Gopher softball 2021

ClassOf98Gopher

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Don't know who to pick so a split?
Smartest pick is 2-2. Tough to beat Storako and Beaubien 3 times I would think. But... games are at home AND Michigan does have to play a make-up games against Michigan State on the Wednesday before our series, which I would think would help us.
 

Hrothgar

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Smartest pick is 2-2. Tough to beat Storako and Beaubien 3 times I would think. But... games are at home AND Michigan does have to play a make-up games against Michigan State on the Wednesday before our series, which I would think would help us.
A 2-2 series split wirh MI won't do for the Gophers to get the BIG title. That's where failing to sweep teams like Maryland, Purdue, and Iowa has hurt them. But a miracle is always possible, I guess.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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A 2-2 series split wirh MI won't do for the Gophers to get the BIG title. That's where failing to sweep teams like Maryland, Purdue, and Iowa has hurt them. But a miracle is always possible, I guess.

That Purdue loss did hurt.

As does what I believe is true, Michigan had an easier schedule than Minnesota, equivalent to one loss. You never know how games would have turned out that were not played, but they had short series against good teams Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and Wisconsin; while we had short series against Maryland, Ohio State, and Indiana. That allowed them to have 4 game series against bad teams Penn State, Michigan State, and Rutgers while we only got easy four games series against Purdue and Penn State. I think there is one loss in that strength of schedule difference.
 

MRJ

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Didn't get the chance to see much of the set against Iowa this weekend, but with seven losses, it's going to be tough to catch Michigan as we wind down the regular season.

With that said, there's always a chance. Can't get ahead of themselves however; not with how UW has played recently. The Gophers have owned the series with Wisconsin in recent years, but they'll have to be sharp this coming weekend.
 

Hrothgar

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That Purdue loss did hurt.

As does what I believe is true, Michigan had an easier schedule than Minnesota, equivalent to one loss. You never know how games would have turned out that were not played, but they had short series against good teams Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and Wisconsin; while we had short series against Maryland, Ohio State, and Indiana. That allowed them to have 4 game series against bad teams Penn State, Michigan State, and Rutgers while we only got easy four games series against Purdue and Penn State. I think there is one loss in that strength of schedule difference.
You're right; the BIG East tends to be weaker in softball than the West. Their weaker schedule pretty guarantees MI an advantage in the regular season schedule. Most obvious example was in 2019.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Storako is really really good. 100 innings 42 hits 17 walks 10 runs (7 earned) 177 K.
Those are Groenewagen type numbers.

We will be tough to beat 3 times out of 4 games at home. I just think there is going to be a game or two where it will be a coin flip and we will need someone to make a really clutch play. We will need that coin flip(s) (clutch play) to go our way to win 3 or even 4 games against Michigan to win the B1G.
 

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Storako is really really good. 100 innings 42 hits 17 walks 10 runs (7 earned) 177 K.
I watched her against Northwestern. Mid-high 60s velocity, paints the corners effortlessly, throws at three speeds with a great change, drop, and a fabulous rise, best in the B1G by a significant margin IMO.
 

Hrothgar

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That Purdue loss did hurt.

As does what I believe is true, Michigan had an easier schedule than Minnesota, equivalent to one loss. You never know how games would have turned out that were not played, but they had short series against good teams Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and Wisconsin; while we had short series against Maryland, Ohio State, and Indiana. That allowed them to have 4 game series against bad teams Penn State, Michigan State, and Rutgers while we only got easy four games series against Purdue and Penn State. I think there is one loss in that strength of schedule difference.

I watched her against Northwestern. Mid-high 60s velocity, paints the corners effortlessly, throws at three speeds with a great change, drop, and a fabulous rise, best in the B1G by a significant margin IMO.
How many games can she pitch in a weekend?
 

rwlarson

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How many games can she pitch in a weekend?
Storako and Beaubien will split the starts. Beaubien is another of those lefty spinners with a great change. She was considered Michigan’s ace coming into the year. It‘s not like Beaubien has pitched poorly this year; she’s just been overshadowed a bit by Storako’s dominance. Every game in that series will be a great pitching matchup.
 

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As fans we get to look ahead to what could be an epic series in a couple weeks. The players better be looking forward to four tough games against a Wisconsin team that has really come on strong as of late (I believe they are 11-3 in their last 14 games).

They remind me of Iowa in how they keep battling, and they have more skilled hitters with more power throughout the lineup than Iowa. Their pitching has been OK, good in spurts, but not consistently high-level.

Maddie Schwartz from Chanhassen has kind of stepped into the Kaitlyn Menz workhorse role for the Badgers this year. I would imagine she will be pumped up to pitch against the Gophers. I hope our Wisconsin contingent, led by Jensen, Strelow, and Evans, is equally as hyped for this series.
 

Hrothgar

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As fans we get to look ahead to what could be an epic series in a couple weeks. The players better be looking forward to four tough games against a Wisconsin team that has really come on strong as of late (I believe they are 11-3 in their last 14 games).

They remind me of Iowa in how they keep battling, and they have more skilled hitters with more power throughout the lineup than Iowa. Their pitching has been OK, good in spurts, but not consistently high-level.

Maddie Schwartz from Chanhassen has kind of stepped into the Kaitlyn Menz workhorse role for the Badgers this year. I would imagine she will be pumped up to pitch against the Gophers. I hope our Wisconsin contingent, led by Jensen, Strelow, and Evans, is equally as hyped for this series.
MN would almost need to go undefeated in their last 12 games to overcome MI for the BIG title, which seems a nearly impossible task. MI won't lose to PSU or whoever else they play.
 

