Gopher Softball 2022

Hrothgar

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Hrothgar, I agree with this.

However, one small point about last year vs. Iowa and that is I will cut the Gophers some slack about that loss. The pitcher for Iowa (Lauren Shaw) was really dealing that game. And clearly she can pitch because she was able to transfer to UCLA this Fall for her final season.
I see your point, well-taken. My feeling is that a championship team will find a way to manufacture runs (or get outs) when other things aren't working. Sometimes it takes more than power play to do that. In 2021 Fiser & Pease on their end kept the Gophers w/in striking distance game after game. They needed help, which they didn't get at crucial junctures. For all the great things they did, that's when the super seniors could've stepped up. Some really good talent seems to be coming in. Let's hope for the best.
 

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Pitching got a little thinner. Dueck is no longer on the roster. You’ve got to think that the portal will be in play around semester time.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Pitching got a little thinner. Dueck is no longer on the roster. You’ve got to think that the portal will be in play around semester time.
Arg! I gotta be honest, over the last 6 months I don’t like who we are losing versus who we are adding (with the probable exception of Dowell - which I guess I understand). I’d just much rather have Dueck and Jones and Hostettler on the roster than some of these late coming newbies. I hope this program, which I have loved so much over the past few years, doesn’t lose me.

And I read Michigan’s Fall report on D1 Softball yesterday… they are going to be good!
 

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Arg! I gotta be honest, over the last 6 months I don’t like who we are losing versus who we are adding (with the probable exception of Dowell - which I guess I understand). I’d just much rather have Dueck and Jones and Hostettler on the roster than some of these late coming newbies. I hope this program, which I have loved so much over the past few years, doesn’t lose me.

And I read Michigan’s Fall report on D1 Softball yesterday… they are going to be good!
Michigan is going to be tough to beat this year. But like most of the B10, programs are still sitting on a bunch of kids that are using their extra COVID year. Look for a big turnover in talent after next season across the B10.

As far as who we are losing, losing the possibility for kids that could help is always an issue, but none of them have done anything to say, that loss really hurts. Just my two cents.
 

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Also, just from what we saw in the fall, I think it was safe to assume that Leavitt was going to be the #2 anyway.
 


ClassOf98Gopher

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Also, just from what we saw in the fall, I think it was safe to assume that Leavitt was going to be the #2 anyway.
I think that is true. I am sure I overreacted this morning when I just read that news. And Schwartz is coming in next year to bolster pitching.

I fully admit some bias in general toward the Minnesota kids who I am sure would give their all for their long-time beloved team (Dueck and Hostettler). And I did like the idea of maintaining a recruiting pipeline to Western Canada (Groenewagen and Jones’s) territory. I think Groenewagen is still to this day one of the best assets this program has. I liked Jones for that reason - but that probably wasn’t enough. After all, she has to perform on the field.

Anyway, while I may have liked the idea of Jones and Dueck and Hostettler as Minnesota student/athletes, I admit their collective loss probably will not critically damage the program. Leavitt and Hollifield are just really going to have to step up into the circle this year… which I am sure they will.
 

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I think that is true. I am sure I overreacted this morning when I just read that news. And Schwartz is coming in next year to bolster pitching.

I fully admit some bias in general toward the Minnesota kids who I am sure would give their all for their long-time beloved team (Dueck and Hostettler). And I did like the idea of maintaining a recruiting pipeline to Western Canada (Groenewagen and Jones’s) territory. I think Groenewagen is still to this day one of the best assets this program has. I liked Jones for that reason - but that probably wasn’t enough. After all, she has to perform on the field.

Anyway, while I may have liked the idea of Jones and Dueck and Hostettler as Minnesota student/athletes, I admit their collective loss probably will not critically damage the program. Leavitt and Hollifield are just really going to have to step up into the circle this year… which I am sure they will.
I wholeheartedly feel the same way. I don't know if Hollifield showed enough for them to not go out looking in the portal for some help, both this year and maybe next.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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I wholeheartedly feel the same way. I don't know if Hollifield showed enough for them to not go out looking in the portal for some help, both this year and maybe next.
I wonder if this Dueck news also suggests to us that Pease told Coach Ritter she wants to use her COVID year at Minnesota… which wouldn’t be bad news. Trying to look on the bright side.
 

