Gopher Softball 2022

rugger14

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Interesting. The softball team MI fields & sends to bat in 2022 is equally as questionable as MN's (MI's weaker IMO on defense). But MI has 2 quality veteran pitchers whose ERAs are around 2.00; MN's pitchers hover around 4+ ERA, if not higher at times. In offense MN all season has stereotypically sent Espalin, Evans, and DenHartog up to load the bases, where they've stood stranded for the next 3 outs. Run production below those 3 batters has been minimal, sometimes
non-existent, as per this weekend.

MN's slide downward began after 2019 & the WCWS, just when it seemed it would start entering a real golden age. In just 3 years, I find MN softball 2022 to be directionless & the staff leadership MIA in articulating itself well as to where it's heading. Without a revamped pitching staff & 4-5 aggressive, strong new bats, how can 2023 be better?

As for Hugh McCutcheon, he must get countless offers of other jobs, but he came here, recruits elite talent every year, and STAYS PUT!

Interesting that Hugh stays here. Not sure how much he makes. I talked to Alister the first year season tix for softball were available and she told.me the athletic department almost didnt approve season softball tix due.to the cost of printing and postage. Softball is definitely not a revenue sport.
 

ecoperson

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It it not about parity or the wins or losses, it is the quality of the sport and how they lose. It is not just softball it is across the board in all sports.

I have stated it in other posts, today's student athlete looks at things so much different than we did years ago and even a decade ago. They apparently have so much more on their plate that they have to worry about in their personal lives.....so I have read.

I feel what I find the most interesting is the thing they live by day and night, technology/social media, is probably the main thing that has the most negative impact on their everyday lives.

Also, I don't feel Michigan looked that much better than Minnesota in this series. They just made less errors and captilized at the plate much better than we did.

I am a volleyball season ticket holder and one thing I can say for sure is, no matter the athlete that is recruited we have a Head Coach who has "DEVELOPED" many of those athletes that have played in the Minnesota program. Yes, there is more parity in this sport too, but I for one am grateful for Coach Hugh McCutcheons. You can ask many volleyball fans and they would agree with me on Hugh. HE PUTS OUT QUALITY TEAMS EVERY SEASON and all his players succeed on the court.
Fickle fans on the GopherHole are on Hugh's case every year for not playing his bench, for playing too many bench players, for not recruiting a middle, and for not winning a natty! I have learned to be patient and just enjoy the game.
 

AZGopher8

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Fickle fans on the GopherHole are on Hugh's case every year for not playing his bench, for playing too many bench players, for not recruiting a middle, and for not winning a natty! I have learned to be patient and just enjoy the game.
You are correct. Those fans are delusional. They are the type that will never be satisfied even when winning a National Championship. They will expect it every year, but that is fantasy land in the hyper competitive world of elite sports.

The difference between making the final 8, the final four, the championship game, and winning the title is miniscule. So many things have to fall into just the right place. Hugh has them consistently competitive within the top 10 programs in the country virtually every season. To complain about that, says much more about the complainer than the coach or the program.

The issues for Gopher softball go beyond simple solutions. There are several areas that need to be addressed to get this program back on track. And by track, I am referring to the trajectory that Allister had it on. The season of the WCWS was just 3 years ago, yet it seems like a lifetime. As was mentioned before, I think many (myself included) thought the program could build on that success for years to come. Unfortunately, that has not happened.
 

mngophersport1995

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Anyone else confused why Kinch & Dray get so many at bats? Hansen and Denson both are my first two picks to come in and change things up. Both of these players obviously need to be given more playing time. Hansen came in against Nebraska and hit a grand slam and Denson came in and took a hr hitters job by a sac fly RBI. When will these coaches do something different.
 

