Gopher Softball 2022


AZGopher8

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Good that the Gophers aren't having to deal with that
Agreed! Clearly, Coyle knew what he was doing when Jamie got an offer from Ole Miss and he let her go. I am sure he was relieved to be getting rid of a serious headache without having to destroy the Gophers program in the process.

Many on here obviously had some inside knowledge of what was going on. I was also a fan of the on field results that Jamie produced, but I am not willing to sell my character to do so. I would have been in support of the players on this fully. I know some players are entitled and some are prima donnas but this falls well into the category of abuse and manipulation that is unhealthy for all involved. I really feel for the players that had to go through it.

Hopefully, Jamie will receive what she has coming for the abusive treatment of her players.
 
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mngolf

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And I'm thankful that it seems Coyle responded in the best way that he could.
 

4EverAGopher

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Is there an Athlete's Unlimited Softball thread started I am missing?

I see Sara G and Fiser are among the players available in their weekly draft system.

I tuned in today on FS1 and see neither are pitching.
 



MRJ

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Not at all surprising for those who have followed the team closely.

It's also not surprising that Coyle didn't do much about it until the Ole Miss opening became available. Most athletic administrators will stick it out with their hires until the bitter end, regardless of circumstances. It's a difficult line to toe, but most ADs are reactionary rather than pro-active when it comes to issues of mental health imo.
 

rowdaboat

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The Division I Competition Oversight Committee on Wednesday approved expanding the Women’s College World Series to a nine-day event, beginning with the 2022 championship.

📰 https://on.ncaa.com/mzwkce

#WCWS

The change to the format will eliminate the doubleheader for teams that lose on Day 1 of the event, and it will also add a day of rest for the two teams that advance to the finals
 


Hrothgar

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Anybody go to the scrimmage today? Who looks like they will play short?
Defensively I'd say newcomers Chavez, Dowell, & Valencia all looked like extremely accomplished infielders. Then there are Costa, Dray, and Strelow returning. (They all had a great day hitting but the pitching by Wesleyan was mediocre at best; so hard to judge.) I'd say, from what was evident on defense today: Dowell (3rd); Strelow (SS), Chavez (2nd), Valencia or Dray or Costa (1st). In the circle, newcomers Leavitt & Hostettler looked really good to me. Of course, there were some on the roster who had only brief appearances.
 



Gopher68

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Defensively I'd say newcomers Chavez, Dowell, & Valencia all looked like extremely accomplished infielders. Then there are Costa, Dray, and Strelow returning. (They all had a great day hitting but the pitching by Wesleyan was mediocre at best; so hard to judge.) I'd say, from what was evident on defense today: Dowell (3rd); Strelow (SS), Chavez (2nd), Valencia or Dray or Costa (1st). In the circle, newcomers Leavitt & Hostettler looked really good to me. Of course, there were some on the roster who had only brief appearances.
I attended the first game and stayed for 1 1/2 of the second. My impressions, like yours are somewhat tainted by the competition level.
Chavez looked really good made a nice play diving to the hole between 2nd and 1st getting the out with the bases loaded. 1 run scored but it could have been worse. She hit well and has serious speed.
Ava Dueck seemed to have a smoother delivery than I remember from last spring. Other than the bases loaded jam with nobody out that she got into (and worked her way out of), there wasn't much of a threat while she was pitching.
Leavitt also looked good. She has a very good rise ball and a change up to go with it. She seemed very poised on the mound.
Chloe Evans has the sweetest swing on the team.
Espalin, Valencia, and Dowell are going to add depth tht will be very helpful.
 

Hrothgar

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I attended the first game and stayed for 1 1/2 of the second. My impressions, like yours are somewhat tainted by the competition level.
Chavez looked really good made a nice play diving to the hole between 2nd and 1st getting the out with the bases loaded. 1 run scored but it could have been worse. She hit well and has serious speed.
Ava Dueck seemed to have a smoother delivery than I remember from last spring. Other than the bases loaded jam with nobody out that she got into (and worked her way out of), there wasn't much of a threat while she was pitching.
Leavitt also looked good. She has a very good rise ball and a change up to go with it. She seemed very poised on the mound.
Chloe Evans has the sweetest swing on the team.
Espalin, Valencia, and Dowell are going to add depth tht will be very helpful.
I agree about Chavez. Very impressive; great fielding, speed to burn; sizewise she looked like a waif, but she hit a homerun that left the park in a huge hurry. Another Partain? If the opponents' pitching had been better, Evans' performance at the plate would've gone down as a career day. Hostettler came on to pitch the very last inning of the 2nd game; surprising to see how tall, strong she is and no nibbling around the plate, just threw strike after strike. Dowell looked every bit as good at third base as Kemmetmueller, maybe better --- a really quick release on the throw. Classof 98's original question was about SS; with her throwing arm, I'm be ok with Strelow at SS (hope she can hit .300 or so).
 


