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slot canyon

Softball Infield Positions to Fill

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I think coach will toy with Cooper in the 2 or 3 spot.  Got to keep her up top, because you want her getting the AB's. The natural fit is the 3 hole being she is the best hitter.  She is not the typical type of 2 hole hitter that is a setup/move person and speed. Even though she is not fast, she runs the bases really good and gets great reads (and anticipation), so the "speed" is not an issue.  Other items that may impact it is who leads off, who would be best fit for 2 hole, and who can protect her.  Wallace has stayed in 4 spot most her time at AU (once she moved up to it). Even though she may not fit the ideal 4 hole type of hitter, she has had success and coach likes her there.  If Fagan and Tannon are hitting, could just shift everyone up (pushing Cooper to 2).  Being they start against top 20 competition, may not be much time during that weekend to "experiment" as much as coach is used to at the beginning of the opening week of the season.  Another spot to fill is leadoff.  The general thought would be to move Draper up to there, if she is ready and healthy. If not her, Crocker or Maresette are the only real natural leadoffs left on the roster, but they have to be able to crack the lineup first to be an option.

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40 minutes ago, ellitor said:

They can't if Tannon hits up to her ability.

That is contingent on where Snow hits in the lineup. We don't know the answer to that yet.

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I don't think Cooper would have ever batted 2nd had Fagan been in the lineup all last season. The only reason to bat Cooper 2nd is make them pitch to her. This season, on paper at least, we will have enough sticks in the lineup to have good hitters in the 4 and 5 spots so Cooper can return to batting 3rd.

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My thoughts:

1 Draper (CF)

2 Cooper (3B)

3 Snow (1B )

4 Wallace (C)

5 Fagan (SS)

6 Jordan (LF)

7 Shea (DH)

8 Gibson(RF)

9 McCracken/Crocker (2B)

I think a speed player will play the 9 hole to try to flip the lineup, like last year.  I realized how many options we have when trying to set the lineup.  My worry is that we still end up with the potential of the final 3rd being weak in producing like last year. Perry could be used as DH to maybe break that up some and add pop to the bottom.  3,4,5 could really switch places among them in the lineup depending on who has the bigger bat throughout the season.  I really would like to see Fagan get more at bats. Maybe even leadoff and push Draper back to 9.

Edited by AUBwins

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7 hours ago, WarTiger said:

That is contingent on where Snow hits in the lineup. We don't know the answer to that yet.

And I'm predicting that if she hits to her ability she will be right behind Kasey in the order. She has the 2nd most hitting potential on the team only behind Kasey.

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11 hours ago, Mikey said:

we will have enough sticks in the lineup to have good hitters in the 4 and 5 spots so Cooper can return to batting 3rd.

While I'm optimistic we have good hitters, none are more proven than the 3 we lost (Howard, Carasone, Rhodes).  It would be surprising to see anyone this year put up the numbers and productivity that Howard & Carasone did last year.  Snow has the potential to be a more than adequate replacement for Rhodes.  Yes, having a healthy and hungry Fagan back in the lineup is a huge plus and helps.  Coach has also hinted that he may need a combination of the freshmen/sophomores to collectively try to replace or replenish those numbers from last year.  Not sure we'll see an one for one replacement (except maybe Snow).  Also, you hope those that hit at the bottom of the lineup improve.  All that mixed together could give us "good hitters", but they have work to do to replace those All-Americans.

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11 hours ago, AUBwins said:

My thoughts:

1 Draper (CF)

2 Cooper (3B)

3 Snow (1B )

4 Wallace (C)

5 Fagan (SS)

6 Jordan (LF)

7 Shea (DH)

8 Gibson(RF)

9 McCracken/Crocker (2B)

Very plausible lineup and thoughts.  Perry and Abbott should get chances in the DH.  Coach experimented with some odd lineup combinations and untraditional lineups while at Arizona State, like leading off his 4 hole hitter (or 3 hole) to get them more AB's.  It was for short periods and he drifted back to more traditional lineup roles, but he is not afraid to mix it up.  If Gipson's recovery takes longer than hoped, Greenwood could get some action in RF.  Now that Jordan is splitting time in the outfield and infield in practices (worked exclusively in infield during fall), she could slide over to RF with Podany and/or Fornis getting looks in LF.  Too early know, but it will start shaking out by the Mexico trip. 

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6 hours ago, ellitor said:

And I'm predicting that if she hits to her ability she will be right behind Kasey in the order. She has the 2nd most hitting potential on the team only behind Kasey.