GopherAlum03

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Anyone else confused why Kinch & Dray get so many at bats? Hansen and Denson both are my first two picks to come in and change things up. Both of these players obviously need to be given more playing time. Hansen came in against Nebraska and hit a grand slam and Denson came in and took a hr hitters job by a sac fly RBI. When will these coaches do something different.
Based off of? I agree with Hansen since she has an OB% in the 400’s but Denson’s on base percentage is in the 200’s. Sure she had a nice fly out to center but is that who we really want at the plate when we need to get on or score runs? That was her first RBI in 19 at bats. Costa, Valencia and Cox all have better on base percentages and the first two mentioned have better batting averages. The first off the bench in my opinion should be Hansen, Cox and Valencia in that order. I am perplexed as to why Cox doesn’t get more time after that laser double the other day. She is 2-5 with a double, 3 runs scored and an RBI and she sits? How does Dray and Kinch lead the team in strikeouts but yet play every game? The coaches know better and they refuse to play the best. Valencia has had 3 at bats, is 2-3, hits a missile off of Texas closer and no more playing time? My guess is they need her for pitching and don’t want her risking unnecessary injury. What is the definition of insanity, coach Ritter mentioned it on National television the other day. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Well she’s playing the same strikeout queens over and over and expecting to win. Our pitiful record says otherwise.
 


Hrothgar

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Anyone else confused why Kinch & Dray get so many at bats? Hansen and Denson both are my first two picks to come in and change things up. Both of these players obviously need to be given more playing time. Hansen came in against Nebraska and hit a grand slam and Denson came in and took a hr hitters job by a sac fly RBI. When will these coaches do something different.
Dray plays because she's really outstanding & reliable defensively at first base. Kinch seems reliable behind the plate & she throws runners out. Both have trouble at the plate because they don't shorten their swings and hit defensively with 2 strikes, thus often striking out, predictably.

In putting Hansen over Dray at 1st, you'd maybe get marginally better hitting, though Hansen has never hit like she was expected to out of hs, and her defensive skills on the infield are far below Dray's, as witnessed by her play at that position im 2021. Injuries seem to have hindered Hansen. Denson's position would need to be: either DP, which Espalin has nailed down, or LF, which Jensen has tenure at. Giving Hansen & Denson more playing time or ABs would mean creating space for them. Where?
 

GopherAlum03

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Dray plays because she's really outstanding & reliable defensively at first base. Kinch seems reliable behind the plate & she throws runners out. Both have trouble at the plate because they don't shorten their swings and hit defensively with 2 strikes, thus often striking out, predictably.

In putting Hansen over Dray at 1st, you'd maybe get marginally better hitting, though Hansen has never hit like she was expected to out of hs, and her defensive skills on the infield are far below Dray's, as witnessed by her play at that position im 2021. Injuries seem to have hindered Hansen. Denson's position would need to be: either DP, which Espalin has nailed down, or LF, which Jensen has tenure at. Giving Hansen & Denson more playing time or ABs would mean creating space for them. Where?
Dray has 3 errors at 1B this season and Hansen has 0. Kinch has 4 errors behind the plate and I don’t think it’s worth going 1-8 with 7 strikeouts just to throw a few runners out here and there.

You can move Dray to C which opens up 1B, Costa, Valencia, Hansen. You can also try to play Espalin in right and move Chloe to LF which opens up the DP slot for another big stick.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Dray has 3 errors at 1B this season and Hansen has 0. Kinch has 4 errors behind the plate and I don’t think it’s worth going 1-8 with 7 strikeouts just to throw a few runners out here and there.

You can move Dray to C which opens up 1B, Costa, Valencia, Hansen. You can also try to play Espalin in right and move Chloe to LF which opens up the DP slot for another big stick.
Kinch was a acclaimed Southern California recruit and has a whole lot of power when she connects with the ball. Her batting average and strike out numbers this year (and last year) are “not great” to be sure; but there is little chance they will bench her. I believe the coaches see her as a 4 batter type hitter for the team until she graduates.

Cox is my preferred candidate for more at bats. I also don’t understand why some room cannot be made for her to get more ABs.
 
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Hrothgar

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Dray has 3 errors at 1B this season and Hansen has 0. Kinch has 4 errors behind the plate and I don’t think it’s worth going 1-8 with 7 strikeouts just to throw a few runners out here and there.

