Gopher Softball 2020

ComoGopher

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I'm calling total BS on your "Gopher Supporter" post. You showed up out of nowhere in late 2017 shortly after Allister bolted to crappier pastures, then bad mouthed Jamie from day one as if you had inside knowledge and/or a personal beef. Probably family or friend of a player that couldn't cut it. The worst kind of "fan" forum member.
Which player who has left since Jamie got here couldn't cut it?
 

mngolf

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Top of the Gopher lineup gets on and middle struggling to get them in no matter who we play. Bottom of lineup pretty much not producing. So far this is not a winning formula. If I was Jaimie, do I start switching the entire batting lineup around or start playing other players or stick to what I have?

Pease is doing just fine and is helping by putting them in a winning position. FIser is Fiser keep it up). Our pitching cannot sustain this team all year.

Some of these players have had 3 different batting coaches. Not sure, if that is playing a role in their non production of runs when runners are on the bases or not. I just feel if a team is having fun playing this sport no matter the ups and downs they work through the good times and the bad times. I will repeat myself again. I FEEL BAD FOR FISER. The bats are not helping her out.

Some of you who are at the games, spoke of a team that just does not look energized and/or enjoying themselves. About not being disciplined and like watching a 14U team play softball. I am at home watching them on TV and cannot comment on these comments.

Brander back would help, but how much? As I stated earlier, I am having a hard time with ALL THESE INJURIES. Right now I am saying they are a Top 25 team.
I have one in 14u right now and her team doesn't make some of the mistakes I see Div 1 players making.
 

Hrothgar

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Going into this morning's game with Tulsa, 9 Gopher batters combined average is .141 at the plate. How this gets turned around, I do not know.
I think all of us, whether pollyannaish boosters or critics, can see objectively the strengths and weaknesses. Strengths: pitching; defense (mostly); all-around athleticism. Weaknesses: abyssmal hitting; lack of power; poor base-running; not always being prepared to play (vs. Missouri in first game and vs. Kentucky). No matter how great your defense/pitching is, you can't win if you don't score runs. I think we all wait for the team to break open these tight games with big innings, with some real firepower, not harmless infield grounders. Will it come later?

I watched numerous games this past weekend on TV/streaming, from around the country. Lots of teams have 1st & 2nd-year players, who produce great stuff like mad, the way Macken, Groenewegen, Fiser, Houlihan, and Partain have done at MN before. Are the present Gophers underclass players A) just not that good or B) talented slow starters? Surely we hope it's B. Nothing would be greater than a strong Gopher upsurge.
 

Panthadad2

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....

I watched numerous games this past weekend on TV/streaming, from around the country. Lots of teams have 1st & 2nd-year players, who produce great stuff like mad, the way Macken, Groenewegen, Fiser, Houlihan, and Partain have done at MN before. Are the present Gophers underclass players A) just not that good or B) talented slow starters? Surely we hope it's B. Nothing would be greater than a strong Gopher upsurge.
For me, I'm more surprised with the lack of production from some of the veteran players. I think we tend to forget how much (or little?) Gopher freshman have contributed. By my count, the Gophs have usually had one freshman perform at a "top of the order" level each year including this year (Strelow) except 2017 when there two (Lindaman/Partain). The difference this year is that two of the best veterans in Brandner and Jensen are out...it would be like removing two of Dwyer and Houlihan/Parlich from the 2017 lineup.

"Top of the order" level freshman I can think of:
2020 - Strelow (I think Jones has the potential to move up in the order with more at bats)
2019 - Denhartog
2018 - Jensen
2017 - Lindaman/Partain
2016- Houlihan
2015 - Parlich
2014 - Macken
 

ComoGopher

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For me, I'm more surprised with the lack of production from some of the veteran players. I think we tend to forget how much (or little?) Gopher freshman have contributed. By my count, the Gophs have usually had one freshman perform at a "top of the order" level each year including this year (Strelow) except 2017 when there two (Lindaman/Partain). The difference this year is that two of the best veterans in Brandner and Jensen are out...it would be like removing two of Dwyer and Houlihan/Parlich from the 2017 lineup.

