Women’s Softball-what ails the Lady Gators this year?

Discussion in 'Main Sports Forum' started by GatorInGeorgia, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. GatorInGeorgia

    GatorInGeorgia Senior Member
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    I just saw us lose to Bama. It looks like we’ve lost about 7 conference games so far this season and approximately 10 overall. We were ranked 9th before tonight’s loss so there is a good chance we fall further in the polls. Conference foes Bama, LSU & Tennessee and hated rival FSU are all ranked ahead of us in the ESPN poll. What is plaguing our team this season? This was the first time this season I’ve tuned in so I’m in the dark about what the problems are. Also, how did we fall behind all the above referenced teams, seemingly in the span of just a few years time?

    Opine.
     
  2. ChiefGator

    ChiefGator A Chief and a Gator, Master of the Ignore list!!!!

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    It is not a few years but rather one. Our hitting and fielding have declined as well as somewhat our pitching.
     
  3. BMF

    BMF Bad Mother....
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    I'll bet Jeremy Foley could have a two hour discussion about this with you....
     
    • Ocalaman

      Ocalaman Well-Known Member

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      We've won the SEC 3 years in a row and are still in the Top 10, #8 RPI starting this weekend. Toughest schedule in the country. We have 13 wins over ranked opponents, the most in D1. All of our losses are to ranked teams, most of them Top 10 teams. There are issues, though. We have 5 pitchers, but none have been consistent except Barnhill and she's getting overworked. SEC teams have seen her for 4 years and the better hitters have adjusted to her pitching and are making more contact or laying off the rise ball that used to strike them out. The biggest issue is hitting, especially with runners on base. Only Lorenz & Lindaman have been consistently good and the better pitchers are pitching around them and the other kids aren't making them pay. Experienced players like Roberts, Hoover, Matthews, Adams, Romanello, have just stranded too many base runners. This team is still very good, but there has been a drop off from the last 4-5 years. Can't make it to the World Series every year and this could be one of those seasons for softball as well as baseball. We do have 2 of the top 3 rated high school players coming in next year. A catcher out of Oklahoma is the highest rated hitter in the nation and a pitcher out of Texas is a lefty and throws it 70 mph. Both of these girls are on the National Junior Women's team and they're coming in along with 5 other reinforcements. But we have 2 freshman pitchers and a sophomore pitcher who have been good against lesser opponents, not so good against top tier teams.
       
      • sminings

        sminings Well-Known Member

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        The program is headed for decline.

        Walton recruited a bunch of girls who aren't very good. It's actually embarrassing how bad some of these players have performed.

        There are at best 3 quality players on this squad and two of them are seniors.

        I would give Walton two years at best.
         
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        • Ocalaman

          Ocalaman Well-Known Member

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          Totally wrong. This is a down year probably, but we're still ranked in the Top 10 in the nation. We lost the best pitching coach in the nation after last season and the pitchers are still adapting to the new coach. There are a couple of juniors and sophomores who are underperforming, but they showed in the past they can play at an elite level. One of our top recruits from last year has played very little due to rehabbing from knee surgery. He's got a high quality class coming in next season. The SEC is brutal in softball and we've held our own. Split the season series with defending national champ FSU, beat #7 Arizona, #3 Washington, #12 Minnesota among our 13 ranked team victories. We've been to the WCWS 5 out of the last 6 years and won the SEC 3 years in a row. If decline means not being in the WCWS or winning the SEC title, I guess you're right. But this is a solid team on solid footing and we're still ranked in the Top 10 in an "off" year. Expectations are unrealistically ridiculous from some Gators.
           
          #6 Ocalaman, Apr 19, 2019
          Last edited: Apr 20, 2019
          • Double Gator Dad

            Double Gator Dad Senior Member
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            I was going to weigh in on this topic until I read your post. You covered the situation perfectly. This is not a WCWS team this year. I doubt they even win their regional this year for the reasons you stated
             
            • Gator87

              Gator87 Senior Member
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              I’ve watched a lot of the games this year and as I see it with the exception of Lorenz and Lindaman our hitting is god awful, never seen so many weak grounders and pop flies. We used to be aggressive at the plate but the last few years Walton seems like he’s fallen in love with getting on base via the walk.They watch good pitches go by until they have two strikes and then they have to swing at garbage they look like they are afraid to swing the bat. We don’t have a true first baseman and we’re an outfielder short, and when Lorenz plays first we’re two outfielders short. We always used to have some bench players who could come in and provide a spark but this year’s bench is loaded with pinch runners who can’t hit. The pitching behind Barnhill is a little weak, and she still seems to lose it in one inning every game, the Freshman Hightower shows some promise, Lugo looks like another Ensley Gammel and Chronister and Farley are not dependable at all. Hopefully this is just one down year and they’ll bounce back next year.
               