You can move Dray to C which opens up 1B, Costa, Valencia, Hansen. You can also try to play Espalin in right and move Chloe to LF which opens up the DP slot for another big stick.
The post that I replied to was specifically about Hansen & Denson, not Costa, Valencia, & any others too. As for Dray at first, 3 errors for a season is hardly any; the real measure is how many batted balls has she kept on the infield & how many infielders' potential throwing errors has she saved? A lot. Ok, maybe Hansen has 0 errors at 1st, but how many innings has she played there? In 2021 her glove skills at 1st were only adequate IMO, not nearly as good as Dray's. BTW I agree that Dray is a better defensive catcher than Kinch, but if Dray catches she still has to bat, which seems to be the only complaint about her play. Anyway the intent of my post was to address the question of Hansen and Denton getting more ABs. I didn't intend it do deal with anything more than that.
 



Hrothgar

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You are correct. Those fans are delusional. They are the type that will never be satisfied even when winning a National Championship. They will expect it every year, but that is fantasy land in the hyper competitive world of elite sports.

The difference between making the final 8, the final four, the championship game, and winning the title is miniscule. So many things have to fall into just the right place. Hugh has them consistently competitive within the top 10 programs in the country virtually every season. To complain about that, says much more about the complainer than the coach or the program.

The issues for Gopher softball go beyond simple solutions. There are several areas that need to be addressed to get this program back on track. And by track, I am referring to the trajectory that Allister had it on. The season of the WCWS was just 3 years ago, yet it seems like a lifetime. As was mentioned before, I think many (myself included) thought the program could build on that success for years to come. Unfortunately, that has not happened.
"The issues for Gopher softball go beyond simple solutions. There are several areas that need to be addressed to get this program back on track." If you'd care to discuss those areas, I'd really like to read about them. All us posters seem equally confounded & bewildered.
 

AZGopher8

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"The issues for Gopher softball go beyond simple solutions. There are several areas that need to be addressed to get this program back on track." If you'd care to discuss those areas, I'd really like to read about them. All us posters seem equally confounded & bewildered.
These are the issues that are facing the Gopher softball program as I see them. I will keep it as brief as possible - I will likely fail. Please understand that this is an outside perspective as I am not connected to someone in the program (player, coach, or admin) at this time. As mentioned before, I do interact with college coaches as the head coach of a high level club program. My players will play at multiple collegiate levels, including top 25 D1 programs.

Head Coach - Proven winner as a pitching coach, which is significantly different than being a head coach. Most fans and players were happy about the hire at the time. However, there is a transition to being a head coach where your leadership requirements are much higher. Assistants can focus on their aspect of the game and the players they are interacting with consistently. Head coaches are in charge of leading the entire program. Not all assistant coaches are cut out to be head coaches. Coach Ritter has room for growth.

Assistant Coaches - They are proven winners as players. The day after my father passed away I took my family to the Gopher vs. ASU game may years ago. Katie Richardson was playing 3rd and the Gophers won in an upset. Those Allister teams were fun. So, understand that I have a huge amount of respect for the assistant coaches on the current staff. When you have young assistant coaches who were outstanding players, they may not be able to relate or teach the game as well as someone who had to work harder to achieve the same result. What I have witnessed on the field and what my players have experienced at camps with theses assistant coaches, leads me to believe that they have one specific way they teach hitting - only one way. I do not see the ability to adjust to a players strengths. Some timely small ball in certain situations with occasional running would put pressure on the opposing defense to make plays.

Lineups/Use of the Roster - Future players note this frequently as they look at where they want to play at the next level. If you look at LSU, Kentucky, and Florida State, to name just a few, look at how many at bats the whole roster gets. Note how they use their substitutes. I watched Tennessee today use two pinch runners on back to back baserunners and then a pinch hitter (for a player that was 0-2 in the game) as they tried to mount a comeback. I have never witnessed that as a Gopher fan. Players need an opportunity to show what they can do in games.