"Top of the order" level freshman I can think of:
2020 - Strelow (I think Jones has the potential to move up in the order with more at bats)
2019 - Denhartog
2018 - Jensen
2017 - Lindaman/Partain
2016- Houlihan
2015 - Parlich
2014 - Macken
I think that the 2017 class (the Juniors) left a big hole.

Jensen - Can't play last season or this season so far (hurt)
Lowary - Hurt and now out of softball
Gill - Still on the team
Miller - Hurt and now out of softball
Thompson - Hurt and now out of softball
Velasquez - Transferred
Bailey - Transferred

That was a big class that now should be some big contributors on this team. If 2-3 of those players were upperclassmen and starting right now I know we would be better off. We know Jensen would be a huge boost to the offense. We have one player left who can play from a class of seven. I think the jury is out on Jensen returning. That was a class Jamie inherited. Did Allister miss on this class or did we just get really unlucky and the injury bug hit hard?
 

rugger14

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I think that the 2017 class (the Juniors) left a big hole.

Jensen - Can't play last season or this season so far (hurt)
Lowary - Hurt and now out of softball
Gill - Still on the team
Miller - Hurt and now out of softball
Thompson - Hurt and now out of softball
Velasquez - Transferred
Bailey - Transferred

That was a big class that now should be some big contributors on this team. If 2-3 of those players were upperclassmen and starting right now I know we would be better off. We know Jensen would be a huge boost to the offense. We have one player left who can play from a class of seven. I think the jury is out on Jensen returning. That was a class Jamie inherited. Did Allister miss on this class or did we just get really unlucky and the injury bug hit hard?
I think probably a little mix of both. That class appeared to have a good mix of pitching, power, speed, infield, outfield, with Flo all-americans and local standouts. The injuries were huge. Lowary was never 100%. Jensen had a great frosh season and got hurt. I think Velasquez could have contributed but Bailey was not going to. The Minnesota girls both got injured early.
 

Oregon Gopher

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I think that the 2017 class (the Juniors) left a big hole.

Jensen - Can't play last season or this season so far (hurt)
Lowary - Hurt and now out of softball
Gill - Still on the team
Miller - Hurt and now out of softball
Thompson - Hurt and now out of softball
Velasquez - Transferred
Bailey - Transferred

That was a big class that now should be some big contributors on this team. If 2-3 of those players were upperclassmen and starting right now I know we would be better off. We know Jensen would be a huge boost to the offense. We have one player left who can play from a class of seven. I think the jury is out on Jensen returning. That was a class Jamie inherited. Did Allister miss on this class or did we just get really unlucky and the injury bug hit hard?
I just follow softball peripherally- what kind of injuries led to ends of their careers? Seems an outlandishly high prevalence in that class.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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This is my first post and I really value reading the inside information that exists in this discussion group. I also value the passion that is displayed by you serious fans of college softball, the best sport going these days. That said, some posts have been a little (some a lot) bonkers. It appears to me the issue is expectations. Let me give the best advice which I am just restating what my dad told to me a few years ago: when it comes to Gophers Softball (or baseball for that matter) all that matters is the Big Ten. Don’t even worry about the NCAA tournament. NCAA tournament performance and even that NCAA rankings and seedings are not a relevant barometer for the program. Why? Because it is Minnesota! The north, all of Big Ten country really, has such short windows for college students to practice and play outside. For instance, I now live in Nashville, TN where you can actually play ball outside right now, and have been able to for weeks. And that is not even comparable to Gainesville, or Tallahassee, or Auburn, or Baron Rouge, or Austin, or Tucson, or Los Angeles. We just can’t compare ourselves to those teams on a year by year basis. It leads to surefire disappointment. We have had a great run for this decade, but coming from some big time luck. Our great run has largely been driven by these superstars: Moulton, Groenewagen, Partain, Lindaman, Fiser, and now maybe DenHartog. I think only Fiser was a top 100 recruit - and even that was closer to 100 than 1 (although by a few months before her Freshman season began I think everyone was drooling over Lindaman knowing she would be awesome). But let’s focus on the most valuable of all of them: Groenewagen. She was absolutely awesome (if I needed one out I can’t think of anyone else I would rather get it - change was NASTY). And how lucky are we that she became a Gopher because I think nobody else was interested in her. Her dominance drove this program to where it is, top of the Big Ten, but we are not going to be able to live off that 6 year old luck forever. We just have to stay good enough to compete with Michigan and Northwestern and Wisconsin for the next couple years. If we do, what comes after the Big Ten Tournament will take care of itself and that will just be gravy. Enjoy the games, we sure won’t win them all because all these southern schools have good softball programs, not just the schools with fancy football programs, so it is no big shame to lose to some of the teams we have lost to. Finally, I am just happy with how good Pease has shown herself to be. That is a plus. In addition, Hanson can hit his year whereas last year she couldn’t hit beach balls if they were pitched to her. She has really improved. And I sure am not expected Brandner to ever play again for the Gophers. I don’t have any inside information at all, but just speculating that life happens.
 