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Unrelated to the Gophers, but I'm a bit surprised Tschida is leaving UST for Saint Mary's prior to going D1.

 

MRJ

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Unrelated to the Gophers, but I'm a bit surprised Tschida is leaving UST for Saint Mary's prior to going D1.

Me too. He built a true powerhouse at St. Thomas. In fact, his record is pretty much unmatched at the D III level. Three national championships (two of which were at UST) and a 977-187 career record.

One thing that I find particularly interesting is that he cited how much he loves the D III and it's culture in an article I read on the Winona Daily News website. Based on his comments, it seems he didn't want to be part of the move to Division I, which I suppose is a bit surprising considering most coaches want to move up to that level.

BTW, the NFCA released their rankings today and the ladies moved up one to No. 23 heading into the Wisconsin series.

Gophers ranked No. 23 in NFCA Top 25 Poll
 

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MN would almost need to go undefeated in their last 12 games to overcome MI for the BIG title, which seems a nearly impossible task. MI won't lose to PSU or whoever else they play.
True. Given the poor pitching of Rutgers, I see no way Michigan drops a game to them. Penn State’s problem has been offense and fielding. They have one pitcher who could possibly hold Michigan down in a game, but they’d almost have to scratch out a 1-0 win on a walk, bunt, error, etc., because their hitting is so bad.

So it would appear that the Gophers will need to finish 11-1 to win the B1G crown. That’s fine. If we expect or hope to do anything in post-season, we will need to be playing at that level anyway.
 

Hrothgar

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True. Given the poor pitching of Rutgers, I see no way Michigan drops a game to them. Penn State’s problem has been offense and fielding. They have one pitcher who could possibly hold Michigan down in a game, but they’d almost have to scratch out a 1-0 win on a walk, bunt, error, etc., because their hitting is so bad.

So it would appear that the Gophers will need to finish 11-1 to win the B1G crown. That’s fine. If we expect or hope to do anything in post-season, we will need to be playing at that level anyway.
Exactly right. The only way to take a championship is to win big when it really counts.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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We have a better lineup than we had at the beginning of the season. That makes me feel better entering the home stretch run for the B1G championship.

I assumed all along that an underclassman or two would have to step up and add power into our lineup. With Evans a regular starter in the middle of the lineup, that helps strengthen the offense in my opinion.

I sure wish the coaches would get Cox in for at least 4 PH opportunities a weekend series... especially for Brandt. And I could see getting Costa in as a PH every now and then if Bray doesn’t make more useful contact with the ball.

Finally, Strelow can pinch hit AND THEN play the 1st or SS position if needed... which I would use regularly toward the end of games. A strategy of hoping for walks (especially against good pitching like Michigan where they attack the strike zone) is not a strategy I am confident in. We got to swing the bat to beat Michigan but do so using players that can more effectively swing the bat making useful contact as much as possible.
 

Hrothgar

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Wisconsin has COVID in their softball program. No Gopher games this weekend. Bummer!
Hard to know how to react to that. Aside from obvious health concerns, wonder how Gophers coaches feel about missing the series?
 

rwlarson

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Wisconsin has COVID in their softball program. No Gopher games this weekend. Bummer!
Unless the Gophers can somehow make up at least two of the Wisconsin games and win them both, they will likely need to sweep Michigan to win the B1G unless Michigan falters. 7-1 puts us at 32-8. So all Michigan needs to do is sweep Rutgers and Penn State and knock off Michigan State in a makeup game they will have 33 wins and we can only catch them by winning all four against them.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Unless the Gophers can somehow make up at least two of the Wisconsin games and win them both, they will likely need to sweep Michigan to win the B1G unless Michigan falters. 7-1 puts us at 32-8. So all Michigan needs to do is sweep Rutgers and Penn State and knock off Michigan State in a makeup game they will have 33 wins and we can only catch them by winning all four against them.
I suspect they will get in a double header against Wisconsin before the Penn State series. If so, 3 and 1 against Michigan would do it.

And I will seriously miss the entertainment this weekend. I just just hope our 24 team members stay COVID free for the next 12 days or so. Not being able to participate in the Michigan series would be a super-duper bummer.
 

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I suspect they will get in a double header against Wisconsin before the Penn State series. If so, 3 and 1 against Michigan would do it.

And I will seriously miss the entertainment this weekend. I just just hope our 24 team members stay COVID free for the next 12 days or so. Not being able to participate in the Michigan series would be a super-duper bummer.
Let’s also hope Michigan stays Covid-free for the next 12 days or so!
 

rowdaboat

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Tiebreaker should be winning percentage for uneven games played since they used that for football
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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I see Olivia Peterson is no longer on the roster.

She is not yet in Softball America’s Transfer Tracker... but maybe that is coming soon. Or, maybe she is just going to focus on school and real life, which makes a lot of sense to me; but I was not a college athlete.
 

Hrothgar

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I see Olivia Peterson is no longer on the roster.

She is not yet in Softball America’s Transfer Tracker... but maybe that is coming soon. Or, maybe she is just going to focus on school and real life, which makes a lot of sense to me; but I was not a college athlete.
If she never plays and is quite talented (as some people have argued), why should she stick around and ride the bench? I was a college athlete and wouldn't have been a bench warmer for 4 years. Who would?
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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If Gopher softball fans are interested and dreaming about any progress through an NCAA tournament bracket, hoping not to be in the regionals seeded 1, 2, 3, 16, 15, or 14 would be most desirable. I sure wouldn’t want our Gophers matched up against Oklahoma, UCLA, or Washington anytime soon.
 
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