Gopher Softball 2022

let'sbeclear

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Wow. Beating Northwestern is pretty dang awesome.
It was kind of neat when the Big Ten Network showed the teams' combined runs, hits, and errors over the first two games in the series: Minnesota 16-19-1, and Northwestern 0-6-3.
 

Hrothgar

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It was kind of neat when the Big Ten Network showed the teams' combined runs, hits, and errors over the first two games in the series: Minnesota 16-19-1, and Northwestern 0-6-3.
Northwestern has played both games looking tired. They started 2019 & 2021 very hot also but cooled off those years too, near the end of their schedule.
 

dlw4gophers

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I know Williams is a quality pitcher, but right know the Gophers really have her #
 

Ski U Mah Gopher

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Box Score question:

If Kinch got credit for an RBI on the error by the RF, shouldn’t she have got credit for a Sac Fly and no at bat? There was less than 2 outs when the play occurred.
 

smcouvillion

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They may have gotten it mixed up? It should be an RBI on the sac fly. An error technically isn't a run "batted" in since it wouldn't have scored without the error.
 


GopherAlum03

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Team is looking great! I just wish this team would have shown up in February! Or maybe NW just though we were trash and didn’t prepare 😂
 

Ski U Mah Gopher

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They may have gotten it mixed up? It should be an RBI on the sac fly. An error technically isn't a run "batted" in since it wouldn't have scored without the error.
There was less than 2 outs and a fly to deep right field. The ball was dropped and the run would have scored anyway. If I was scoring, I would have scored it SF-E9 RBI (earned run), since SF-9 would have been the result without the drop.
 


rowdaboat

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L/L matchup would have been great spot for a PH instead of dowell
 



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Two steps forward and one step back. Even though Pease gave up early runs, she still kept us in the game. This whole time I'm thinking to myself like this is the inning that they're gonna break through, but it never happens. Rest up and get healthy because the fight for the postseason starts on wednesday.
 

GopherAlum03

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Gophs need to win two games in the B1G tourney to be a lock for an at large. We don’t and we’re biting nails on selection Sunday. Non conference schedule is great, but the losses we have are REALLY bad. Then there’s the possibility of a P5 school getting hot in one of the other conferences and pulling out a ship which would steal a bid from a team on the bubble like us. D1 softball website has us as First Four Out. We need to win two.
 

Hrothgar

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I was at Sunday's game and was once again impressed by the Gophers' excellent defense. I'm curious about the BTN TV announcers' comments. Did they say anything about the defensive play?
 

rwlarson

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Gophs need to win two games in the B1G tourney to be a lock for an at large. We don’t and we’re biting nails on selection Sunday. Non conference schedule is great, but the losses we have are REALLY bad. Then there’s the possibility of a P5 school getting hot in one of the other conferences and pulling out a ship which would steal a bid from a team on the bubble like us. D1 softball website has us as First Four Out. We need to win two.
Agree that comfortable lock status might require two wins, but the two dominating wins this weekend have greatly improved our resume, to the point where it would be a surprise if we were overlooked, even if we were to lose our first tournament game to Wisconsin.

We will be sitting at #35 in the RPI when the updated RPI is released tomorrow morning. Of the 10 teams listed by D1 Softball as on the bubble, that RPI ranks second behind Charlotte’s #32. Two teams that D1 has squarely in — Wisconsin and Texas A&M, will be at #38 and #41, respectively. And we have more Top 25 wins than any of the D1 bubble teams, and nine other teams that D1 doesn’t even have on the bubble.

As far as bad losses go, the NCAA typically looks at losses outside 100 RPI. We have just one of those (#122 Rutgers), which is fewer than four teams D1 has in the field, two of them not even on D1’s bubble.

So, I am about as confident as I can be given prior head-scratching decisions made by the NCAA Selection Committee, that we will be in the field again this year. And given that opportunity, I think we have a fighting chance to pull an upset based on the pitching and overall play we‘ve seen over the last couple of weeks.
 



rwlarson

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I was at Sunday's game and was once again impressed by the Gophers' excellent defense. I'm curious about the BTN TV announcers' comments. Did they say anything about the defensive play?
I was also there and just finished watching the replay. They were pretty complimentary of our defense, particularly Dowell and Strelow.