I think Fagan or Snow is probably the 2nd best hitters. Snow will have the grace period of the SEC teams not having good scouting reports yet.  Yes, she played at Washington, but most pitching coaches rely on their own charts.  In the fall (yes, just fall pitching), you could already see some adjustments and tweaks Fagan had made to her swing that really allowed her a different approach at the plate.  Wallace may not have the numbers on paper as those two, but she has been clutch in her first 2 years here. 

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15 hours ago, ellitor said:

They can't if Tannon hits up to her ability.

Hope that's the case but seems lots of teams were willing to pitch to Carosone instead of KC especially with an inconsistent hitter behind EC....which often meant that EC did not get that many good pitches either.  If were an opposing coach I would  not give KC or EC a decent pitch to hit and take my chances with the rest of the line-up...which was what many of them did.    

As we noted last year, teams like Oklahoma and a few others did not have a single weak spot in their batting order and there was not much chance to pitch around anyone putting tremendous pressure on the opposing pitchers.  

Hoping that we  have more than just 5 or 6 solid hitters in the line-up this year.    Hate to allow the opposing pitchers to take a couple innings a game off when facing some .240 hitters

 

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On 1/8/2017 at 10:21 PM, AUBwins said:

Perry could be used as DH to maybe break that up some and add pop to the bottom.  

Another player that looked really good in practice and games in the fall was Veach.  She swung the bat well and pretty consistent.  She will be pushing for AB's too.

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22 minutes ago, 4WDE said:

Another player that looked really good in practice and games in the fall was Veach.  She swung the bat well and pretty consistent.  She will be pushing for AB's too.

I appreciate the work the girls put into Fall camp but I can't put any stock in what they did versus juco pitching. We had a number of girls last year who hit very well through the cupcake part of our schedule the first 20 games or so but they came down to Earth when SEC play started.

With that said I hope Veach's bat stays well into the season.

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On ‎1‎/‎8‎/‎2017 at 7:03 PM, ellitor said:

They can't if Tannon hits up to her ability.

I hope Tannon continues to slam the ball like she did in the fall.  I found one of her home run balls in my back yard when we drove back to B'ham after one of the fall games. I know pitchers are very selective when Cooper is at bat but she appears to be so good at selecting pitches.  Her base on balls last year was 79 which more than doubles second place (Wallace with 32) while hitting 422. 

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On 1/7/2017 at 0:11 AM, 4WDE said:

tgr4lfe...were you able to find out how to get tickets to either of the games you mentioned in TN?  Thx!

I'm assuming tickets for the UT game will had to be purchased from UT Athletics.  That is what we had to do last year when AU played in Knoxville.  I'm going to check with MTSU on tickets for that game.  I'll let you know what I find out. 

Edited by tgr4lfe

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2 hours ago, tgr4lfe said:

I'm assuming tickets for the UT game will had to be purchased from UT Athletics.  That is what we had to do last year when AU played in Knoxville.  I'm going to check with MTSU on tickets for that game.  I'll let you know what I find out. 

Since it is not on the UT campus the tickets may not be through UT ticket office. Don't believe it counts as a conference game. I have made an inquiry to the the AU softball dept. regarding both games and will update when I hear back.  We had such a horrible series with the Vols last year.  Their fans were very intimidating and our gals seemed to get rattled.  Not taking anything away from them.  They are a very good team with a lot of good players.

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48 minutes ago, slot canyon said:

Since it is not on the UT campus the tickets may not be through UT ticket office. Don't believe it counts as a conference game. I have made an inquiry to the the AU softball dept. regarding both games and will update when I hear back.  We had such a horrible series with the Vols last year.  Their fans were very intimidating and our gals seemed to get rattled.  Not taking anything away from them.  They are a very good team with a lot of good players.

Yea, we were in Knoxville for the Sunday game, with all the storms.  It was not a good weekend.  The UT ticket office doesn't have any info on it yet, but said it was hosted by the Columbia State Community College, so I'll check with them about it.  The guy said that each school might get an allotment, but he wasn't sure as of yet.  

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22 hours ago, ellitor said:

I can't put any stock in what they did versus juco pitching. We had a number of girls last year who hit very well through the cupcake part of our schedule the first 20 games or so but they came down to Earth when SEC play started.