Pitchers - The same applies to pitchers. Kentucky has 7 pitchers with 15 or more innings this season. LSU goes about 5 deep. Do not misunderstand the need for an elite pitcher to compete for Super Regionals and WCWS appearances. An ace or two are necessary in order to go deep in the NCAA tournament. But, it is also important to have a staff of pitchers to mix things up as the grind of the season mounts and to keep your ace fresh for the playoff run.

Recruiting Part 1 - All of the above is important because of it's impact on recruiting. You build great team chemistry when more players are contributing to success on game day. You will build better relationships with players when you recognize their strengths and weaknesses and coach them to be the best individual person and player they can be. (Not everyone is a homerun hitter for example). This will get them working towards skills that you can implement strategically on game days.

Recruiting Part 2 - Allister was the master at getting players that fell through the cracks. She had an advantage by using the system created by her parents to evaluate softball skills that can translate to production on the field. She would use those metrics like a scout at the NFL combine. This is the individual recruiting component of finding those diamonds in the rough others didn't take the time to learn about. She is doing it again at Stanford, look at her results this season. I am quite certain she is one of very few head coaches that could have revived that dead program.

Recruiting Part 3 - Allister knows that isn't the only aspect to getting a program up and running. She owned recruiting in Minnesota. She also did extremely well in IA (Dwyer, Lindaman and Fiser). She went beyond this for some of her best players by creating relationships with club coaches across the country, especially in the softball "hotbeds". For example: Katie Richardson and Danielle Parlich - AZ, Tyler Walker - CA, Allie Arneson - TX, MaKenna Partain - OR. Not everyone from those areas is a good collegiate player. But, there are many who get missed by big time programs. There is one I can name right now that would be a great recruit for a top program - a Junior uncommitted in AZ. She would look extremely good in Maroon and Gold. She is not on my club team, but plays on a Nationally known team. Her skills and attitude are what I would want as a coach all day long. These are the players MN should be connecting with, not the over ranked Top 100 that do not have the skills to translate at the next level and have been riding the coattails of their teammates. They need to do their homework and connect with as many club coaches as possible.

There isn't one key to the program (of course, an ace covers lots of weaknesses) getting back on track to consistently competing for Big Ten titles and annually fighting for a spot in Supers. It will require several things to be addressed for this program to be consistently ranked in the top 25. I am hopeful that Coach Ritter and her staff are capable to meet the challenge, but it will require growth and adjustment to what they are currently doing in my opinion.
 

Hrothgar

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These are the issues that are facing the Gopher softball program as I see them. I will keep it as brief as possible - I will likely fail. Please understand that this is an outside perspective as I am not connected to someone in the program (player, coach, or admin) at this time. As mentioned before, I do interact with college coaches as the head coach of a high level club program. My players will play at multiple collegiate levels, including top 25 D1 programs.

Head Coach - Proven winner as a pitching coach, which is significantly different than being a head coach. Most fans and players were happy about the hire at the time. However, there is a transition to being a head coach where your leadership requirements are much higher. Assistants can focus on their aspect of the game and the players they are interacting with consistently. Head coaches are in charge of leading the entire program. Not all assistant coaches are cut out to be head coaches. Coach Ritter has room for growth.

Assistant Coaches - They are proven winners as players. The day after my father passed away I took my family to the Gopher vs. ASU game may years ago. Katie Richardson was playing 3rd and the Gophers won in an upset. Those Allister teams were fun. So, understand that I have a huge amount of respect for the assistant coaches on the current staff. When you have young assistant coaches who were outstanding players, they may not be able to relate or teach the game as well as someone who had to work harder to achieve the same result. What I have witnessed on the field and what my players have experienced at camps with theses assistant coaches, leads me to believe that they have one specific way they teach hitting - only one way. I do not see the ability to adjust to a players strengths. Some timely small ball in certain situations with occasional running would put pressure on the opposing defense to make plays.

