Gopher softball 2021

mngolf

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In addition to 10th in batting, they are 4th in 4th in pitching and 4th in fielding.
 

MRJ

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They've been very, very average for the most part. Offense just isn't good, but a lot of it falls on players that have been completely absent, yet have been solid (or at the very least, reliable) performers in past seasons.

Frankly, I'm not sold on anything I've seen. Previous Gopher teams would absolutely mop-up against the schedule they've faced so far this season. This team? Seems they take a very casual approach to playing the game, which is going to be a problem imo.

I'm just not seeing a team worthy of competing for a regional host. And if they play this way for the rest of the season, an NCAA Tournament bid would even be in question.

With that said, there is plenty of time and hopefully the players can find a way to get things going. But man, this has been a very disappointing team to watch early this season.
 

MRJ

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Case and point, go up 6-2 heading to the bottom of the seventh against a hapless Rutgers team. And what do they do? Immediately allow the bases to get loaded with nobody out to give the opposition a shot at a big inning. This kind of stuff is going to get them crushed by good competition.

Even if they finish this out, this team has some big issues.
 

4EverAGopher

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You know how as a player on a team in any sport you start getting that inner competitiveness to compete against a fellow player and show that you are just as good if not better than them? It becomes a game in your mind and be quite fun.

Well Fiser had that her very first season when she arrived as a Gopher and I think she felt that. We have to be honest, since then she really has had very little pushing to be the best that she can be from any other pitcher on a Gopher Team.

Any competitive player in sports should know what I am referring to.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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I'm just not seeing a team worthy of competing for a regional host. And if they play this way for the rest of the season, an NCAA Tournament bid would even be in question.

With that said, there is plenty of time and hopefully the players can find a way to get things going. But man, this has been a very disappointing team to watch early this season.

I started participating on this message board preaching expectations management for a softball program like Minnesota. Now it is 2021 and over these past several months I did not follow my own preaching and honestly I have been caught off guard by how “non-dominant” they have shown themselves to be over these first 9 games.

As I have said before, for a softball problem like the Gophers, the goal is competing for and hopefully winning Big Ten titles. Everything else is getting carts before horses.

This team has not looked great, we all see that. But if they take 3 of 4 from Northwestern and 3 of 4 from Michigan in their respective 4 game series, they will be Big Ten champs. Can they do that? It’s possible. Right now I wouldn’t bet on it; they have to get better offensive production; but it’s possible.

I go back to why I was so optimistic in the first place. I followed especially these formerly high school age players: Cox, Peterson, Jones, Costa, Kinch, Ehlke, and Evans over the past year or two and I expected at least some of those young players could perform at the college level as underclassmen and fill in hitting performance gaps that we have all known to exist when looking only at the upperclassmen roster. Apparently the problem is that they are not blowing the doors off during practice or something to demand playing spots. Maybe I just assumed wrong as to their batting prowess.

For the most part, my philosophy is to look at the players to win games more than the coaches. I still believe to win the Big Ten, we will need still need a player or two to emerge from what is currently nowhere to be a middle of the lineup batter by the end of the season.

IF we win the Big Ten, we will certainly be in the running for one of those 16 regional host spots. If we finish in the top three of the Big Ten, we will be going to the NCAA tournament. The first of those is possible. That second of those is likely.
 

MRJ

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I started participating on this message board preaching expectations management for a softball program like Minnesota. Now it is 2021 and over these past several months I did not follow my own preaching and honestly I have been caught off guard by how “non-dominant” they have shown themselves to be over these first 9 games.

As I have said before, for a softball problem like the Gophers, the goal is competing for and hopefully winning Big Ten titles. Everything else is getting carts before horses.

This team has not looked great, we all see that. But if they take 3 of 4 from Northwestern and 3 of 4 from Michigan in their respective 4 game series, they will be Big Ten champs. Can they do that? It’s possible. Right now I wouldn’t bet on it; they have to get better offensive production; but it’s possible.

I go back to why I was so optimistic in the first place. I followed especially these formerly high school age players: Cox, Peterson, Jones, Costa, Kinch, Ehlke, and Evans over the past year or two and I expected at least some of those young players could perform at the college level as underclassmen and fill in hitting performance gaps that we have all known to exist when looking only at the upperclassmen roster. Apparently the problem is that they are not blowing the doors off during practice or something to demand playing spots. Maybe I just assumed wrong as to their batting prowess.

For the most part, my philosophy is to look at the players to win games more than the coaches. I still believe to win the Big Ten, we will need still need a player or two to emerge from what is currently nowhere to be a middle of the lineup batter by the end of the season.

IF we win the Big Ten, we will certainly be in the running for one of those 16 regional host spots. If we finish in the top three of the Big Ten, we will be going to the NCAA tournament. The first of those is possible. That second of those is likely.
At this point, It's all about the game in front of them.

In that vein, it's on to three games with the mighty Rocket Mortgages over the next two days.

At the very least, they got wins against Rutgers. Now, they need to build on it. Can they do it? We'll see.
 

Hrothgar

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MRJ: "Previous Gopher teams would absolutely mop-up against the schedule they've faced so far this season."
Painfully true. Since the year of Partain, Fiser, Lindaman, Kemmetmueller, etc., the level of recruits has slipped steadily. A few transfers like Brandner, Pease, etc., have kept things pretty good, but the level has slipped steadily otherwise.
 

