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

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

  1. Ocalaman

    Ocalaman Well-Known Member

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    It's definitely an off year for Florida softball. However, we're still ranked in the Top 10, #7 in RPI, have more wins over ranked opponents than any team in the nation and have not yet lost to an unranked team. The defense is #1 in the nation and we lead the SEC in on base percentage. Our weakness are hitting with runners on base and in scoring position and we have no proven back-up pitcher to Barnhill and she appears to be wearnig down some. We finish the regular season at home vs. 30-19, 7-14 Miss. St. and with a sweep would probably be a Top 8 national seed. However, Barnhill didn't have it tonight and only lasted 2 innings, giving up 5 runs, 2 home runs, and we're losing 6-1 in the 5th. I wouldn't say recruiting has been bad. We have experienced veterans who helped get us to the WCWS not playing up to their abilities this year. He does have 2 of the top 3 high school players in the nation coming in next year, both of them playing on the National Junior women's team. One is a pitcher, a leftty who already throws 70 mph, and a catcher who is supposedly the best young hitter in the country. This program is fine - just not quite up to the super high standards set by Tim Walton over the last 10 years.
     
  2. sminings

    sminings Well-Known Member

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    Walton has ridden Barnhill into the ground to try and overcome his very poor recruiting over the past two years. Damn shame for her and Lorenz. They deserved much better.
     
    • Ocalaman

      Ocalaman Well-Known Member

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      The college softball experts would disagree with you. FloSoftball ranked Florida as having the #3 class in the nation last year, behind UCLA & Tennessee. https://www.flosoftball.com/articles/6034862-top-2018-college-softball-recruiting-classes I couldn't find the rankings for the 2017 class, but Jordan Matthews, Danielle Romanello,, Hannah Adams & Natalie Lugo were all top tier recruits that everybody wanted. Matthews & Adams were very solid contributors on last year's SEC championship team that finished 4th in the WCWS. There is no doubt that Barnhill has been overworked, but many teams ride one pitcher the majority of the time. FSU rode Meaghan King to a national title last year. Stacey Nelson pitched more than Barnhill when she was a Florida and she has the lowest ERA in UF history. Barnhill simply has not developed an offspeed pitch and has not changed her approach much at all in 4 years. Losing her pitching coach to Oklahoma may have contributed, but the fact is that last year and this she's been giving up more home runs, waking more and not hitting her spots as consistently as in the past. Teams that have seen her for 4 years have adjusted to her rise ball and she hasn't adjusted her approach. The expert commentators on her game have talked about it for 2 years. This is, no doubt, the worst hitting team of the Tim Walton era and it's almost unexplainable because those very girls were hitting much better last year. They have slowly, but surely lost their confidence as a team. After being picked preseason as #3 in the nation and to win the SEC, this has been a disappointing year. But no team can go to the World Series every year and after 4 straight SEC titles, an off year (still ranked in the Top 10) is understandable. Knocking Tim Walton and his recruiting is ludicrous.
       
      • MJMGator

        MJMGator Slightly amused
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        We gotta blame somebody.
         
        • sminings

          sminings Well-Known Member

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          LOL. You are a joke. There are at most 3 decent players on this team and the rest of them are scrubs.

          Proof in the pudding is when you lose a series to MSU.
           
        • Ocalaman

          Ocalaman Well-Known Member

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          You obviously have no idea what you're talking about. There is no question that the "experts" rated last year's recruiting class #3 in the nation. You have given ZERO FACTS to back up your assertions. Even though Miss. St. is near the bottom of the SEC, they are an NCAA tournament team and went into this weekend ranked #30 in RPI. Losing to anybody in the SEC is nothing to be ashamed of, as last year all 13 teams made the NCAA tournament. Scrubs don't win the SEC title 4 years in a row and when you make the idiotic assertion that a bunch of scrubs and 3 "decent" players can be ranked in the Top 10 all season and win more games against ranked teams than anybody in the country, you become the joke.
           
          • sminings

            sminings Well-Known Member

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            You are making a fool of your self.

            Walton has wasted the best pitcher and hitter in UF history.

            How are these great recruiting classes performing that you mention?

            Name one player Walton has recruited in the past two years that has excelled. I will answer that question for you and its ZERO.
             
          • MJMGator

            MJMGator Slightly amused
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            :ohboy:
             
            • Thick&ThinG8r

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              Our approach at the plate just hasn't worked this year. You can't let the game end with the bat on your shoulder, like we have the last two games, and many other times throughout the season. I'm not sure, but teams seem to have adjusted to what we are trying to do, and when we do get the walks and hit batters Walton centers his approach around we don't get the timely hit to take advantage of it.
              Our hitting has seemed to be on the decline since Kenny Gajewski left for Oklahoma state three years ago.
              Softball is different than most sports in that recruiting classes are set four years in advance and there's no doubt Walton has missed on some of these girls. For instance Lugo was the #1 pitcher in the nation as a high school freshman when he took her commitment and didn't grow an inch or progress one bit after she did.
              I do know the last time I counted Walton out, after the three girls were kicked off, and they went 0-2 in the regional, he came back to win two titles a few years later.
               
