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Discussion in 'Women of the Swamp' started by Gatorryder, Oct 9, 2013.
All I can say is WOW.
Any thoughts on where the newcomers will fit into the lineups this season? A 4 pitcher staff seems pretty crowded for softball and considering the team basically only loses Horton's bat from last season, there could be some tough competition to make the batting order as well.
Good problems to have I guess.
Exciting! Can't wait for Softball season!
We will see. Dominating a community college in fall ball is different than the type of competition seen in the spring. But discounting that and let us assume the freshman continue what they are doing or have been doing in high school then the pitching does bring up interesting questions because the concept of keeping players happy so to speak is certainly important considering the pitching roster coming back is SR and two JRs and I would think players like to play just like any sport.
If everybody is pitching well then it would be important to dish out innings to everybody consistently and don't put heavy innings on just one person even if that one person maybe pitching lights out. Use the roster to your advantage in terms of allocating pitching innings.
If Gourley does end up being a dominating power pitcher getting a ton of K's in any game against any type of competition then at some point you may very well see her as the #1 pitcher against the high quality teams or the pitcher going against the other teams #1.
For all the wins Rodgers has done through her career the one thing she is not is a power pitcher who gets a ton of K's or i.e. cheap outs. Against the great competition sometimes she always has that one iffy inning where she gets into trouble and she has difficulty getting out of it because she is not a strike out pitcher. Of course, we don't know what anybody has done in the off season to improve themselves so maybe that will change but the one thing Nelson did do consistently was not give up a alot of runs, she struck out alot of players, and she did not give up the cheap o run so to speak against any type of competition.
Which would mean Rodgers gets put back to a #2 during weekends - she still would pitch alot but not under ths scenario of pitching all the time against the very good teams.
But then you use Haegar and Bache in relief also and maybe just use them during mid week games and just don't use Gourley or Rodgers at all during mid week games.
The extra pitching would certainly allow Haeger just to concentrate in the field more although you get the impression at times that she hits better when she pitches so who knows.
As far as the rest of the lineup. It would seem to me the players who play more would be the players who are more dialed in at the hitting at the time and who play good/decent defense. In effect, if somebody is in a slump at the plate then it allows different options to put in different players who are seeing the ball better at the time.
Considering what happened last year and what is coming back - one would think this year has the greatest potential to be that special year if players stay injury free.
I just think considering the amount of young people playing last year - I think the team ran out of gas offensively after the SEC tourney. That should not be an issue this season considering everybody is back and you are just adding in freshman to help bolster the roster.
When preseason polls come out don't be shocked at very, very high ranking.
Hopefully noone gets married either.
I really don't know what it means "running out of gas offensively", unless you are referring to a mental lapse of some kind. I think mentally they were not up to the challenge of overcoming the slew of great pitchers they faced game after game in the WCWS. Does having more good bats/speedy runners help in that area? Maybe!? I think another year of experience will definitely help. The Gators bats were lively most of last season but suddenly became silent at the end. It's a problem that Walton will have to address if he wants to finally ice the first Softball NC for Florida. I think no program in the country is more deserving if you look at what they have done in the past decade. We really should have already won at least one championship between the WAZU ('09) and the Arizona St ('11) series, but both times we were up against all world pitchers who stepped it up a notch in the World Series.
Last season was not an ideal season from the aspect they lost key players to transfers so they were behind the 8 ball from start in terms of relying heavy on freshman contributions which was a complete unknown.
It so happened that the freshman contributed a ton and provided the season they did.
But if you play alot of freshman then you also have the issues called hitting the wall. Freshman go through it because they have never gone through an entire season before. You see it in every sport. Whether it is baseball or softball or whatever teams at certain points during a season go through droughts. Those droughts get amplied especially if you are playing alot or relying alot upon freshman because typically freshman won't have the experience to know how to get through that type of adversity unless the upper classmen can provide some sort of buffer offensively to help guide the freshman along.
I say running out of gas because of the mental grind and pressures of going through 50 plus games happens and if you have alot of freshman playing then you could certainly have issues at some point in any season - it so happens it happened right after the SEC tourney which obviously is not the ideal time to be going through issues like that. Collectively they so happened to peak at the SEC tourney. Playing at home and the matchups allowed them to get through the regionals to the CWS but you sort of knew that was going to be it because if you can't hit or basically the entire team is in a hitting slump then you are not going anywhere in the CWS.
Given the level of experience from just playing a season and another year in the weight room I would think that issue should not come up in the Spring.