Lineups/Use of the Roster - Future players note this frequently as they look at where they want to play at the next level. If you look at LSU, Kentucky, and Florida State, to name just a few, look at how many at bats the whole roster gets. Note how they use their substitutes. I watched Tennessee today use two pinch runners on back to back baserunners and then a pinch hitter (for a player that was 0-2 in the game) as they tried to mount a comeback. I have never witnessed that as a Gopher fan. Players need an opportunity to show what they can do in games.

Pitchers - The same applies to pitchers. Kentucky has 7 pitchers with 15 or more innings this season. LSU goes about 5 deep. Do not misunderstand the need for an elite pitcher to compete for Super Regionals and WCWS appearances. An ace or two are necessary in order to go deep in the NCAA tournament. But, it is also important to have a staff of pitchers to mix things up as the grind of the season mounts and to keep your ace fresh for the playoff run.

Recruiting Part 1 - All of the above is important because of it's impact on recruiting. You build great team chemistry when more players are contributing to success on game day. You will build better relationships with players when you recognize their strengths and weaknesses and coach them to be the best individual person and player they can be. (Not everyone is a homerun hitter for example). This will get them working towards skills that you can implement strategically on game days.

Recruiting Part 2 - Allister was the master at getting players that fell through the cracks. She had an advantage by using the system created by her parents to evaluate softball skills that can translate to production on the field. She would use those metrics like a scout at the NFL combine. This is the individual recruiting component of finding those diamonds in the rough others didn't take the time to learn about. She is doing it again at Stanford, look at her results this season. I am quite certain she is one of very few head coaches that could have revived that dead program.

Recruiting Part 3 - Allister knows that isn't the only aspect to getting a program up and running. She owned recruiting in Minnesota. She also did extremely well in IA (Dwyer, Lindaman and Fiser). She went beyond this for some of her best players by creating relationships with club coaches across the country, especially in the softball "hotbeds". For example: Katie Richardson and Danielle Parlich - AZ, Tyler Walker - CA, Allie Arneson - TX, MaKenna Partain - OR. Not everyone from those areas is a good collegiate player. But, there are many who get missed by big time programs. There is one I can name right now that would be a great recruit for a top program - a Junior uncommitted in AZ. She would look extremely good in Maroon and Gold. She is not on my club team, but plays on a Nationally known team. Her skills and attitude are what I would want as a coach all day long. These are the players MN should be connecting with, not the over ranked Top 100 that do not have the skills to translate at the next level and have been riding the coattails of their teammates. They need to do their homework and connect with as many club coaches as possible.

There isn't one key to the program (of course, an ace covers lots of weaknesses) getting back on track to consistently competing for Big Ten titles and annually fighting for a spot in Supers. It will require several things to be addressed for this program to be consistently ranked in the top 25. I am hopeful that Coach Ritter and her staff are capable to meet the challenge, but it will require growth and adjustment to what they are currently doing in my opinion.
Thanks. A lot of interesting info, a lot to think about.
 

rugger14

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These are the issues that are facing the Gopher softball program as I see them. I will keep it as brief as possible - I will likely fail. Please understand that this is an outside perspective as I am not connected to someone in the program (player, coach, or admin) at this time. As mentioned before, I do interact with college coaches as the head coach of a high level club program. My players will play at multiple collegiate levels, including top 25 D1 programs.

Head Coach - Proven winner as a pitching coach, which is significantly different than being a head coach. Most fans and players were happy about the hire at the time. However, there is a transition to being a head coach where your leadership requirements are much higher. Assistants can focus on their aspect of the game and the players they are interacting with consistently. Head coaches are in charge of leading the entire program. Not all assistant coaches are cut out to be head coaches. Coach Ritter has room for growth.

Assistant Coaches - They are proven winners as players. The day after my father passed away I took my family to the Gopher vs. ASU game may years ago. Katie Richardson was playing 3rd and the Gophers won in an upset. Those Allister teams were fun. So, understand that I have a huge amount of respect for the assistant coaches on the current staff. When you have young assistant coaches who were outstanding players, they may not be able to relate or teach the game as well as someone who had to work harder to achieve the same result. What I have witnessed on the field and what my players have experienced at camps with theses assistant coaches, leads me to believe that they have one specific way they teach hitting - only one way. I do not see the ability to adjust to a players strengths. Some timely small ball in certain situations with occasional running would put pressure on the opposing defense to make plays.

