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Softball Practice 2018 Season

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On 1/28/2018 at 12:28 PM, OlderWhiskey said:

Crepea also reported that Taylon Snow has plantar fascitis, and is being held out of fielding for a few days.  That is troubling, as I believe that is a condition that can recur. She did have three hits yesterday.  

If I recall correctly, she had a hit and reached first and they immediately called someone to pinch run for her.  Did not realize that was Taylon at the time nor was I aware of the reason for the pinch runner. Makes sense now.

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Here's an article with some tidbits and philosophy in the circle.

 

Velocity pays off for Auburn's Ashlee Swindle

SOFTBALL NOTEBOOK: Ashlee Swindle, Chardonnay Harris shine in the circle. A black eye for Taylon Snow, hitters make adjustments, Game time changed and more

 

 AUBURN, Ala. – Sophomore right-hander Ashlee Swindle put her new-found velocity to good use Saturday in what was probably Auburn’s final scrimmage before Thursday’s season-opener against Marshall at Jane B. Moore Field.

Swindle, who was used mostly in mopup duty last season, is best known for her changeup. But when Mickey Dean arrived as head coach, he decreed that he wanted his pitchers getting stronger and throwing harder.

And that’s what Swindle has done. She has added 3 miles per hour to her fastball.

“Last year, I was barely hitting 63,” Swindle said. “This year I’m hitting 65, 66 on a good day.”

Swindle, whose changeup remains as effective as ever, gave up one hit over four innings Saturday.

“I feel like I did well,” Swindle said. “I trusted my defense and really pitched the ball well. I think I’ve had better outings, but I feel good enough to get into a game.”

Freshman left-hander Chardonnay Harris showed she’s ready to pitch again. Recovering from an elbow issue, she pitched to batters for the first time in the preseason. She also gave up one hit in four innings.

“I set my standards pretty high, so I have a lot to improve on,” Harris said. “Pitching-wise, with the outcome I feel like I did pretty well.  But I know my capabilities and know I could have done a lot better. My velocity was low. I think I gave up only one hit and had two strikeouts, so it wasn’t bad.  There is definitely more that I can do.”

Freshman Kara Bilodeau was the only pitcher used. She had difficult day.

“I got to see what I needed to see,” Dean said. “Each is at a little bit different stage. They feel good about their best pitch. Some innings you’ll see where they struggled a little bit. We kind of worked on their secondary pitches and they struggled a little when we did that. That’s OK.”

There has been particular focus, Dean said, on throwing changeups.

“We have to have two pitches – whatever your best pitch is and a changeup,” Dean said. “I tell them if we have bases loaded and full count on the batter, we need to be able to throw a changeup.”

***

Freshman shortstop Taylon Snow, who did not return after being hit in the face on a bad-hop groundball Friday, did not participate in Saturday’s scrimmage. Dean said there was no reason for concern.

“She has a black eye,” Dean said. “She’s fine. I told her to wear it and wear it with pride. I told her the key right now for her is to make up a great story how she got that black eye.”

***

Dean liked what he saw from his hitters for the second consecutive day.

"Hitters are making adjustments," Dean said. "Are they going to be able to do that in a middle of a game, playing one game? Can we do that? Can we make those adjustments and not flounder through an entire game before we decide to make adjustments?

"That's the difference between an average hitter and a good hitter and a great hitter, is can you make the adjustments you need to make in-game, not over a six-month period."

***

Dean said and has said repeatedly that some positions might not be won or lost going into the season. But that, he said, doesn’t mean those games don’t matter or will be used for experimentation.

“I promise you this: Our best nine will always be out there (at the start),” Dean said. “During that preseason, what do you do? When you have the opportunity, you give kids a chance.”

***

Quick-hitters:

-- Game time for Thursday’s game has been moved back an hour from 6 p.m. to 5 p.m.