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I wonder if this Dueck news also suggests to us that Pease told Coach Ritter she wants to use her COVID year at Minnesota… which wouldn’t be bad news. Trying to look on the bright side.
I'd bet Dueck leaving has nothing to do with Pease.
 



rowdaboat

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Pitching got a little thinner. Dueck is no longer on the roster. You’ve got to think that the portal will be in play around semester time.
She only had one bad outing vs Michigan otherwise was solid enough to be consistent Saturday starter this season. Can't afford pitching depth to get any thinner now in case Autumn's shoulder injuries resurface
 

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She only had one bad outing vs Michigan otherwise was solid enough to be consistent Saturday starter this season. Can't afford pitching depth to get any thinner now in case Autumn's shoulder injuries resurface
I agree, but she only hit 4 innings in a game twice last year. Hardly enough to be considered a legit Saturday starter. Unless I'm missing something that should suggest otherwise.
 

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Yeah, Dueck could have developed into something higher on the starter list but nothing from last year suggested to me that she was going to be the #2 starter. And this move suggests that she realized that as well. I look at it as a good sign for the team as I would have been concerned if she was the #2 from what I saw. That means they've found someone better, which is good for our favorite team.
 

Hrothgar

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All interesting comments above about the pitching. It would still be comforting to learn of a strong pitching addition via the transfer portal. Of the departed pitchers, Hostettler impressed me most. She has size and a good fast ball. In her bad outing in the fall, she seemed to be experimenting with changeups. I think she was a significant loss; there must be a story behind those pitching defections. Someone wrote that Leavitt is the highest ranked pitching prospect in Gophers' program history? Was that correct?
 



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Anyone interested in buying season tix right behind home plate? I am coaching again this year and will not be able to attend most games. 2 seats $200 which is what I pay. Let me know.
 

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Extra Inning team Profile
Golden Gophers team profile

Last paragraph:

"One of three B1G teams to earn selection to the NCAA tournament last season, the Gophers enter 2022 with more than a few questions about what they’re made of and where they’ll shake out in the conference standings. Some pieces of the puzzle are in place, but the team needs some additional step-out performances to even have a chance at making the deep postseason runs that were their regular pattern at the end of last decade."

Seems accurate.
 

Hrothgar

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Extra Inning team Profile
Golden Gophers team profile

Last paragraph:

"One of three B1G teams to earn selection to the NCAA tournament last season, the Gophers enter 2022 with more than a few questions about what they’re made of and where they’ll shake out in the conference standings. Some pieces of the puzzle are in place, but the team needs some additional step-out performances to even have a chance at making the deep postseason runs that were their regular pattern at the end of last decade."

Seems accurate.
Losing Dueck & Hostettler lessens pitching depth & is worrisome. Some of the new players seem very talented but unproven. Hard to know what to expect. Another season like the last 2 won't cut it, with good pitching but a frustrating paucity of clutch hitting.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Losing Dueck & Hostettler lessens pitching depth & is worrisome. Some of the new players seem very talented but unproven. Hard to know what to expect. Another season like the last 2 won't cut it, with good pitching but a frustrating paucity of clutch hitting.

If Leavitt and Hollifield are really good, then it shouldn’t be too much of a problem to have a three-pitcher, pitching staff. However, I had really liked the idea of having Dueck and Hostettler around and fighting for pitching time because Leavitt and Hollifield are so untested. Oh well. Ritter usually knows her pitchers so I will give the Gophers the benefit of the doubt.

I believe that however high in the Big Ten standings this 2022 team gets is almost completely dependent upon how well those three pitchers pitch. I am confident we will score our fair share of runs.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Whatever happens this year on the diamond; at least as a fan of Gopher softball in 2022 I will not have to incessantly check the Florida Gators games’ box scores searching for Lindaman’s stats and lament to myself the thought: “what if?” So I should have a better attitude.
 

Hrothgar

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Whatever happens this year on the diamond; at least as a fan of Gopher softball in 2022 I will not have to incessantly check the Florida Gators games’ box scores searching for Lindaman’s stats and lament to myself the thought: “what if?” So I should have a better attitude.
Did she more or less fall out of the limelight at Florida? (I never bothered to check.)
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Did she more or less fall out of the limelight at Florida? (I never bothered to check.)
For three straight years she was Florida’s second best hitter and therefore shaded somewhat by the superior performances of Lorenz and Echols.
 

mngolf

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She also played limited innings at catcher. Some at 1st base, but also as DP only alot.
 


mngolf

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I guess I don't know her goals/reasons at her transfer but this implies to me that Florida saw her as a bat only and not as good as other options in the field. Can't imagine that's what she wanted.
 

