page of them both in Minnesota softball sweatshirts so I assume they are both playing. Taking in a couple could lead to drama, we'll see.
Arg. More players? I don’t understand anything. Maybe I should just watch and see what happens and reserve comments for a few months later. None of these incoming transfers make obvious on-the-field sense to me.
 

Gopher68

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Arg. More players? I don’t understand anything. Maybe I should just watch and see what happens and reserve comments for a few months later. None of these incoming transfers make obvious on-the-field sense to me.
Dowell makes sense to me. She is a proven starter with a .275 or better average. As she will only be here a year, it will fill the gap until Oakland arrives.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Dowell makes sense to me. She is a proven starter with a .275 or better average. As she will only be here a year, it will fill the gap until Oakland arrives.

This is probably true and good analysis by Gopher68. I am just feeling protective toward Cox’s and Evans’ at-bats. Cox has such high power potential and Evans seems to have both power-potential and has shown ability to avoid high strikeout numbers by getting her bat on the ball.
 

4EverAGopher

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We certainly can agree as fans that we want to see this program not take steps backwards. I would think those involved in this program have the same feeling.

Coaches are hired, hopefully, with the ability to be able to assess the strengths and weaknesses of players. We have to put our faith in these present Gopher coaches, along with the addition of McKenna Partain, that there is a common goal to improve upon the present situation.

I cannot speak on any of these incoming players. I am just hoping it all plays out for the "best" for the Gopher softball program.

Right now can we all as fans agree that we do need to improve in several areas of this sport here in MInnesota?
 

rwlarson

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Apparently Dowell's girlfriend Justus Perry (1B) is also transferring from Auburn to Minnesota. Perry is a Prior Lake native. There is an Instagram post on Perry's page of them both in Minnesota softball sweatshirts so I assume they are both playing. Taking in a couple could lead to drama, we'll see.
I don’t think Perry has any eligibility remaining. Is there an opening for a grad assistant next season?
 

rwlarson

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Dowell makes sense to me. She is a proven starter with a .275 or better average. As she will only be here a year, it will fill the gap until Oakland arrives.
Dowell is one of the toughest players to strike out in the entire country, draws walks and is a great situational hitter who moves runners along. She is also a wizard with the glove. She will also be one of the best defensive shortstops we’ve ever had here.
 


rowdaboat

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I can’t imagine that any player who is not already a proven commodity on the soccer field would want to transfer in the Fall/Winter as compared to the summer.

Players who have proven themselves in college may be more willing to transfer later in the school year.

I don’t know who rowdaboat’s 6 are, but I assume they are mostly players who have barely stepped on the field. I just assume they would have entered their names in the portal by now.
All four freshmen that got basically no playing time excluding Ansleigh, and then Lindner and Denson since they've underperformed and could get starting role transferring to smaller school. Could also see Dray losing time with the new transfers and only 1 year left
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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1 Jensen (7)
2 Den Hartog (8)
3 Evans (9)
4 Kinch (2)
5 Cox (DH)
6 Dowell (6)? [counting chickens?]
7 Dray/Hansen/Espalin (3)
8 Costa (5)
9 Strelow (2)

I am more confident in that batting lineup than I am in our pitching staff. I hope Hollifield/Leavitt/Hostettler are ready to pitch many quality innings.
 

rwlarson

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1 Jensen (7)
2 Den Hartog (8)
3 Evans (9)
4 Kinch (2)
5 Cox (DH)
6 Dowell (6)? [counting chickens?]
7 Dray/Hansen/Espalin (3)
8 Costa (5)
9 Strelow (2)

I am more confident in that batting lineup than I am in our pitching staff. I hope Hollifield/Leavitt/Hostettler are ready to pitch many quality innings.
I would love to see Evans and Cox earn starting roles, but ultimately I think we will see Espalin in RF and Hansen at DP.

Evans flashed some potential, but also hit well below .200 so she really needs to step it up a notch as a sophomore. People who watched her in HS think she can do it. Sometimes a freshman can hit in the .100s but break out as a sophomore. Is Chloe one of those, or will she remain too inconsistent to garner significant playing time next year?

I don’t know what to make of Cox. Plenty of power, so she could hit 15+ HRs if she hits for a good enough average to play regularly. I would at least like to see her average one plate appearance per game this year. Give her some starts early to see what she can do.

I feel better about the prospects for an improved offense in 2022 than I did a couple months ago. The transfers are here IMO in case none of Strelow, Evans, Cox, Denson, Dray, or anyone else besides DenHartog, Kinch, and Jensen becomes a real threat offensively. I think the coaches believe that there is a very good chance both transfers hit .300+ next year.
 

Gopher68

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1 Jensen (7)
2 Den Hartog (8)
3 Evans (9)
4 Kinch (2)
5 Cox (DH)
6 Dowell (6)? [counting chickens?]
7 Dray/Hansen/Espalin (3)
8 Costa (5)
9 Strelow (2)

I am more confident in that batting lineup than I am in our pitching staff. I hope Hollifield/Leavitt/Hostettler are ready to pitch many quality innings.
Perhaps Strelow at third with Beckstrom or Chavez at second.
 

Hrothgar

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The Gophers seem have some talented players for next year, but to excel they need a lineup consistent from top to bottom in the field & at bat, with 2 or 3 sublimely gifted players mixed in, along with what MI coach Hutchins describes as "elite pitching." That's a huge wish list, but w/o it the Gophers will go on as usual in the BIG, that is, winning a lot but also mysteriously losing games to BIG bottom feeders and finishing 2nd, 3rd, or 4th in the BIG, which will get them a tough NCAA regional on the road, where winning is a remote chance. I'd like to see this pattern end in 2022. Hopefully the program lives up to its strong fan-base support. Sorry it this sounds too critical, but it's time to take over the BIG and win it outright again.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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…it's time to take over the BIG and win it outright again.

If this is the goal, and it probably should be the goal, all those innings that previously had Amber Fiser in the circle will have to be filled with quality pitching; by pitchers we have seen little or nothing from in the past. Maybe it can happen. Seems like a stretch, but I will certainly be rooting for our new pitching staff. I hope they can perform well and entertain us.
 

rwlarson

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If this is the goal, and it probably should be the goal, all those innings that previously had Amber Fiser in the circle will have to be filled with quality pitching; by pitchers we have seen little or nothing from in the past. Maybe it can happen. Seems like a stretch, but I will certainly be rooting for our new pitching staff. I hope they can perform well and entertain us.
It‘s always exciting albeit nerve-racking when a low margin of error program has to replace someone of Fiser’s caliber. Look at how Oklahoma has had to take so many transfer pitchers recently even though they regularly get highly sought-after recruits. We have been very fortunate since Moulton that one of our pitching recruits every few years has overachieved enough to become All-America.

Kudos to Allister and Piper for identifying talent that was obtainable and had that kind of potential, and to Piper for developing that talent. The winning culture she and Piper created here, along with the masterful scheduling Jamie did in 2019 that helped us get a Top 8 seed and a subsequent trip to Oklahoma City, has allowed us to attract our highest-ranked pitching recruit ever* in Emily Leavitt.

As Oklahoma and other schools know, nothing is guaranteed. But I’ll put our track record of overachievement in the circle up against any school in the country. I don‘t know if Leavitt will be dominant, but IMO she has a better chance to be great here than she would anywhere, because she will get the opportunity and the coaching, thanks to Piper.

*Softball recruit rankings are notoriously questionable.
 
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mngolf

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Peterson just transferred to FAU. I see they only have 1 catcher on the roster.
 




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