Lineups/Use of the Roster - Future players note this frequently as they look at where they want to play at the next level. If you look at LSU, Kentucky, and Florida State, to name just a few, look at how many at bats the whole roster gets. Note how they use their substitutes. I watched Tennessee today use two pinch runners on back to back baserunners and then a pinch hitter (for a player that was 0-2 in the game) as they tried to mount a comeback. I have never witnessed that as a Gopher fan. Players need an opportunity to show what they can do in games.

Pitchers - The same applies to pitchers. Kentucky has 7 pitchers with 15 or more innings this season. LSU goes about 5 deep. Do not misunderstand the need for an elite pitcher to compete for Super Regionals and WCWS appearances. An ace or two are necessary in order to go deep in the NCAA tournament. But, it is also important to have a staff of pitchers to mix things up as the grind of the season mounts and to keep your ace fresh for the playoff run.

Recruiting Part 1 - All of the above is important because of it's impact on recruiting. You build great team chemistry when more players are contributing to success on game day. You will build better relationships with players when you recognize their strengths and weaknesses and coach them to be the best individual person and player they can be. (Not everyone is a homerun hitter for example). This will get them working towards skills that you can implement strategically on game days.

Recruiting Part 2 - Allister was the master at getting players that fell through the cracks. She had an advantage by using the system created by her parents to evaluate softball skills that can translate to production on the field. She would use those metrics like a scout at the NFL combine. This is the individual recruiting component of finding those diamonds in the rough others didn't take the time to learn about. She is doing it again at Stanford, look at her results this season. I am quite certain she is one of very few head coaches that could have revived that dead program.

Recruiting Part 3 - Allister knows that isn't the only aspect to getting a program up and running. She owned recruiting in Minnesota. She also did extremely well in IA (Dwyer, Lindaman and Fiser). She went beyond this for some of her best players by creating relationships with club coaches across the country, especially in the softball "hotbeds". For example: Katie Richardson and Danielle Parlich - AZ, Tyler Walker - CA, Allie Arneson - TX, MaKenna Partain - OR. Not everyone from those areas is a good collegiate player. But, there are many who get missed by big time programs. There is one I can name right now that would be a great recruit for a top program - a Junior uncommitted in AZ. She would look extremely good in Maroon and Gold. She is not on my club team, but plays on a Nationally known team. Her skills and attitude are what I would want as a coach all day long. These are the players MN should be connecting with, not the over ranked Top 100 that do not have the skills to translate at the next level and have been riding the coattails of their teammates. They need to do their homework and connect with as many club coaches as possible.

There isn't one key to the program (of course, an ace covers lots of weaknesses) getting back on track to consistently competing for Big Ten titles and annually fighting for a spot in Supers. It will require several things to be addressed for this program to be consistently ranked in the top 25. I am hopeful that Coach Ritter and her staff are capable to meet the challenge, but it will require growth and adjustment to what they are currently doing in my opinion.

Very interesting post.
 



rugger14

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These are the issues that are facing the Gopher softball program as I see them. I will keep it as brief as possible - I will likely fail. Please understand that this is an outside perspective as I am not connected to someone in the program (player, coach, or admin) at this time. As mentioned before, I do interact with college coaches as the head coach of a high level club program. My players will play at multiple collegiate levels, including top 25 D1 programs.

Head Coach - Proven winner as a pitching coach, which is significantly different than being a head coach. Most fans and players were happy about the hire at the time. However, there is a transition to being a head coach where your leadership requirements are much higher. Assistants can focus on their aspect of the game and the players they are interacting with consistently. Head coaches are in charge of leading the entire program. Not all assistant coaches are cut out to be head coaches. Coach Ritter has room for growth.