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I don’t really understand why the early prognosticators are seeing a big gap between Michigan/Northwestern and Minnesota in 2022. With an opening day starting lineup like this:

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

Pitchers: Pease, Leavitt, Hollifield

… it sure seems to me that we will be right there with those two teams at the end of the season’s standings. I see us in a Big Ten championship game in May of 2022. Obviously, Leavitt and Hollifield are the critical pieces to my more optimistic prediction.
 

Gopher68

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I don’t really understand why the early prognosticators are seeing a big gap between Michigan/Northwestern and Minnesota in 2022. With an opening day starting lineup like this:

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

Pitchers: Pease, Leavitt, Hollifield

… it sure seems to me that we will be right there with those two teams at the end of the season’s standings. I see us in a Big Ten championship game in May of 2022. Obviously, Leavitt and Hollifield are the critical pieces to my more optimistic prediction.
I haven't seen enough of the newcomers yet. From what I did see, I think Espalin and Chavez have a good chance to be in the starting lineup.
 

Hrothgar

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I don’t really understand why the early prognosticators are seeing a big gap between Michigan/Northwestern and Minnesota in 2022. With an opening day starting lineup like this:

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

Pitchers: Pease, Leavitt, Hollifield

… it sure seems to me that we will be right there with those two teams at the end of the season’s standings. I see us in a Big Ten championship game in May of 2022. Obviously, Leavitt and Hollifield are the critical pieces to my more optimistic prediction.
Judging from fall ball, it'll be hard to keep Chavez & Valencia on the bench for long. Dray may be their best defensive catcher. Losing Hostettler still bothers me. Pardon my impressionistic comments, but looking only at the defense, I'd have Dray catching; Valencia 1st b; Chavez 2nd b; Strelow ss; Dowell 3rd b.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Judging from fall ball, it'll be hard to keep Chavez & Valencia on the bench for long. Dray may be their best defensive catcher. Losing Hostettler still bothers me. Pardon my impressionistic comments, but looking only at the defense, I'd have Dray catching; Valencia 1st b; Chavez 2nd b; Strelow ss; Dowell 3rd b.
Maybe Costa doesn’t make the starting lineup in favor of a freshman (Valencia or Chavez) but I just don’t see them pulling Kinch out of the lineup at all.

Unless her knees have gone bad as a 19 year old, which is possible but it still would surprise me, she just has to be catching doesn’t she?
 

Hrothgar

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Maybe Costa doesn’t make the starting lineup in favor of a freshman (Valencia or Chavez) but I just don’t see them pulling Kinch out of the lineup at all.

Unless her knees have gone bad as a 19 year old, which is possible but it still would surprise me, she just has to be catching doesn’t she?
Yes, I think so, too. My comments were, as I said, only my impressions and based solely on defensive skills. I think Dray is a better receiver behind the plate, which doesn't lessen that Kinch all-around is so valuable to the team and should be at 2.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Gophers season starts in only 4 days. It seems like there may be less chatter, at least on this board, as compared to the last couple years just prior to the start of the season. Maybe I am wrong. If I am not wrong, could that reflect less enthusiasm for the softball era we are coming into?

Or, maybe their just isn’t much more to be said and we just have to wait till the pitchers pitch and the hitters hit to make our commentary?
 

Hrothgar

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Gophers season starts in only 4 days. It seems like there may be less chatter, at least on this board, as compared to the last couple years just prior to the start of the season. Maybe I am wrong. If I am not wrong, could that reflect less enthusiasm for the softball era we are coming into?

Or, maybe their just isn’t much more to be said and we just have to wait till the pitchers pitch and the hitters hit to make our commentary?
Agree, I've wondered the same things. In fall ball, the Gophers looked impressive (opponents were weaker, of course), but not sure about this year's squad. IMO last year's super seniors didn't exactly set the world on fire. Except for Partain, they produced little stellar hitting. Maybe in 2022 they'll show some real zeal & win big? Let's hope so, but players like Kinch and some newcomers need to hit great. If not, they'll be playing catch-up all through the BIG season, I fear.
 




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