              • Ocalaman

                Ocalaman Well-Known Member

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                Good analysis. I've watched probably 90% of their games over the last 5-6 years and this is the weakest team during that time. Farley came in highly touted, more so than Hightower, but Hightower has been the better pitcher so far. The girl coming in from Texas next year, Rylee Trlicek, is supposed to be another Barnhill-quality pitcher, only a lefty who throws 70 mph. #3 rated player in the country, pitching for the U.S. Junior Women's National team, and also a very good hitter. The #2 ranked player, a catcher from Oklahoma, Julia Cottrill, is supposedly the best hitter in the nation, playing in her 2nd year on the National Junior Women's Team. We have 7 new recruits coming in and another highly ranked player is Mia Buffano from Palm Harbor, FL, an outfielder who can hit, ranked as the 40th best high school player in the country. The disappointment to me this year is that several of our veterans have taken a step backwards - Hoover, Matthews, Roberts, even Adams to some extent. Walton has built up a program of such high expectations, I have every confidence we could make waves in the post season and will be back in the hunt next year regardless.
                 
                • ThreatMatrix

                  ThreatMatrix Feeling the Buzz
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                  They need a stadium upgrade.
                   
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                  • Gator87

                    Gator87 Senior Member
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                    Hopefully that new group can step right in and play right away next year because about 3 or 4 starters this year would have never seen the field in the past 10 years.
                     
                    • 5-Star Finger

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                    • 5-Star Finger

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                      • Ocalaman

                        Ocalaman Well-Known Member

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                        In watching the Gators lose again to Alabama today 3-0, the announcers said that Florida leads the SEC in number of runners gotten on base, but are dead last in the SEC in hits/batting average with runners on base & hits/batting average with runners in scoring position. That's the main problem compared to prior Gator teams. We only have 2 players hitting above .300 - Lorenz & Lindaman and they are just not delivering in the clutch and haven't most of the season. We're now 37-12 overall, 9-9 in the SEC and lost all hope of being a Top 8 seed by getting swept at home by Alabama. They have 6 games left, 3 at Auburn and 3 hosting Miss. St. and they need to win those series if they expect to even host a Regional.
                         
                        • diehardg8r

                          diehardg8r Junior Member

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                          We can't fking hit and have one decent pitcher. Great defense is nice and running around bragging about how your team doesn't make errors is all fine, but if you can't score runs and your pitching staff isn't dominate then you lose. He also lost his pitching coach to another school a year or two ago and I think that has really hurt. Why Barnhill has yet to develop a change up is beyond me but it was the one pitch that would make her damn near unhittable.
                           
                          • MADGator

                            MADGator This space intentionally left blank

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                            I was there Saturday and it was a game with your main point in a nutshell. Think they actually out hit Bammer, and twice Gators had runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out, but struck out twice the first time and hit into a line drive double-play the second time, which got Walton tossed from the game. And as each hitter was coming to the plate and I was looking at their BA, it was .280, .240, .202. They just aren't hitting this year. Which I thought was a problem last year as well.

                            Really nice stadium though!
                             
                            • Gator87

                              Gator87 Senior Member
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                              I’ve been waiting for the change up too. It’s no coincidence that she’s given up a ton of home runs the last two years, other teams have figured her out. You can’t throw the same speed the whole game, I don’t care how good your stuff is, good hitters are eventually going to time it up.
                               
                            • GatorInGeorgia

                              GatorInGeorgia Senior Member
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                              It’s beautiful!
                               
                            • Ocalaman

                              Ocalaman Well-Known Member

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                              Kelly Barnhill pitched a no-hitter Friday night at Auburn as the Gators won the opener of their 3-game series 7-0. Amanda Lorenz hit a 3-run HR and Jamie Hoover hit a 2-run blast, while Jade Caraway & Sophia Reynoso had 2 hits each. Barnhill struck out 10 and passed Stacey Nelson to become the all time strikeout leader in Florida history. Even though a down year by Tim Walton standards, the Gators are 38-12, ranked #9 in RPI starting the weekend, #7 in the USA Today/Coaches Poll. They have 5 games left in the regular season, 2 more at Auburn and then 3 at home next weekend vs. Mississippi State and are scrambling for a Top 8 seed that would guarantee them home field for both a Regional & Super Regional.
                               
                            • sminings

                              sminings Well-Known Member

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                              Looking like the loss of Rocha and Waltons very poor recruiting over the past two years are the main reasons for this years poor performance.
                               

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