Tucker

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This is my first post
Welcome ClassOf98, may I recommend that you put paragraphs in a long post, or split it into separate posts or edit it a little bit?

Folks in the age of the internet have short attention spans and it may help your post look a little less intimidating to some folks like me :cool:
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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This is my second post.

Recapping the first:
* Focus on the Big Ten
* Honor Groenewagen (softball’s equivalent Gopher to Whalen playing on the basketball team)
* There has been legitimate good news from these first 2 weeks of the season (Pease/Hansen/Strelow/DenHartog not having a sophomore slump)

New Topics:
* While the Gophs are not “entitled” to be good forever, (unlike UCLA or Florida) we sure are lucky to have Piper Ritter on staff. She sure has been able to develop pitchers.
 

rugger14

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This is my second post.

Recapping the first:
* Focus on the Big Ten
* Honor Groenewagen (softball’s equivalent Gopher to Whalen playing on the basketball team)
* There has been legitimate good news from these first 2 weeks of the season (Pease/Hansen/Strelow/DenHartog not having a sophomore slump)

New Topics:
* While the Gophs are not “entitled” to be good forever, (unlike UCLA or Florida) we sure are lucky to have Piper Ritter on staff. She sure has been able to develop pitchers.
Welcome! I appreciate your enthusiasm and I am a big Piper Ritter fan. We can accept that we can never compete with the big dogs or we can choose to think otherwise. Last year was awesome. I agree to an extent that our real barometer should be the B1G but I want a little more than that. It does not have to be every year but this team can host regionals and be a contender for the world series.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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“We can accept that we can never compete with the big dogs or we can choose to think otherwise.”

I love this softball team. I spend way too much time out of my weekends tracking them and during my weekdays thinking about them. But they lost not through graduation their two most powerful hitters in two consecutive years. That is brutal. Put Lindaman and Brandner in this lineup and I like their chances against anybody. But that is just not the way it is. I am not saying we can’t occasionally beat a big dog. I am only saying that we are not going to blow out every non-Top-10 team every time we step on the diamond; and honesty, why should we expect that given the circumstances?
 

ComoGopher

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“We can accept that we can never compete with the big dogs or we can choose to think otherwise.”

I love this softball team. I spend way too much time out of my weekends tracking them and during my weekdays thinking about them. But they lost not through graduation their two most powerful hitters in two consecutive years. That is brutal. Put Lindaman and Brandner in this lineup and I like their chances against anybody. But that is just not the way it is. I am not saying we can’t occasionally beat a big dog. I am only saying that we are not going to blow out every non-Top-10 team every time we step on the diamond; and honesty, why should we expect that given the circumstances?
Well Lindaman should be in this lineup.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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“Well Lindaman should be in this lineup.”

