Gopher softball 2021

Ski U Mah Gopher

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Pitino just named his newest assistant.

Does that mean the freeze is over and Ritter can name hers?
 

goherfan48

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Partain returning!
Looks like Piper is starting to work her magic! I do not feel that Partain would have returned if Piper was not the head coach. A great example of how the players feel about our new coach.
 

MRJ

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Great that MaKenna is coming back!!!

She was the one I was most worried about, but It'll be fantastic to see her at 2B for one more year!! :clap::clap::clap:
 

Softballjunkie

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Trachsel was after Makenna to come back from the minute the NCAA gave them the extra year of eligibility. The fact that she hadn’t committed to return until now tells me that she was not going to come back if Trachsel was still the head coach. The players are also excited about the two assistants as well, even though they haven’t officially been hired and their names haven’t been released to the public. We are going to be VERY good next year!!! Time to get excited for the program!!!
 

rowdaboat

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Roster looks fantastic right now if they avoid the sluggish start again, but not sure where the rotation players that planned on graduating in 4 years or the incoming freshmen fit in. Like for where Hansen had been at before being starter this year.
 

MRJ

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Well, sounds like at least one of the recruits is still all in. :clap:

Here's hoping the rest follow suit...
 

MRJ

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Jace Frederick has a nice article on Partain's return.
Yep, and in reading her comments from the story, it certainly seems MaKenna wasn't necessarily planning to return until Piper was named the head coach.
 

Gopher68

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Yep, and in reading her comments from the story, it certainly seems MaKenna wasn't necessarily planning to return until Piper was named the head coach.
Right! I was also encouraged by this:
There was no doubt about it once I realized she was head coach,” said Partain, who’s also excited about the potential assistant coaches who may join Ritter’s staff.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Is the regular starting lineup looking like:

Partain - 2b
Jensen -CF
DenHartog - LF
Hansen - 1b (Pushed by Ehlke)
Strelow - C (Pushed by Kinch or Cox)
Kemmetmueller - 3b (Pushed by Costa)
Jones - RF (Pushed by VanDerHeide)
??? - DH (Cox or whatever Fr. or So. Emerges)
Brandt - SS (Pushed by Strelow who is pushed by Kinch [see above])

P - Fiser, Pease, Holifield, Dueck, Jones

Hopefully there are plenty of wins with that regular lineup.
 

MNMaroonMom

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Is the regular starting lineup looking like:

Partain - 2b
Jensen -CF
DenHartog - LF
Hansen - 1b (Pushed by Ehlke)
Strelow - C (Pushed by Kinch or Cox)
Kemmetmueller - 3b (Pushed by Costa)
Jones - RF (Pushed by VanDerHeide)
??? - DH (Cox or whatever Fr. or So. Emerges)
Brandt - SS (Pushed by Strelow who is pushed by Kinch [see above])

P - Fiser, Pease, Holifield, Dueck, Jones

Hopefully there are plenty of wins with that regular lineup.
I would see VanDerHeide being the starter in RF.
 

rowdaboat

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I think some of those position battles will be won by whoever can hit the ball. This team needs to generate some runs.
Yep, ideally don't have any starters with BA below .200 or even .225
 

Gopher68

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Is the regular starting lineup looking like:

Partain - 2b
Jensen -CF
DenHartog - LF
Hansen - 1b (Pushed by Ehlke)
Strelow - C (Pushed by Kinch or Cox)
Kemmetmueller - 3b (Pushed by Costa)
Jones - RF (Pushed by VanDerHeide)
??? - DH (Cox or whatever Fr. or So. Emerges)
Brandt - SS (Pushed by Strelow who is pushed by Kinch [see above])

P - Fiser, Pease, Holifield, Dueck, Jones

Hopefully there are plenty of wins with that regular lineup.
It is still somewhat dependent on Brandner. Have heard nothing regarding her status. There is a chance Mackenzie Denson cracks the outfield lineup at some point. If so, I think DenHartog would return to DH with an outfield of Jensen (LF), VanDerHeide (CF), Denson (RF). That outfield would have some serious speed. All three are very good slap hitters and could put pressure on the opponents left side of the infield.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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One thing I have learned watching softball these last few years is sometimes a player just “has it,” and a fan never really knew that before it happens. Last year, it was Stelow. She will be in the lineup for the next three years. She can regularly hit college pitching. Sometimes players just can not regularly hit college pitching and a fan wouldn’t know that by their impressive high school/club team stats. College pitching is different.