Assistant Coaches - They are proven winners as players. The day after my father passed away I took my family to the Gopher vs. ASU game may years ago. Katie Richardson was playing 3rd and the Gophers won in an upset. Those Allister teams were fun. So, understand that I have a huge amount of respect for the assistant coaches on the current staff. When you have young assistant coaches who were outstanding players, they may not be able to relate or teach the game as well as someone who had to work harder to achieve the same result. What I have witnessed on the field and what my players have experienced at camps with theses assistant coaches, leads me to believe that they have one specific way they teach hitting - only one way. I do not see the ability to adjust to a players strengths. Some timely small ball in certain situations with occasional running would put pressure on the opposing defense to make plays.

Lineups/Use of the Roster - Future players note this frequently as they look at where they want to play at the next level. If you look at LSU, Kentucky, and Florida State, to name just a few, look at how many at bats the whole roster gets. Note how they use their substitutes. I watched Tennessee today use two pinch runners on back to back baserunners and then a pinch hitter (for a player that was 0-2 in the game) as they tried to mount a comeback. I have never witnessed that as a Gopher fan. Players need an opportunity to show what they can do in games.

Pitchers - The same applies to pitchers. Kentucky has 7 pitchers with 15 or more innings this season. LSU goes about 5 deep. Do not misunderstand the need for an elite pitcher to compete for Super Regionals and WCWS appearances. An ace or two are necessary in order to go deep in the NCAA tournament. But, it is also important to have a staff of pitchers to mix things up as the grind of the season mounts and to keep your ace fresh for the playoff run.

Recruiting Part 1 - All of the above is important because of it's impact on recruiting. You build great team chemistry when more players are contributing to success on game day. You will build better relationships with players when you recognize their strengths and weaknesses and coach them to be the best individual person and player they can be. (Not everyone is a homerun hitter for example). This will get them working towards skills that you can implement strategically on game days.

Recruiting Part 2 - Allister was the master at getting players that fell through the cracks. She had an advantage by using the system created by her parents to evaluate softball skills that can translate to production on the field. She would use those metrics like a scout at the NFL combine. This is the individual recruiting component of finding those diamonds in the rough others didn't take the time to learn about. She is doing it again at Stanford, look at her results this season. I am quite certain she is one of very few head coaches that could have revived that dead program.

Recruiting Part 3 - Allister knows that isn't the only aspect to getting a program up and running. She owned recruiting in Minnesota. She also did extremely well in IA (Dwyer, Lindaman and Fiser). She went beyond this for some of her best players by creating relationships with club coaches across the country, especially in the softball "hotbeds". For example: Katie Richardson and Danielle Parlich - AZ, Tyler Walker - CA, Allie Arneson - TX, MaKenna Partain - OR. Not everyone from those areas is a good collegiate player. But, there are many who get missed by big time programs. There is one I can name right now that would be a great recruit for a top program - a Junior uncommitted in AZ. She would look extremely good in Maroon and Gold. She is not on my club team, but plays on a Nationally known team. Her skills and attitude are what I would want as a coach all day long. These are the players MN should be connecting with, not the over ranked Top 100 that do not have the skills to translate at the next level and have been riding the coattails of their teammates. They need to do their homework and connect with as many club coaches as possible.

There isn't one key to the program (of course, an ace covers lots of weaknesses) getting back on track to consistently competing for Big Ten titles and annually fighting for a spot in Supers. It will require several things to be addressed for this program to be consistently ranked in the top 25. I am hopeful that Coach Ritter and her staff are capable to meet the challenge, but it will require growth and adjustment to what they are currently doing in my opinion.
Alister was gold. If the AD felt that softball was important he would have kept her here..
 


AZGopher8

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He tried very hard to keep her. The lure of her alma mater and being closer to home was too much to overcome.
Stanford is the only program they couldn't stop her from taking over. It was essentially her dream job.
 

rugger14

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He tried very hard to keep her. The lure of her alma mater and being closer to home was too much to overcome.

I don't know all the details but her anecdote about the athletic department questioning printing and postage costs of season tix was telling to me.

