Gopher Softball 2022

rwlarson

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D1 softball has us projected in. 3 seed in the Blacksburg regional. Brutal!
I fully expect to be shipped to a high seed’s regional because when haven’t we? If I were a Virginia Tech fan, I would be complaining that they should have an easier regional than that one as the #2 overall seed.
 



mngophersport1995

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Today, we just need to go out and attack early. Also if someone isn't performing we don't have games and multiple at-bats to wait, we need to be smart and use our subs!!! Cox, Valencia, and Hansen need to be given at-bats for people that aren't performing so we can win games the first time! Also, can anyone answer why we always wait to use Denson to run until later innings? I say put her in earlier and get the lead instead of playing catch up! Just some thoughts!
 

smcouvillion

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Hopefully winning National Pitcher of the Week will boost Leavitt's confidence just in time for the postseason. Hopefully she plays her best this week and wins Minnesota another Big Ten championship!!
 


GopherAlum03

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Hopefully winning National Pitcher of the Week will boost Leavitt's confidence just in time for the postseason. Hopefully she plays her best this week and wins Minnesota another Big Ten championship!!
I’ve never been a fan of putting these conference “awards” during the season. Gets to their heads.
 






ClassOf98Gopher

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Wowzers… I’m so bummed. I also think that game was for the final Big Ten spot in that NCAA tournament.

But more than just that, that early loss ruins my favorite tournament weekend… the tournament that when we enter it, we actually have a chance at winning.
 
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4EverAGopher

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I’ve never been a fan of putting these conference “awards” during the season. Gets to their heads.
Yes, unfortunately, you see it "backfire" a lot in all sports. Awards do not always equate to a player's next performance considered "lights out".

It was an up and down year for this Gopher team and today's game exemplified that.
 
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Hrothgar

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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.
Regardless of who's pitching, I'd say score early and not play from behind. By doing so, they beat NW twice; by not doing so they lost to NW once. (As for Jensen's place in the batting order, as per her performance a couple years ago she would've been a perfect wrecking crew at bat with bases loaded in the bottom of the 7th v. NW, but this year her BA has been going down all along; there seemed no hope on Sunday she'd get on base and bring DenHartog up in that potential game-winning situation. In short, Jensen needs to be on base way, way more often than is happening now.)
 

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Wowzers… I’m so bummed. I also think that game was for the final Big Ten spot in that NCAA tournament.

But more that that, that early loss ruins my favorite tournament weekend… the tournament that when we enter it, we actually have a chance at winning.
Did we though? If, we had beaten Wisconsin then we would've had to face the #1 seed NW, #4 seed Michigan and then the #2 seed Nebraska in the championship game. We were 3-6 against those teams including a sweep by Neb. This was definitely one of those "learning" seasons.
 



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Yes, unfortunately, you see it 'backfire" a lot in all sports.

It was an up and down year for this Gopher team and today's game exemplified that.
This had nothing to do with a few gophers getting praises for what they did during the regular season. Wisconsin went back and watched tape from the DH and came up with a better game plan. Plain and simple. I apologize if I touched some nerves as I'm still a little PO from the Minnesota Wild loss last night and need to get some things off my chest.
 

rowdaboat

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If the younger Schwartz is the better pitcher of 2 then the team is gonna be getting no hit every live practice session
 

smcouvillion

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Minnesota is still going to be in the NCAA tournament. The head-to-head results still favor Minnesota, we beat Wisconsin 2 games to 1 game. We also have more Top-25 wins than them, and more Top-50 wins than them. We also played a much tougher OOC SOS which will play a big part.
 

rwlarson

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To be honest, I think we squared more balls up than Wisconsin did, but sometimes they don’t find gaps and holes and sometimes bloops and weak grounders do. That’s softball. When you are playing a fairly evenly-matched opponent, and you have one of those days, you are probably not going to win. That said, when the opposing pitcher is dealing the onus is on the hitters to be more disciplined, and smarter about how they approach their at bats. We saw that against Williams, but against Schwartz at her best, we could only muster one run in two games.

We hold the #35 position in RPI, while Wisconsin moves up to #36. It would be really difficult for the committee to leave either of these teams out of the tournament, given the number of Top 25 and Top 50 wins they have compared to other teams on the bubble.
 

rowdaboat

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Better seeds won combined 19-2 for big ten first round
 

rwlarson

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Better seeds won combined 19-2 for big ten first round
True statement. Why is that? Because the B1G has a lot of depth this year, for a change, which really showed in the ease with which the 5 and 6 seeds dispatched the 11 and 12 seeds (15-1).
 

Hrothgar

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A depressing, lackluster Gopher performance. It was clear from the start they had no desire to be there and compete. For most of the game the score was only 1-0, but it felt like 15-0. Piper Ritter's expression during the game suggested she was fuming inside at her team's dismal appearances at the plate. It hasn't felt this embarrassing since the loss to Iowa in 2015. Maybe an overhaul of next year's roster is in order? (Sorry to sound so negative, but it was a negative viewing experience.)
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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A depressing, lackluster Gopher performance. It was clear from the start they had no desire to be there and compete. For most of the game the score was only 1-0, but it felt like 15-0. Piper Ritter's expression during the game suggested she was fuming inside at her team's dismal appearances at the plate. It hasn't felt this embarrassing since the loss to Iowa in 2015. Maybe an overhaul of next year's roster is in order? (Sorry to sound so negative, but it was a negative viewing experience.)
That was a bad Big Ten tournament game. I am frustrated because of it.