It was the Lindaman transfer that was the moment that really broke my previous understanding about college softball. Other than betraying her loyalty bond to her teammates, (which honestly transfers do all the time, often coming to Minnesota) who can really blame her? I watched closely that 2018 season and she was intentionally walked the entire Big Ten season. Why shouldn’t she (maybe the best player to ever where a Big Ten uniform, maybe even surpassing Sierra Romero) go somewhere like the SEC where she would get pitched to each and every game and really tested? My new realism tells me that at least that transfer made sense, despite how much it hurt. Maybe if some boosters would have offered some more corvettes... just joking. :)
 

Tucker

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I am a Gopher fan. I have no good feelings or well wishes toward Kendyl Lindaman walking out on the Gophers after the great season they had and (as it turned out) the WCWS season they were going to have. I know that most people nowadays disagree and wish them the best.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like I want her to have a bad life. But as a softball player, I would be perfectly happy for her to bat .100 and Florida to do poorly.

If she was leaving for playing time like Jasmyn Martin on the volleyball team I could muster some good wishes. But Lauren Barnes leaving for Wisconsin volleyball, or Kendyl Lindman leaving for Florida? Nah!
 

Tucker

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Auburn is one of those places that has an event and only streams the games they play in (n)

Not sure if that is an Auburn deal or an SEC deal.
 

ComoGopher

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I am a Gopher fan. I have no good feelings or well wishes toward Kendyl Lindaman walking out on the Gophers after the great season they had and (as it turned out) the WCWS season they were going to have. I know that most people nowadays disagree and wish them the best.

Don't get me wrong, it's not like I want her to have a bad life. But as a softball player, I would be perfectly happy for her to bat .100 and Florida to do poorly.

If she was leaving for playing time like Jasmyn Martin on the volleyball team I could muster some good wishes. But Lauren Barnes leaving for Wisconsin volleyball, or Kendyl Lindman leaving for Florida? Nah!
Interesting take. If the starting QB left the football program two years in a row like the starting catcher has left the softball program two years in a row what would they be saying on the football board?
 

let'sbeclear

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“Well Lindaman should be in this lineup.”

It was the Lindaman transfer that was the moment that really broke my previous understanding about college softball. Other than betraying her loyalty bond to her teammates, (which honestly transfers do all the time, often coming to Minnesota) who can really blame her? I watched closely that 2018 season and she was intentionally walked the entire Big Ten season. Why shouldn’t she (maybe the best player to ever where a Big Ten uniform, maybe even surpassing Sierra Romero) go somewhere like the SEC where she would get pitched to each and every game and really tested? My new realism tells me that at least that transfer made sense, despite how much it hurt. Maybe if some boosters would have offered some more corvettes... just joking. :)
This was an interesting take that I hadn't heard before, so I looked up the stats. And at first they didn't seem to support the argument. In 2018 for the Gophers, Lindaman had 155 at bats and 55 walks. In 2019 for Florida, she had 197 at bats and 42 walks -- a difference but not an overwhelming one.

But then, when I looked at Lindaman's Big Ten stats for 2018, you are absolutely right: she had 43 at bats and 37 walks. Wow! That passed me by at the time, but they just would not pitch to her. And even more remarkable, in those 43 at bats, she had 10 home runs!
 
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ClassOf98Gopher

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Let’sbclear, that’s exactly right and well matches my memory of that Big Ten season for Lindy. It was frustrating as a fan to watch what opposing teams were doing to her. And I wanted her to challenge the Lauren Chamberlain HR record but they needed to pitch to her for that challenge to happen.

I root hard against Lindaman now; and even harder against Florida. I hate that team. I almost can’t wait for this season to be over so I am not tormented by that transfer in my face every time I look up a Florida box score. My point isn’t that I like that transfer, only that their was logic behind it.
 