junc1929

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How did the current roster look tonight against the alums
the current team hit groenewegen surprisingly hard. denhartog had a double and a triple, i believe. the team had 7 hits in total in about 5 innings. dowell had a couple of SLICK plays at 3. she looks like she's going to be great there. strelow's arm looks like it'll be a real asset at short. the alumni didn't have much hard contact (not surprising) so hard to say other than those two. hollifield and hostettler pitched. hard to say much there because of the competition. jensen, pease, kinch, dueck, hansen, lindner and evans didn't play.
 



AZGopher8

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the current team hit groenewegen surprisingly hard. denhartog had a double and a triple, i believe. the team had 7 hits in total in about 5 innings. dowell had a couple of SLICK plays at 3. she looks like she's going to be great there. strelow's arm looks like it'll be a real asset at short. the alumni didn't have much hard contact (not surprising) so hard to say other than those two. hollifield and hostettler pitched. hard to say much there because of the competition. jensen, pease, kinch, dueck, hansen, lindner and evans didn't play.
Thank you for the summary! Looking forward to the Spring and seeing the new team in action.
 

Hrothgar

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Watching fall ball convinces me the Gophers have brought in some really talented recruits.
In pitching, Piper seems to be grooming LEAVITT to do lots in the circle. Despite her rocky start v. UMD, HOSTETTLER seems to have the stuff to succeed, gave up only 4 hits, though always behind in counts.
CHAVEZ is IMO a gem. At 2nd b., if that's where she ends up, I think she's already a better defensive 2nd base[wo]man than Partain, plus she can hit & run, too.
Against UMD, VALENCIA hit some rockets; her agility at 1st b wasn't the best, but, boy, she nearly knocked down the right-center field fence with a line drive.
ESPALIN & DOWELL aren't exactly first-year students, but they're good.
I thought Kemmetmueller was MN's best all-time defensive player at 3rd base, but Dowell is at least as good, possibly better.
What impresses me most is the outstanding infield defense, with STRELOW there, too.
Individual players seem impressive. What will the team as a whole be like? Any other views?
(It felt a little easier judging hitting talent v. UMD; their pitching wasn't all that bad.......
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Good report!

I admit that I was emotionally down on the team and worried about the future a few weeks ago… I just didn’t understand what Espalin and Valencia were going to add to the team given the team’s existing roster size, but it appears that your own eyes tell you they are going to add a lot on the field which is great.
 

Gopher68

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Watching fall ball convinces me the Gophers have brought in some really talented recruits.
In pitching, Piper seems to be grooming LEAVITT to do lots in the circle. Despite her rocky start v. UMD, HOSTETTLER seems to have the stuff to succeed, gave up only 4 hits, though always behind in counts.
CHAVEZ is IMO a gem. At 2nd b., if that's where she ends up, I think she's already a better defensive 2nd base[wo]man than Partain, plus she can hit & run, too.
Against UMD, VALENCIA hit some rockets; her agility at 1st b wasn't the best, but, boy, she nearly knocked down the right-center field fence with a line drive.
ESPALIN & DOWELL aren't exactly first-year students, but they're good.
I thought Kemmetmueller was MN's best all-time defensive player at 3rd base, but Dowell is at least as good, possibly better.
What impresses me most is the outstanding infield defense, with STRELOW there, too.
Individual players seem impressive. What will the team as a whole be like? Any other views?
(It felt a little easier judging hitting talent v. UMD; their pitching wasn't all that bad.......
Chavez is the real deal!
Only saw Leavitt for a bit. She will get a lot of innings.
Hostettler's control was awful. But, I know she is better than that.
Dowell, Espalon, and Valencia look solid.
Den Hartog hit an absolute moon shot!
I think this year the hitting looks better up and down the lineup.
 