Let’s hope a Frosh or two reveals themselves as a hitter similarly.

I do think some of our slight sluggishness last year was being without Jensen. It was in that last week of 2020 when she was just coming back when it was again obvious how solid she was as a hitter, and she did it not yet at 100 percent.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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I think some of those position battles will be won by whoever can hit the ball. This team needs to generate some runs.
Last year it seemed clear to me like the plan was a willingness to sacrifice some pop in the bat for assured, excellent defensive play. It will be interesting to see with Coach Ritter if that balance adjusts any.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Oh, one last point, the roster looks big in 2021 so I assume that precludes any transfers into the program at all over the next 6 months. I assume the team we have in our heads now is the team that will be traveling next February playing ball for the maroon and gold.
 

stemar

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Oh, one last point, the roster looks big in 2021 so I assume that precludes any transfers into the program at all over the next 6 months. I assume the team we have in our heads now is the team that will be traveling next February playing ball for the maroon and gold.
I don't think they will be travelling nearly as much as they have been for the next few years.
 

Hrothgar

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Last year it seemed clear to me like the plan was a willingness to sacrifice some pop in the bat for assured, excellent defensive play. It will be interesting to see with Coach Ritter if that balance adjusts any.
I agree with you. The 2020 problem was that the assured, excellent defensive play was conspicuous in its absence. Catching was atrocious; 1st base & SS were only adequate; lf was only adequate & rf was weak. The pop in the bat was lacking, too. Getting Jensen back was really helping before the abrupt end. But I think they won 15 games mainly due to Fiser, Pease, Partain, & Denhartog. Supporting cast didn't step up much. I kinda worry about pop in the bat for next year, too. In the 2021 lineup you suggested I don't see many power stats after Partain, Jensen, & Denhartog. Gopher 68 seems to be right; they desperately need Brandner or someone as good as her, both in the field & at bat. The presence of such a player in the batting order right after Denhartog will make Denhartog better than ever.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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I agree with you. The 2020 problem was that the assured, excellent defensive play was conspicuous in its absence. Catching was atrocious; 1st base & SS were only adequate; lf was only adequate & rf was weak. The pop in the bat was lacking, too. Getting Jensen back was really helping before the abrupt end. But I think they won 15 games mainly due to Fiser, Pease, Partain, & Denhartog. Supporting cast didn't step up much. I kinda worry about pop in the bat for next year, too. In the 2021 lineup you suggested I don't see many power stats after Partain, Jensen, & Denhartog. Gopher 68 seems to be right; they desperately need Brandner or someone as good as her, both in the field & at bat. The presence of such a player in the batting order right after Denhartog will make Denhartog better than ever.
And I agree with you.

As I have alluded to before, I personally have zero expectations for Brandner’s return. It would be great, but I don’t “expect” it.

I am sure they would like some combination of Ehlke, Costa, and Cox to be able to make contact with college pitching and knock 20-25 balls out of the park next year. And maybe Jones and Hansen can settle in a little more as well to provide more long balls from those two.

To me, the question is how to weight defensive ability at those two critical positions of shortstop and center field. Last year, we thought we needed our best defensive players in those two spots. Maybe the same next year, maybe not.
 

Hrothgar

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Traditionally in baseball (I don't know about softball) teams' strongest, best all-around players have been at SS & CF. I saw MN vs. KY this past February. KY looked way stronger up the middle than MN.
Btw who are Ehlke & Costa? I've missed out on them.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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Btw who are Ehlke & Costa? I've missed out on them.
Incoming Freshman recruits, 1st base and 3rd base respectively, presumably with power. I have focused on power potential because besides DenHartog and Partain, it was lacking consistency in 2020. As to speed, we did ok so it draws less of my attention right now.

I assume Strelow‘s ultimate position is second base but she is an athlete so have to have her somewhere, in 2020 it was catcher. I am sure Incoming Freshman Kinch is the more natural catcher, but again, she has to show she can hit college pitching.

Finally, the new face I was most excited about in the batter’s box last year was Cox but she got hurt before she could show much. I thought she had bat-speed potential.
 

goherfan48

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Both of her assit. coaches are going to be great. Can you guess who the 2nd one is?
 
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