Often times I hear fans, when frustrated by their teams’ performances, say “blow-it-up” and start fresh. 9 times out of 10 blowing up the program and starting fresh seriously sets the program back, by years and years. I am not for a “major overhaul” of the roster.

It was a rough year, but a lot of us thought it would be rough after Fiser and Partain’s graduation. We really should’t be too surprised.

I think the pieces are there for us to be competitive next year, especially if DenHartog returns (which she will), Pease returns stronger, and Jessica Oakland is the impact freshman I think she may be looking at the news coverage of her. Finally, if Hollifield returns, she needs her pitches - which do have movement - to be within the corners of the zone and / or we need Sydney Schwartz to be able to get college level batters out.

And who knows? Maybe we will get good news Sunday evening that the 2022 season will not be over just yet.
 

let'sbeclear

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A depressing, lackluster Gopher performance. It was clear from the start they had no desire to be there and compete. For most of the game the score was only 1-0, but it felt like 15-0. Piper Ritter's expression during the game suggested she was fuming inside at her team's dismal appearances at the plate. It hasn't felt this embarrassing since the loss to Iowa in 2015. Maybe an overhaul of next year's roster is in order? (Sorry to sound so negative, but it was a negative viewing experience.)
I don't buy this. I must be much less psychic, or maybe less able to read social cues, than you. I have no idea that "they had no desire to be there and compete." I saw the Gophers hit several balls on the nose that Wisconsin made spectacular fielding plays on. I'd say the Gophers hit as many solid balls as Wisconsin did, but more of Wisconsin's fell in for bloop hits or eked their way through the infield.
 

mngophersport1995

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What players do we think aren't staying for the next season? The way ritter and the other coaches play, why even have a bench?

Valencia and Cox obviously deserved more at-bats so I wouldn't be surprised if they left. That's my guess on the first ones to leave. I could also see Denson leaving as it seems she is only being used as a pinch-runner and in some games doesn't even get in to do that after she proved at Michigan she is by far the best and smartest runner. (she stole third in the 7th)

These are just my thoughts, want to hear others' thoughts on the roster/lineup next year.
 

rwlarson

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What players do we think aren't staying for the next season? The way ritter and the other coaches play, why even have a bench?

Valencia and Cox obviously deserved more at-bats so I wouldn't be surprised if they left. That's my guess on the first ones to leave. I could also see Denson leaving as it seems she is only being used as a pinch-runner and in some games doesn't even get in to do that after she proved at Michigan she is by far the best and smartest runner. (she stole third in the 7th)

These are just my thoughts, want to hear others' thoughts on the roster/lineup next year.
We have starting positions available for whoever wants to compete for them at DP, 1B, SS, LF. Both Cox and Valencia would be in competition for DP and Valencia practiced at 1B this year. Addison Leschber and Sydney Schwartz would be the newcomers most likely to try and take one of those spots. I don’t have a feel for what Piper will do with a dual threat hitter/pitcher like Schwartz. Oakland appears to be the favorite for SS, but that is also Strelow’s natural position, so we could see an infield shuffle. Denson should be in the running with Breezy Burnett for the OF spot. She made some nice plays there last year but didn’t get to play a whole lot there this year.

So I wonder whether either would leave before they see where they stand this fall. Cox and Denson as upperclassmen may be most likely to bolt if they really want to go somewhere they can pretty much be guaranteed to start before their softball careers come to an end. But you never really can predict transfers unless you are inside the program and know how the players feel about the coaches, their teammates, the school, and the community.
 

4EverAGopher

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There has been some discussion on pitching next season. However; when it comes to batting, if Strelow, Chavez and Kinch all come back and start, one would hope their hitting can improve. I believe DenHartog and Evans would be the only 300+ players returning to the lineup. Any word on Hansen or Costa returning and/or playing next season?

Piper more or less said it in one of her recent game interviews, the bats and the pitching haven't come together every game all season.....they just haven't.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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D1Softball as of today has the Gophers IN the tournament as the second to last bubble team in. I sure won’t mind if we are playing again next week.

As for this weekend and games that can benefit the Gophers, I hope Oregon State wins all three games of the Oregon State/Utah series and Louisiana wins their conference championship.
 

rwlarson

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There has been some discussion on pitching next season. However; when it comes to batting, if Strelow, Chavez and Kinch all come back and start, one would hope their hitting can improve. I believe DenHartog and Evans would be the only 300+ players returning to the lineup. Any word on Hansen or Costa returning and/or playing next season?

Piper more or less said it in one of her recent game interviews, the bats and the pitching haven't come together every game all season.....they just haven't.
Hansen will not be back. Costa is another possible transfer if she desires more playing time. Unless Chavez leaves or is hurt, it is unlikely Costa will play much at 3B, but she could also compete for playing time at DP or 1B.

I think Strelow and Kinch both swing for the fences a little too much, but both have delivered some big hits with two strikes when they have to focus more on putting the bat on the ball. Kinch has so much natural power, but seems to be a more effective low ball hitter. She could have a breakout season with a lot of hard ground ball singles and gap doubles if she swings at pitches she knows she can hit and lays off the high ones. Strelow has a lot of good at bats, is a real competitor in clutch situations, and gets on base despite a relatively low batting average. But she should only be thinking long ball when the situation calls for it.

Chavez has the potential to hit well above .300. So do Cox and Valencia, although Cox will strike out more and hit more HRs. Valencia could be a great gap hitter with power much like Espalin.
 


Hrothgar

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I hope the Gophers are watching the B1G tournament. They can learn a lot from these team.
An interesting observation. Now that the tourney is over, what did you see there that the Gophers could learn? I'd like to hear.....
 





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