Tucker

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We won the game!
We've worked our to 4th place and rising. Pease is pretty fun for me to watch.
I'm still watching Gopher softball and not the Twins, if they can keep scratching out victories I might be able to hang with them :)
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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MRJ: "Previous Gopher teams would absolutely mop-up against the schedule they've faced so far this season."
Painfully true. Since the year of Partain, Fiser, Lindaman, Kemmetmueller, etc., the level of recruits has slipped steadily. A few transfers like Brandner, Pease, etc., have kept things pretty good, but the level has slipped steadily otherwise.

That class that were Freshmen in 2017 that you speak of was exceptional to every class since AND before it in modern Gopher softball history.

I noticed that OSU and Maryland won today and Indiana kept it very close against Northwestern. All three teams that we played in that first weekend are in the middle of the pack now. Maybe the B1G is more balanced than it historically has been (not including PSU, Michigan State, and Purdue)
 

FormerFatOL

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That class that were Freshmen in 2017 that you speak of was exceptional to every class since AND before it in modern Gopher softball history.

I noticed that OSU and Maryland won today and Indiana kept it very close against Northwestern. All three teams that we played in that first weekend are in the middle of the pack now. Maybe the B1G is more balanced than it historically has been (not including PSU, Michigan State, and Purdue)
Maryland has been the big surprise for me. Formerly a bottom feeder. Schlotterbeck is pitching lights out vs some decent teams.
 

mngolf

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After results today, Gophers could be in 2nd place after this wknd. (Please sweep MSU)
 

Hrothgar

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I see Amber aiming her pitches lately, rather than pitching. If she'd relax and throw her usual smoke with abandon, none of these hitters would ever touch her.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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I see Amber aiming her pitches lately, rather than pitching. If she'd relax and throw her usual smoke with abandon, none of these hitters would ever touch her.

I, for one, am unworried about Fiser. Her pitching strength has always been her physical strength, meaning she could through hundreds of Innings and thousands of pitches and not lose velocity at all in May and even June. In fact it seemed like she would get better in May than early in the season.

I AM starting to get worried about these lineup card selections. I am sure they are thinking about trying different combinations to better the potency of their lineup, but sometimes things are just obvious. DenHartog should be in the top three of the lineup, always. Our career sub Mendoza line hitters should be 9th in the order. I don’t get it.

One more thing that I do get, Autumn Pease is really good.
 

mngolf

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Seems as though we just won't see underclassmen without an injury.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Seems as though we just won't see underclassmen without an injury.
Except for Kinch at Catch. It appears as through they are committed to that assignment, probably for a long time.

Strelow at 1st? Isn’t she a little... well... little for that position assignment?
 

FormerFatOL

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I love watching Partain bat. Pitcher wants to pitch her outside, so she casually pops it out opposite field. Smooth as silk.
 

FormerFatOL

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Except for Kinch at Catch. It appears as through they are committed to that assignment, probably for a long time.

Strelow at 1st? Isn’t she a little... well... little for that position assignment?
Maddie H did pretty well at 1st for a couple years. I'd rather have a medium stature yet athletic player at 1B with a glove and a bat than a more one-dimensional player.
 

MRJ

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Didn't see much of either game today, but I'll happily take the wins and move on...
 

GoFurFan

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We won the game!
We've worked our to 4th place and rising. Pease is pretty fun for me to watch.
I'm still watching Gopher softball and not the Twins, if they can keep scratching out victories I might be able to hang with them :)
So you're a fair weather fan like all the rest of the "experts" on this forum. smh.
 

mngolf

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Hitting is up to 8th at .231. Pitching is 6th at 1.54 era
 

Tucker

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So you're a fair weather fan like all the rest of the "experts" on this forum. smh.
I will find out for sure over time, but yes there is probably a limit to the amount of losses I want to watch! You're not the only one who shakes their head at me :)
 

AZGopher8

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So you're a fair weather fan like all the rest of the "experts" on this forum. smh.
What I see on this forum are fans following the team and discussing it. All quite respectfully and clearly rooting for the Gophers to be as competitive and successful as possible. Just because we talk about ways we think they could improve or things we would do differently doesn't make us fair weather. It makes us fans who like discussing the Gopher softball team.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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I will find out for sure over time, but yes there is probably a limit to the amount of losses I want to watch! You're not the only one who shakes their head at me :)
Sports is entertainment... and nothing more. Let’s not get overly romantic about it. When a sport is not entertaining then it is insanity to spend precious time in our too-short lives following it.

So go Gophers! Win ballgames!
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Maybe somewhat surprisingly we are:
1st in doubles
1st in HRs
1st in BB
3rd in RBI
4th in triples

The fences are way deep in Leesburg, so the Home runs are way down for all teams. This tells me that DenHartog and Kinch are way strong and Kemmetmueller has a great pull-it-down-the-line home run swing.
 

AZGopher8

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Good comeback by the Gophers today to scratch out a double sweep this weekend.

Pease continues to roll. Fiser is looking better as she gets into her groove too. Definite room for improvement at the plate, but at least signs of life there.

It was really nice to see Elle Jensen out there this weekend!
 
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