I agree.  There is fall pitching, early season pitching (granted a little diff this year w/ who they start with), then SEC and forward pitching.  Each progressively better.  BUT, you can put stock in an overall improvement from last year to fall.  Her approach, selection, and mechanics are definitely better from last year, based on what we saw in fall practices/games.  I do like that.  Rubber will hit the road pretty soon :)

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1 hour ago, 4WDE said:

I agree.  There is fall pitching, early season pitching (granted a little diff this year w/ who they start with), then SEC and forward pitching.  Each progressively better.  BUT, you can put stock in an overall improvement from last year to fall.  Her approach, selection, and mechanics are definitely better from last year, based on what we saw in fall practices/games.  I do like that.  Rubber will hit the road pretty soon :)

I'm not skilled enough of a softball fan to be able to see that. Glad you are here

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2 hours ago, 4WDE said:

I agree.  There is fall pitching, early season pitching (granted a little diff this year w/ who they start with), then SEC and forward pitching.  Each progressively better.  BUT, you can put stock in an overall improvement from last year to fall.  Her approach, selection, and mechanics are definitely better from last year, based on what we saw in fall practices/games.  I do like that.  Rubber will hit the road pretty soon :)

40 minutes ago, ellitor said:

I'm not skilled enough of a softball fan to be able to see that. Glad you are here

I agree.  @4WDE has provided some good insight in this forum.  What is your relationship to the team? Your avatar seems all AU Softball.  Just curious.   

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8 hours ago, ellitor said:

I'm not skilled enough of a softball fan to be able to see that. Glad you are here

Thx! Glad to chime in when I can. Ready for the softball season to start :)

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7 hours ago, AUBwins said:

What is your relationship to the team? Your avatar seems all AU Softball.  Just curious.   

Just a big softball/baseball fan that also happens to be a big AU fan, so a good combination :)  Fortunate to have ventured around in the softball and baseball world enough and be friends with some of the players/coaches/admins/staffs/etc from where our paths have crossed along the way. I like to try to get around and see everyone at the various schools, organizations, and locations to stay on top of the game and too, because I really enjoy the game and those people.  Trying to accumulate more friends than enemies lol!  

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My wife and I drove down to the open practice yesterday.  As I may have mentioned before, they are fast paced and have many moving parts which require you to react quickly both on a mental and physical level.  The following observations are from a novice softball observer.  We were impressed how much so many of the freshman had changed physically; clearly looking more muscular in an athletic sense.  Also clearly had improved in performance which may be a results of being more familiar with the fast practice situational drills.   I continue to be impressed with KK Crocker.  She fielded well at 2nd and is impressive at the plate.  Good bunter and slapper and seems to have a real ability at hitting the ball to an open area.  She appeared to place one hit beautifully in a hole inside the right field line.  V. Draper made a nice over the shoulder catch in center (what's new) and Corey yelled out something to the effect "We've got a golden retriever out there".  Whitney covered a lot of ground and ran down a fly ball in right field (she played a tad a SS also).  Seems I recall Maresette making a nice grab in the outfield.  I feel that Snow is the one to beat out at 1st.  I thought Joyner looked good alternating with Fagan and Jordan at SS. Veach playing at both corner infield positions.  I know she plays catcher also.    Abbott hit 2 or 3 over the fence and Shea hit one out also.  Scott Woodard was pitching to the batters during this phase of the practice so no real evaluation of the pitchers yesterday.  After practice ended the coaches talked to the team.  Corey stated that after tomorrows squad game they would post a 20 member team roster so I expect some reality may set in for some of the gals.  The current roster does not include 2 of the freshman who participated in the fall.   If you enjoy softball and have an opportunity to attend one of the practices I would encourage you to do so.  Good seats, free and gain an appreciation for what one goes through to be an Auburn Softball team member.   

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Thanks for the practice summary, interesting to read. I'm curious about your comment that the current roster does not include two of the freshmen who participated in the fall. Does that mean the 20-member roster, or the full roster (26 as listed on the team homepage). I had thought that the full roster had 28 members the last time I looked, but all 8 of our NLI signees from Nov. 2015 are still listed. So who's missing? And does Coach plan to reduce the permanent roster to 20, or is this just the travel roster? We had 30 on the full roster last year.

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5 hours ago, slot canyon said:

My wife and I drove down to the open practice yesterday.  As I may have mentioned before, they are fast paced and have many moving parts which require you to react quickly both on a mental and physical level.  The following observations are from a novice softball observer.  We were impressed how much so many of the freshman had changed physically; clearly looking more muscular in an athletic sense.  Also clearly had improved in performance which may be a results of being more familiar with the fast practice situational drills.   I continue to be impressed with KK Crocker.  She fielded well at 2nd and is impressive at the plate.  Good bunter and slapper and seems to have a real ability at hitting the ball to an open area.  She appeared to place one hit beautifully in a hole inside the right field line.  V. Draper made a nice over the shoulder catch in center (what's new) and Corey yelled out something to the effect "We've got a golden retriever out there".  Whitney covered a lot of ground and ran down a fly ball in right field (she played a tad a SS also).  Seems I recall Maresette making a nice grab in the outfield.  I feel that Snow is the one to beat out at 1st.  I thought Joyner looked good alternating with Fagan and Jordan at SS. Veach playing at both corner infield positions.  I know she plays catcher also.    Abbott hit 2 or 3 over the fence and Shea hit one out also.  Scott Woodard was pitching to the batters during this phase of the practice so no real evaluation of the pitchers yesterday.  After practice ended the coaches talked to the team.  Corey stated that after tomorrows squad game they would post a 20 member team roster so I expect some reality may set in for some of the gals.  The current roster does not include 2 of the freshman who participated in the fall.   If you enjoy softball and have an opportunity to attend one of the practices I would encourage you to do so.  Good seats, free and gain an appreciation for what one goes through to be an Auburn Softball team member. 