            • MidwestChomp

              MidwestChomp Fun was the goal and we hit the bullseye
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              I thought it was always Foley's fault :dunno:
               
              • Ocalaman

                Ocalaman Well-Known Member

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                All valid points. Unlike the moron who just throws out opinions without thought or reasoning behind it. I agree that our offensive approach hasn't worked this year. Several of our girls who played very well last year have underperformed this year, as only 2 players are hitting over .280. Even early in the year when we were beating Michigan, Arizona, Washington, Arizona St., etc. they weren't hitting, especially against good pitchers. And once we got in the SEC, where teams were more familiar with us, Barnhill wasn't as effective and hitters struggled even more. But I just can't ***** and moan about how terrible this team is when we're still 40-15, will host a Regional and have 2 of the top 3 rated players in the nation coming in next year. Tim Walton knows what he's going, has the track record to prove it and after 4 straight SEC titles and 9 WCWS appearances in the last 11 years, an off year by those standards and still finishing around the Top 10 is pretty damn good, IMO.
                 
                • itsgr82bag8r

                  itsgr82bag8r Political Forum Fire Starter
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                  :facepalm:
                   
                  • Gator87

                    Gator87 Senior Member
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                    The guy who really needs to be looked at in all this is Aric Thomas, his duties are listed as developing the outfielders and hitters. He’s been here the last two seasons and from what I’ve seen they have been our worst offensive performing teams in at least 10 years. We don’t swing aggressively and hit more pop ups and weak ground balls than I have ever seen. The outfield play hasn’t left much to be desired either I’ve seen them drop fly balls in the outfield, take wrong angles on balls that should be caught that fall in for hits.

                    While I’m ranting, what I’ve seen out of Bosch, the pitching coach, doesn’t impress me either. I’ve watched a lot of games this year and when a pitcher is struggling he rarely comes out of the dugout to talk to her, I’ve seen him come out about 5 times in the 30 or so games I’ve watched this year. Walton comes out more than he does, Rocha used to be out there all the time. He also keeps calling for a pitch that the pitcher is having trouble with that day, if the pitcher isn’t comfortable with a certain pitch stop calling for them to throw it.
                     
                    #33 Gator87, May 5, 2019
                    Last edited: May 5, 2019
                    • Ocalaman

                      Ocalaman Well-Known Member

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                      All very good points.
                       
                    • T REX

                      T REX Well-Known Member
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                      :catfight:

                      Wow. Softball fight. I love the passion.

                      GO GATORS!
                       
                      • g8tr72

                        g8tr72 Well-Known Member
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                        I have followed Gator softball closely for several years. The bats this year have been abysmal, and the stats reflect that. At one point this weekend, they were 1-24 with RISP. Ouch. Walton's been tweaking the batting order but nothing has sparked. The bottom part of the order is just weak.

                        I do think that Rocha is missed by this pitching staff. No slight on Bosch, he's just a different coach with different methods, but these girls loved Jennifer.

                        Good news - at least there not as bad as the Gator baseball team, who had ZERO fire or emotion against a heated rival with their season on the line.

                        EDIT: Just saw the season stats, KB has started 34 of 55 games and appeared in 7 more games. She has pitched 220 innings with Lugo second with 69. Yeah, we need some improvement to the rotation. Chronister has been a no-show.
                         
                        #36 g8tr72, May 6, 2019
                        Last edited: May 6, 2019
                        • Ocalaman

                          Ocalaman Well-Known Member

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                          Hightower has very good the last month or so, but Danni Farley came in with high expectation from a big time program in South Florida and has not been effective at all. I agree the change in pitching coach has had an impact. I also agree that the hitting has been horrendous, leading the SEC in strikeouts and just no confidence at the plate. Some of their highly rated recruits have just not panned out so far, or at least have played below their potential this year.
                           
                        • Ocalaman

                          Ocalaman Well-Known Member

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                          The info. about Barnhill's starts and appearances this year points out how great Stacey Nelson was in her time. In her sophomore year, 2007, she appeared in 58 games, threw 318 innings, had 37 complete games and a 34-14 record. In her 2008 junior , she appeared in 59 games, threw 362 innings, had 43 complete games with a 47-5 record. In her senior year of 2009, she had 50 appearances, threw 285 innings with 34 complete games and a 41-5 record. Talk about a workhorse!!! And it's fitting that the plaza in the new stadium is named in her honor. It would be nice for Barnhill to have had more support this year and it probably has hurt her results and worn her down some. But look what Stacey Nelson did 3 years in a row carrying the load. Of course Nelson had some big bats behind her and that makes all the difference.
                           
                        • PastyStoole

                          PastyStoole Man, there's no boundary line to art. ~Bird Parker
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                          I only watch this sport when a victory in it prompts a dogpile of squirming lesbianic glee. Wake me up during the final out of the college world series, I'll be rooting for the team with the tightest pants. Anything prior to that is brutally unwatchable by anyone other than their family.
                           
                        • GatorInGeorgia

                          GatorInGeorgia Senior Member
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                          WTF is up with the baseball team??? I just looked and saw we are 28-21, 9-15 in the conference and just got swept by Georgia? And we’re only 2 years removed from winning the NC? Are we even going to make the tournament? What the fcvk is Sully doing? They better pick it up or he needs to go!
                           

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