Regardless we are where we are. We can only move forward.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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I know I am a broken record on this point but I wish Delanie Cox could get more at-bats. She has come through multiple times over these past couple years with her bat. And I mean hitting the ball hard, not seeing-eye hits.
 


smcouvillion

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So. uh... what happened to Emily Leavitt? She's like a whole new pitcher the past few games.

I'm here for it, but what the heck why couldn't she have found this like halfway through the season instead!!!

Gophers sweep the doubleheader. Game 1 win 1-0, Game 2 win 4-2.

Autumn had 10 strikeouts through 4 innings allowing just 1 hit in the 1st game
Emily came in after and pitched 3 innings allowing 1 hit as well and striking out 6.

NO WALKS in the 1st game. That might be the first time all season.

Second game Emily pitched all 7 innings, gave up 7 hits, 2 ER, 2 BB, and 10 more strikeouts!
 
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4EverAGopher

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I don't know what Wisconsin bats were like before today, but outstanding job by Leavitt second game too. In closing out the regular season, Coach Ritter needs to keep her main focus on what she is..... a great Pitching Coach. May today's Gopher pitching performance continue moving forward.
 

dlw4gophers

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So. uh... what happened to Emily Leavitt? She's like a whole new pitcher the past few games.

I'm here for it, but what the heck why couldn't she have found this like halfway through the season instead!!!

Gophers sweep the doubleheader. Game 1 win 1-0, Game 2 win 4-2.
Freshman. It takes time for most of them to make the adjustments
 

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Although it wasn't pretty at times a sweep is still a sweep. Now gotta take this momentum into the series against the B1G leaders NW Wildcats.
 

NextYear_76

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Freshman. It takes time for most of them to make the adjustments
Leavitt has had control problems ending with walks. Sometimes takes time to adjust to the next level and the difference in umpires. Next year will be better. Leavitt is a control pitcher not overpowering
 

Hrothgar

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At today's DH, I talked with an older guy, like me, and a WI fan, unlike me. He knew a lot about the sport and the WI softball team, and voiced some of the same frustrations Gophers fans express. After game 2, he looked out at the Gophers team huddling in the outfield with their coaches and said, "That's a heckuva defense. WI's played lots of teams this year, but yet to face a defensive squad like that one you guys have."
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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At today's DH, I talked with an older guy, like me, and a WI fan, unlike me. He knew a lot about the sport and the WI softball team, and voiced some of the same frustrations Gophers fans express. After game 2, he looked out at the Gophers team huddling in the outfield with their coaches and said, "That's a heckuva defense. WI's played lots of teams this year, but yet to face a defensive squad like that one you guys have."
I Think the number 1 or 2 seeds in the tourney are not going to be excited to face off with the Gophers in their first game of the tournament next week (we will be a 9 or 10 seed - but coming in hot… let’s hope).
 

ecoperson

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I am very pleased to see some positive posts after the wins today. I was expecting more posts about the the team's lack of clutch hitting. Winning makes a big difference. A good team has balance between hitting and pitching so that one can hopefully make up for a subpar performance from the other. Pitching carried the load today. Well done!
 


rwlarson

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I Think the number 1 or 2 seeds in the tourney are not going to be excited to face off with the Gophers in their first game of the tournament next week (we will be a 9 or 10 seed - but coming in hot… let’s hope).
First day is #5 vs #12, #6 vs #11, #7 vs #10, and #8 vs #9. Seeds 1-4 receive a first-round bye.
 

rwlarson

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Leavitt has had control problems ending with walks. Sometimes takes time to adjust to the next level and the difference in umpires. Next year will be better. Leavitt is a control pitcher not overpowering
She’s also gaining confidence in her change-up, throwing it for strikes. She tired toward the end of Game 2 but fought through it. We will need both Leavitt and Pease to be at their best this weekend to have a chance to win the series.

It’s amazing we haven’t won a weekend home series yet this year. This is our last chance to do it. Every single win we can muster against #7 RPI Northwestern will help our precarious NCAA bid chances tremendously.
 




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