-- Senior Victoria Draper, a slapper who has not hit a home run in her career, hit four in extra batting practice after Saturday’s scrimmage, celebrating each one.

-- Freshman McKenna Dowell hit a home run over the left field fence on Saturday.

-- Senior Kaylee Carlson and junior Makayla Martin did not pitch Saturday after getting all the work in the circle Friday. Martin was in the hitting rotation but did not have a hit.

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On 1/27/2018 at 7:34 PM, GBAU83 said:

So was able to stop by practice today and they were doing some scrimmage work.  Each pitcher would get 3 outs, and bring in next pitcher, then some defensive swaps and so-on.  Not sure when they started but was going when I arrived.  Pitchers rotating were Carlson, Swindle and Bilodeau.  Maykala Martin did not pitch but did bat.  Through about the first six 3-out sessions, only saw 2 hits.  Then we starting hitting the ball, not great and not consistent but did put some runners on base and brought a few across the plate.  I know it was a practice and Coach working with them about plays and where to take the ball and pushing on some of the base running.

Hard to say on the line-up as it was a mix with some of the players moving around (at one time even had Rivera at 1st Base).  But from what I could see, this is what I believe is shaping up:
P - Carlson will be the main starter, can easily see Bilodeau getting some starts (she has some power in her pitches), still think Swindle will be more relief/change-of-speed role.  Did not see Harris (the lefty) or Martin pitch, so no comment on them.
C - Shea will be the main behind the plate; however, she does not have the arm to 2nd like Veach.  Tissier had some time behind the plate but did not see her make a throw to 2nd.
1st - Justus Perry: had a good bit of time there and looked comfortable; some good hard hits up the middle; thought Tannon Snow was to play 1st but don't recall seeing her there, may still be slow on the medical recovery
2nd - KK Crocker
SS - Taylon Snow, with Casey McCrackin as the ready back-up
3rd - Veach; she will also see some time behind the plate; had some play by McKenna Dowell at 3rd and no visible drop off in defense, so she will probably be at 3rd if/when Veach goes to catcher
LF - Morgan Podany - not sure with some others who may play but she was making solid contact with the bat 
CF - Draper
RF - Rivera

I did see Tannon Snow bat once or twice, don't recall seeing her in the field. Olszewski batted and may have had some time in outfield but nothing I noticed that would put her at a starting role.  Did not see/notice Schiele.  Fornis, Maresette, Morrow, Guiterez not anything noticeable but Fornis and Maresette both had some at bats.  Greenwood (I believe it was her) with arm in a sling.

And Emily Carosone was 1st base coach, Dean 3rd base coach, Ketelhut addressing batters and Annie Smith calling pitches.  Good to see some action, even if was us-on-us.  Got my season tickets this week and ready for the season to begin.


 

   

 

Thanks for the report - KK over McCrackin at 2nd seems weird.

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1 hour ago, wildling said:

Thanks for the report - KK over McCrackin at 2nd seems weird.

The competition at second enters its second year.  McCrackin hit a grand slam Friday off Martin, which should help her cause.  I favor your viewpoint, but I'm 300 miles away, and haven't seen a single practice.  CMD says the final decision can wait until the start of SEC play.  After that, I expect it to be one or the other the rest of the way. 

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On 2/5/2018 at 11:23 AM, OlderWhiskey said:

The competition at second enters its second year.  McCrackin hit a grand slam Friday off Martin, which should help her cause.  I favor your viewpoint, but I'm 300 miles away, and haven't seen a single practice.  CMD says the final decision can wait until the start of SEC play.  After that, I expect it to be one or the other the rest of the way. 

I think it will be more situational.  I believe McCrackin has more power but Crocker more versatility.  Crocker can slap and hit decent and hits left; McCrackin has more power and hits right.  So depends on who they face and what coach feels is needed.  If Snow, doesn't play at short, then you will have McCrackin at short and Crocker at 2nd.  My opinion anyway.

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