Out of likes, but I appreciate the information that you provided.

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5 hours ago, slot canyon said:

My wife and I drove down to the open practice yesterday.  As I may have mentioned before, they are fast paced and have many moving parts which require you to react quickly both on a mental and physical level.  The following observations are from a novice softball observer.  We were impressed how much so many of the freshman had changed physically; clearly looking more muscular in an athletic sense.  Also clearly had improved in performance which may be a results of being more familiar with the fast practice situational drills.   I continue to be impressed with KK Crocker.  She fielded well at 2nd and is impressive at the plate.  Good bunter and slapper and seems to have a real ability at hitting the ball to an open area.  She appeared to place one hit beautifully in a hole inside the right field line.  V. Draper made a nice over the shoulder catch in center (what's new) and Corey yelled out something to the effect "We've got a golden retriever out there".  Whitney covered a lot of ground and ran down a fly ball in right field (she played a tad a SS also).  Seems I recall Maresette making a nice grab in the outfield.  I feel that Snow is the one to beat out at 1st.  I thought Joyner looked good alternating with Fagan and Jordan at SS. Veach playing at both corner infield positions.  I know she plays catcher also.    Abbott hit 2 or 3 over the fence and Shea hit one out also.  Scott Woodard was pitching to the batters during this phase of the practice so no real evaluation of the pitchers yesterday.  After practice ended the coaches talked to the team.  Corey stated that after tomorrows squad game they would post a 20 member team roster so I expect some reality may set in for some of the gals.  The current roster does not include 2 of the freshman who participated in the fall.   If you enjoy softball and have an opportunity to attend one of the practices I would encourage you to do so.  Good seats, free and gain an appreciation for what one goes through to be an Auburn Softball team member.   

Good information from the Plains.  Good to hear on Crocker and Draper.  How did Rivera look?  Was she working INF or OF?  Was Gipson or Greenwood practicing? Heard both had been limited or MIA some.  Was Perry just working at 1B?  How was she swinging? There was no mention of Wallace, so please tell me she was doing her normal good job out there :)   The warmer weather in the south seems like softball/baseball season.  Wish it would stay.

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17 hours ago, 4WDE said:

Good information from the Plains.  Good to hear on Crocker and Draper.  How did Rivera look?  Was she working INF or OF?  Was Gipson or Greenwood practicing? Heard both had been limited or MIA some.  Was Perry just working at 1B?  How was she swinging? There was no mention of Wallace, so please tell me she was doing her normal good job out there :)   The warmer weather in the south seems like softball/baseball season.  Wish it would stay.

Will try to respond based on what I can recall from yesterdays practice.  I would estimate that there may have been around 200 family/ fans there.  I continue to be impressed with Crocker.  She played 2nd only as compared to McCrackin who played some at 2nd and some at SS.  Snow played a couple of innings at 1st and one inning at 3rd.  I get the sense that Veach may be the back up to Cooper at 3rd.  Speaking of Veach, she hit a HR yesterday off of Carlson I believe.  The teams were divided as Whites vs Blues.  Perry got the start at first for the Blues. Snow for Whites.  Perry hit a nice line drive off of her high school team mate (Swindel). Carlee Wallace is her usual competitive self..."bad to the bone".  She and Shea picked up where they left off.  I do not recall that Guterrez caught any yesterday.  I do recall that she batted at least one time.  Unless they want to carry more than 3 catchers this year (considering that Veach can also play catcher) it may be difficult to break into that position this year.  In regards to Gipson...she is fine.  I do not believe Greenwood played yesterday.  I noticed that on Saturday that she seemed to have some sort of discomfort in her left lower back area. The only specific I recall regarding Rivera was that she had some sort of collision charging a fly ball in shallow center field.  On the play, the CF, RF and  SB raced to catch the high fly ball.  Victoria was calling for the ball but Rivera seemed to maybe trip over Vic's leg or something.....I did not have a good view.  Anyway, Rivera ended up a tad shaken, was attended by staff but appeared OK afterwards.  When the practice was over all the players came up to home plate and faced the stands and yelled out "Thanks for Coming".....Nice gesture. 

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