What I thought unfortunate for those who only got to see the telecast was that they failed miserably to capture the sheer magnitude of the DenHartog HR. That was the first ball I’ve ever seen clear the wall of the football practice facility in left field, and neither announcer even mentioned that it was a monster blast, much less that it cleared the wall. Lindaman hit a few high off the wall, but she never hit one over it in a game.
 

rowdaboat

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There's a very clear #1 with Oklahoma and a clear next tier of Virginia Tech and FSU, everyone below that has been varying levels of average-bad at times. Plenty of regionals that are open for upsets
 

Hrothgar

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I was also there and just finished watching the replay. They were pretty complimentary of our defense, particularly Dowell and Strelow.

What I thought unfortunate for those who only got to see the telecast was that they failed miserably to capture the sheer magnitude of the DenHartog HR. That was the first ball I’ve ever seen clear the wall of the football practice facility in left field, and neither announcer even mentioned that it was a monster blast, much less that it cleared the wall. Lindaman hit a few high off the wall, but she never hit one over it in a game.
DenHartog stayed back on that changeup and hit it off her back foot moving forward. It surprises me that more hitters don't do that on her changeups when they know so many are coming. I agree the Gophers have a fighting chance, if they get in, but considering all the talent on the team it's bit melancholy feeling that this seems a lost season, considering what might have been from the start... (Btw are Pease & DenHartog returning for a 5th season in 2023?)
 

Gopher68

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DenHartog stayed back on that changeup and hit it off her back foot moving forward. It surprises me that more hitters don't do that on her changeups when they know so many are coming. I agree the Gophers have a fighting chance, if they get in, but considering all the talent on the team it's bit melancholy feeling that this seems a lost season, considering what might have been from the start... (Btw are Pease & DenHartog returning for a 5th season in 2023?)
I did not see Natalie in the Senior day picture. So, maybe.
 

Gopher68

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Two steps forward and one step back. Even though Pease gave up early runs, she still kept us in the game. This whole time I'm thinking to myself like this is the inning that they're gonna break through, but it never happens. Rest up and get healthy because the fight for the postseason starts on wednesday.
Has anybody else noticed that Autumn's delivery is different this year? Previously, she raised her arms high above her head, This year she has kept them down during her motion. Perhaps, this is an adjustment to her shoulder problem.
 

rwlarson

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DenHartog stayed back on that changeup and hit it off her back foot moving forward. It surprises me that more hitters don't do that on her changeups when they know so many are coming. I agree the Gophers have a fighting chance, if they get in, but considering all the talent on the team it's bit melancholy feeling that this seems a lost season, considering what might have been from the start... (Btw are Pease & DenHartog returning for a 5th season in 2023?)
I stayed for the senior day ceremony, and neither Pease nor DenHartog took part. Expect both back next year, and hope Pease’s shoulder issues will be a distant memory in 2023.

I agree with the melancholy. However, they did what they needed to do to make a strong case for inclusion in the tournament and if they keep pitching like they have lately, regardless whether they beat Wisconsin and Northwestern in the conference tournament, they will be a dangerous underseeded team.
 


rwlarson

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Emily Leavitt is the BIG pitcher and freshman of the week!
Congratulations to Emily! Despite some ups and downs, she never stopped competing and working on her craft. So nice to see it all coming together for her now.

Only freshman pitcher to win B1G Pitcher of the Week this season.

Looks like Minnesota pitching will be in good hands again for years to come.
 

Hrothgar

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Congratulations to Emily! Despite some ups and downs, she never stopped competing and working on her craft. So nice to see it all coming together for her now.

Only freshman pitcher to win B1G Pitcher of the Week this season.

Looks like Minnesota pitching will be in good hands again for years to come.
Hopefully they'll get some good innings from Hollifield in 2023 and Schwartz proves to be really good, in addition to returning Pease and Leavitt. Regardless of how the rest of 2022 turns out, the way the Gophers have got things together this spring is impressive. A lot of ink has been spilled in our various posts here in 2022 about all that was lost when Allister left, but Ritter has put together a defensive unit I've not seen the equal to in years of Gopher softball. Gophers Softball should put together an online review of outstanding putouts in one weeked v. Northwestern.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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…Regardless of how the rest of 2022 turns out, the way the Gophers have got things together this spring is impressive…
This is exactly correct. When push comes to shove, sports is about entertainment. I have been entertained by this Gopher team - especially these past 7 days. I know I will be entertained in the days ahead. The couple/three weeks that close out the conference season over the past 8 years have proven to be the best entertainment, all in hopes of making a run at the Big Ten title game!
 