Hrothgar

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Good report!

I admit that I was emotionally down on the team and worried about the future a few weeks ago… I just didn’t understand what Espalin and Valencia were going to add to the team given the team’s existing roster size, but it appears that your own eyes tell you they are going to add a lot on the field which is great.
I shared your 'down' feeling, especially after they lost games to Iowa & PSU & didn't show up v. MI. No real run production. Different vibes this fall ball. No idea how the '22 team will fare, but the players' capabilities seem promising. Hope for the best!
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Chavez is the real deal!
Only saw Leavitt for a bit. She will get a lot of innings.
Hostettler's control was awful. But, I know she is better than that.
Dowell, Espalon, and Valencia look solid.
Den Hartog hit an absolute moon shot!
I think this year the hitting looks better up and down the lineup.
Sounds like Den Hartog dialed in as I understand she hit Groenewagen fairly hard last week. This may be a special season for her if she keeps it up.
 

Hrothgar

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Sounds like Den Hartog dialed in as I understand she hit Groenewagen fairly hard last week. This may be a special season for her if she keeps it up.
I was watching her stroke closely on the moonshot mentioned above. It was quick, soft, & made w/ apparent ease, but the ball exploded off her bat.
 

rwlarson

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When you first see Chavez, she looks overmatched physically but then you watch her a little and she can really play. Granted, this was D2 pitching, but IIRC she did not swing and miss at a single pitch in the two games. Can’t say that about many others, even the vets. Very smooth defensively. Had one poor DP turn, but if I had been at 2B I would have been expecting Strelow to underhand that ball instead of sidearming it. They made good on a couple other DPs, though.

Dowell also had a really nice 5-3 DP, and a great catch of a bloop hit directly behind her. She hit the ball hard just about every at bat, too.

Espalin ran quite a ways from LF to make a great diving catch of another blooper in shallow left-center. She too hit the ball hard, going opposite field with a line drive double down the LF line to win Game 1, and she pulled a double to right center in Game 2. She had other hits as well and even her outs were all hard hit but right at fielders.

Valencia looks like a great late recruit, too. She only had two or three at bats, but had a couple of gap shots. The one to right center was hit so hard that it slammed off the top of the wall and nearly came all the way back to second base.

DenHartog struck out once early on, but after that, she absolutely crushed everything. Even her ground balls were hit so hard the fielders had no chance. The two HRs were trademark DenHartog moonshots, one halfway up the light standard in left center and the other just as impressive to right center. She may have hit another less-impressive HR to left earlier but those other two were such monster blasts I can’t get them out of my head.

Piper decided to see how much stamina the two freshman pitchers had, and both had plenty, even though Hostettler really struggled with her release point for much of Game 2, but she has really nice stuff. She had already walked four in the first 1-1/3 innings, and Piper had to come out to talk to her a couple of times, but she showed a lot of grit to keep battling when she wasn’t sharp.

Leavitt has a nice rise and change in particular. UMD touched her for 6 or 7 hits but just a few balls were really squared up. She fell victim to several eye grounders and bloop hits. Even the two-run triple she surrendered was just a change up that she left up and in and the hitter to her credit turned on it and lifted a medium deep fly right down the line in RF. Lindner maybe should have just played it on the bounce but she dived for it and just missed.

Beckstrom saw a little action at 2B, got one AB and delivered a hard hit liner up the middle, and Ehlke had a PH appearance where she showed how much power she could have as she skied one that nearly became a wind blown double, but the UMD right fielder made a nice late adjustment.

The other veterans that played looked as I remember them. Strelow had one at bat where she must have fouled off eight or nine pitches. She will always battle. Jensen and Hansen wore regular tennis shoes so they weren’t in the plans for the double header.

All in all, I think this team will be better offensively than last year. Espalin, Dowell, and Valencia can all really hit. The fact that Dowell and Espalin put up good numbers in the SEC and PAC-12, respectfully, have me believing that against elite pitching (Michigan and the NCAAs) we have more people who can be counted on to have good at bats despite the loss of Partain. If Piper can properly utilized this new found pitching depth, we may be able to whether the huge loss of Fiser as a workhorse ace. Defensively, I think we may actually have the tools to be better despite the loss of Kemmetmueller, Brandt, and Partain in the infield.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Really good recap. I have zero doubts that we will really miss Partain and Fiser. But I certainly see this as a team that can fight its way into the top 25 in 2022.