Hrothgar

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This is my first post and I really value reading the inside information that exists in this discussion group. I also value the passion that is displayed by you serious fans of college softball, the best sport going these days. That said, some posts have been a little (some a lot) bonkers. It appears to me the issue is expectations. Let me give the best advice which I am just restating what my dad told to me a few years ago: when it comes to Gophers Softball (or baseball for that matter) all that matters is the Big Ten. Don’t even worry about the NCAA tournament. NCAA tournament performance and even that NCAA rankings and seedings are not a relevant barometer for the program. Why? Because it is Minnesota! The north, all of Big Ten country really, has such short windows for college students to practice and play outside. For instance, I now live in Nashville, TN where you can actually play ball outside right now, and have been able to for weeks. And that is not even comparable to Gainesville, or Tallahassee, or Auburn, or Baron Rouge, or Austin, or Tucson, or Los Angeles. We just can’t compare ourselves to those teams on a year by year basis. It leads to surefire disappointment. We have had a great run for this decade, but coming from some big time luck. Our great run has largely been driven by these superstars: Moulton, Groenewagen, Partain, Lindaman, Fiser, and now maybe DenHartog. I think only Fiser was a top 100 recruit - and even that was closer to 100 than 1 (although by a few months before her Freshman season began I think everyone was drooling over Lindaman knowing she would be awesome). But let’s focus on the most valuable of all of them: Groenewagen. She was absolutely awesome (if I needed one out I can’t think of anyone else I would rather get it - change was NASTY). And how lucky are we that she became a Gopher because I think nobody else was interested in her. Her dominance drove this program to where it is, top of the Big Ten, but we are not going to be able to live off that 6 year old luck forever. We just have to stay good enough to compete with Michigan and Northwestern and Wisconsin for the next couple years. If we do, what comes after the Big Ten Tournament will take care of itself and that will just be gravy. Enjoy the games, we sure won’t win them all because all these southern schools have good softball programs, not just the schools with fancy football programs, so it is no big shame to lose to some of the teams we have lost to. Finally, I am just happy with how good Pease has shown herself to be. That is a plus. In addition, Hanson can hit his year whereas last year she couldn’t hit beach balls if they were pitched to her. She has really improved. And I sure am not expected Brandner to ever play again for the Gophers. I don’t have any inside information at all, but just speculating that life happens.
And I sure am not expected Brandner to ever play again for the Gophers. I don’t have any inside information at all, but just speculating that life happens.

Why would Brandner never play again for the Gophers? I think the assumption is that she's injured, not disabled. She's already been at OSU & MN. Where would she go next? Transfer again? (Is that allowed?) Or would she just quit the sport?

On another note, I see no reason the Gophers can't compete at the highest level. It's a matter of getting very talented recruits in to the U & keeping them coming. Not easy but not rocket science either. The talent's out there and the best players want to play for a winner. So keep winning on a visible stage & talented players will come. The name of the game is SUPER pitching.
 

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Hope still doesn't seem to be traveling with the team, so without knowing any details seems like she's nowhere close to returning
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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As to Brandner, fans need to at least consider the possibility of a non-typical medical issue more life-changing in nature.

The public found out within hours what was wrong with Sis Bates of Washington (who also had an undisclosed medical issue) and her more typical injury for a collegiate athlete.

I don’t have a clue, other than saying she may want to be closer to family. From a fan’s perspective, considering the possibility now makes disappointment less painful in the future.
 

Hrothgar

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Hope still doesn't seem to be traveling with the team, so without knowing any details seems like she's nowhere close to returning
Nowhere close isn't the same as never. The gentleman I was quoting wrote "[not] to ever play again for the Gophers." She's only a junior; so there's time, but the way the injuries are shrouded in silence in women's DI creates only mystery for the public and fans. We can always hope she'll be back. Surely someone in authority knows. Why don't they just say?
 

Tucker

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If we're assuming Brandner is never playing again for the Gophers, has life-changing type issues, and is not traveling with the team and wants to be close to her family, that all sounds like concussion stuff.

Timetable is impossible to predict as is outcome.

That would be a huge bummer.
 
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4EverAGopher

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We have been talking about the bats a lot and not much about the pitching. Will Pease be around next season? Is Piper developing two Freshman secret weapons for this program? Right now I need to be optimistic where they will end up in the standings this year in the BIG and rankings overall.

However with no Fiser and Partain next year makes me question even more where this program will be heading next year. You can add them to that list of missed graduating talent, transfers and injuries.
 
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