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4EverAGopher

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I had made a post a while back about Jensen..should she be batting 9th? Ritter has now moved her to 2nd in the lineup.

However, with her style of hitting I was wondering if the team would benefit more with her as lead off and still batting ahead of Espalin? With the bottom of the lineup really coming to life during the Northwestern series, maybe that would not have been the right thing either.,,,Espalin had a great series.

I know a lot of you are on the Cox bandwagon. Cox is a Utility player. Has she played outfield? Put her in instead of Jensen? I just wished we had a more definite 1-2 punch for either DenHartog or Evans.

No matter if anybody else agrees with me or not, all ideas welcomed....
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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I had made a post a while back about Jensen..should she be batting 9th? Ritter has now moved her to 2nd in the lineup.

However, with her style of hitting I was wondering if the team would benefit more with her as lead off and still batting ahead of Espalin? With the bottom of the lineup really coming to life during the Northwestern series, maybe that would not have been the right thing either.,,,Espalin had a great series.

I know a lot of you are on the Cox bandwagon. Cox is a Utility player. Has she played outfield? Put her in instead of Jensen? I just wished we had a more definite 1-2 punch for either DenHartog or Evans.

No matter if anybody else agrees with me or not, all ideas welcomed....
I am one of those who have been advocating for Cox getting more at bats… but her getting more than one a game will probably have to wait till next year. It’s tournament time and I think they need Jensen’s leadership in the game and on the field.

I also have made a lot of posts about the batting order, including advocating Jensen at the top of the order. But I don’t think they are going to change anything much this year, and probably shouldn’t now at this stage. I think, given where they are, they have the order about right these days.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Minnesota (34) is just ahead of Illinois (35) and a four spots ahead of Wisconsin (38) in the RPI. As much as I hate looking ahead to the NCAA selection Sunday, for all of you with the NCAA tourney on your mind, the Gophers probably need to beat Wisconsin to get to be the last Big Ten team in.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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They just need to beat Wisconsin. I would pitch Pease for the first time through the Wisconsin order and then give it over to Leavitt for the next time or two through the Wisconsin order as their best “need-to-win-this-game” pitching strategy.
 

GopherAlum03

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D1 softball has us projected in. 3 seed in the Blacksburg regional. Brutal!
 

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GopherAlum03

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I had made a post a while back about Jensen..should she be batting 9th? Ritter has now moved her to 2nd in the lineup.

However, with her style of hitting I was wondering if the team would benefit more with her as lead off and still batting ahead of Espalin? With the bottom of the lineup really coming to life during the Northwestern series, maybe that would not have been the right thing either.,,,Espalin had a great series.

I know a lot of you are on the Cox bandwagon. Cox is a Utility player. Has she played outfield? Put her in instead of Jensen? I just wished we had a more definite 1-2 punch for either DenHartog or Evans.

No matter if anybody else agrees with me or not, all ideas welcomed....
I agree. Also, I feel more at bats need to be given to Valencia and Hansen. Hansen has been crushing the ball lately and Valencia is a sleeper for sure, those that saw her in the fall and this season, taking Texas closer 250ft into the parking lot would agree.
 

rwlarson

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Minnesota (34) is just ahead of Illinois (35) and a four spots ahead of Wisconsin (38) in the RPI. As much as I hate looking ahead to the NCAA selection Sunday, for all of you with the NCAA tourney on your mind, the Gophers probably need to beat Wisconsin to get to be the last Big Ten team in.
The RPI on NCAA.com has Illinois at 34 and Minnesota at 35, with Wisconsin at 38. This is adjusted RPI, which includes bonus points for beating high-RPI non-conference opponents.

The reason I am bullish on the Gophers chances is that when you look at raw RPI, we are 35 and Wisconsin is 44. And we have roughly the same bonus points. That means the RPI numbers for teams from 38-44 are bunched together pretty tightly, whereas we are clear of that bunch to the point where our bonus points didn’t move us ahead of Illinois, but they separated us from the teams behind us.

So, Wisconsin losing would likely impact their RPI ranking much more than Minnesota losing. And Minnesota winning would increase our ranking more than Wisconsin winning would help theirs. In fact, we might still remain ahead of them in RPI ranking even with a loss.

All that said, the team needs to match Wisconsin’s intensity from the get go because you can never assume anything with the NCAA.

We will be entering with a lot of confidence that we can win this tournament. I have no doubt that we will play our best softball and if another team beats us, they will have to earn it.
 




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