If that top 25 finish is possible, it will only be achieved if Leavitt and Hollifield and Hostettler can hit their spots with movement/velocity.
 

Hrothgar

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It seems we all pretty much agree on what we've seen in fall ball '21. Some really nice defense, infield & outfield, plus Dray's catching of Hostettler, whose 7 innings of pitches in the dirt Dray dug out wonderfully w/ only one passed ball (in my informal count). The curse of the past 2 seasons was lack of clutch hitting with risp. That has to improve dramatically if spring '22 is to be a success. If you can't hit BIG pitching, you sure as heck won't do it in the NCAAs. Hopefully, the pitching will be all right. Of the less tried pitchers, Leavitt looks most poised and confident of her pitches. What I find most encouraging is that the recruiting seems purposeful and willing to go for highly sought-after talent and determined to land some of them. Having two younger assistant coaches surely helps on the recruitment trail, which must require enormous numbers of energetic contact hours with recruits. Hope it all works.
 


ClassOf98Gopher

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Word is.....Hostettler is in the portal. Already gone from the roster website.
What!?

She is displayed on D1’s transfer spreadsheet as transferring. That seems so weird to me. Any clues as to why that happened that anybody could see?
 


Hrothgar

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She pitched an inning v. Dakota Wesleyan & threw nothing but strikes over the middle of the plate. V. UMD she was not in control of her pitches. It seemed she was going to be 4th on the staff behind Pease, Dueck, & Leavit. That's a possible consideration. Sad development.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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She pitched an inning v. Dakota Wesleyan & threw nothing but strikes over the middle of the plate. V. UMD she was not in control of her pitches. It seemed she was going to be 4th on the staff behind Pease, Dueck, & Leavit. That's a possible consideration. Sad development.

I guess the pitcher that has mostly gone unmentioned is Hollifield. In Fall ball, how has her pitches compared to Hostettler, Dueck and Leavitt in the eye test?
 

Hrothgar

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I guess the pitcher that has mostly gone unmentioned is Hollifield. In Fall ball, how has her pitches compared to Hostettler, Dueck and Leavitt in the eye test?
I watched Hostettler warm up in the bullpen before the UMD game; her pitches were as far off the plate there as during the game; she looked a bit nervous or bothered, but I liked her physical size and variety of pitches. Lots of changeups where I thought she could've relaxed and beaten those hitters with her fastballs alone. Why nibble? Her teammates in the field were patient and encouraging and Dray (catcher) stopped scores of pitches in the dirt.

Hollifield appears a bit smaller than the other pitchers. She appeared v Dakota Wesleyan & she and Hostettler shared the alum game. I didn't see Hollifield pitch, but another fan remarked that she needed to jack up her velocity a bit. Her attitude seems positive. Sorry I don't know more. It seems Leavitt is the newcomer the coaches are looking most at. Who knows how that sets with others competing for time in the circle.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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I watched Hostettler warm up in the bullpen before the UMD game; her pitches were as far off the plate there as during the game; she looked a bit nervous or bothered, but I liked her physical size and variety of pitches. Lots of changeups where I thought she could've relaxed and beaten those hitters with her fastballs alone. Why nibble? Her teammates in the field were patient and encouraging and Dray (catcher) stopped scores of pitches in the dirt.

Hollifield appears a bit smaller than the other pitchers. She appeared v Dakota Wesleyan & she and Hostettler shared the alum game. I didn't see Hollifield pitch, but another fan remarked that she needed to jack up her velocity a bit. Her attitude seems positive. Sorry I don't know more. It seems Leavitt is the newcomer the coaches are looking most at. Who knows how that sets with others competing for time in the circle.
All I remember is a Tweeted out video by Gopher softball last year of Gopher players impersonating Coach Ritter and Hollifield’s impersonation was something like “nice pitch… now put the Green band on”. I don’t really know what that means, but I assumed it had something to do with strength-training and velocity enhancement.
 




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