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slot canyon

2019 Judi Garmin Classic Fullerton, California

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Tournament hosted by Cal State Fullerton on two fields.  The “primary field” is Anderson Family Field and the secondary field is PGF.  From older satellite images when PGF was not totally complete they are adjacent. There are 14 teams;   with Auburn, Florida and Tennessee being the SEC participants.  Actually, Florida opens on Wednesday night with UCLA.  It appears the only TV is a live streaming subscription offering (can do monthly I believe) through Flosoftball.  They actually have a pretty good article on their site “What to Watch for at the Judi Garmin Classic” which includes comments about Auburn. 

Auburn begins Thursday at 5 PM vs Loyola Marymount (6-5) with one of their losses being to UCLA by score 1-3.  Three batters with average above .300.  Pitchers with ERA 1.75, 1.81 and 2.69.  Which I believe is why most of their games have been low scoring affairs. 

Our second game is against 9 and 6 UTSA.  They have a win ( 2-1) over Missouri State who beat us in Gulf Shores.  They have a game against Tennessee earlier in the day.  Again, strong pitching with ERA (in order of number innings pitched high to low) 1.89, 0.94 and 3.79.  As you might expect most games decided by 1-4 runs.  In 15 games they have scored 57 total runs while opponents have scored 45 total.  Three hitters with BA over .300.  One interesting aspect of their stats is they are 9-6 against RHP with 0-0 against LHP.  That does not mean they have not faced a LHP at some point in some games but it may be an area to exploit.

Action will really ramp up Friday with AU playing Oregon and Washington with a finish on Saturday against UCLA. 

This level of competition over 3 days should really stress everyone’s pitching staff. 

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It will be interesting to see how Dean manages the pitchers in this tournament.  UCLA and UW are top 5 teams.  Oregon is 11-4, and as we all know, lost a lot of players during the offseason.  I think they have two pitchers.  Oregon's losses were to James Madison (9-1), Kentucky (12-3), Bethune-Cookman (5-3) and Texas Tech (5-0).  They have wins over LSU and Texas A&M.  We are their only opponent on Friday.

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2 hours ago, OlderWhiskey said:

It will be interesting to see how Dean manages the pitchers in this tournament.  UCLA and UW are top 5 teams.  Oregon is 11-4, and as we all know, lost a lot of players during the offseason.  I think they have two pitchers.  Oregon's losses were to James Madison (9-1), Kentucky (12-3), Bethune-Cookman (5-3) and Texas Tech (5-0).  They have wins over LSU and Texas A&M.  We are their only opponent on Friday.

I just don't have a good grasp on how Coach Dean is managing the team in general. I haven't been able to watch any games yet.

 

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41 minutes ago, Tigerbelle said:

I just don't have a good grasp on how Coach Dean is managing the team in general. I haven't been able to watch any games yet.

 

I have been most impressed with plate discipline from the hitters so far, especially Rivera. Am looking forward to seeing if that continues against pitchers from top tier teams.

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The last four games were all complete games by four different pitchers.  That has to be a good thing.  Hitting seems improved top to bottom, which has really surprised me.  Base stealing has been very successful, I'd say.  The most pleasant developments to me are 1) Handley' s demonstrating she can go at least five innings and 2)  Godwyn's hitting.  She's making a bid for the DP job.

None of the games this weekend are televised, by the way, unless you want to pay Flosoftball.

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8 hours ago, OlderWhiskey said:

It will be interesting to see how Dean manages the pitchers in this tournament.  UCLA and UW are top 5 teams.  Oregon is 11-4, and as we all know, lost a lot of players during the offseason.  I think they have two pitchers.  Oregon's losses were to James Madison (9-1), Kentucky (12-3), Bethune-Cookman (5-3) and Texas Tech (5-0).  They have wins over LSU and Texas A&M.  We are their only opponent on Friday.

Yes, we are Oregon´s only opponent on Friday, and I have no doubt we will face their top pitcher, Jordan Dail. She is a lefty and has already thrown 69 innings in only 3 weeks. There is a big drop off when they go to their #2, Maddie MacGrandle. Both have had control issues (especially MacGrandle) so we need to be patient. 

How we use our 4 pitchers for these 5 games is interesting.

1. Will Coach Dean give Makayla a start on Thursday when we play Loyola Marymount/UTSA, or will he attempt to save her for Friday/Saturday?

2. When will Makayla start on Friday/Saturday? 

 

With UW and UCLA being top 5 opponents, they will be difficult. I would really love to beat Oregon. 

Edited by all4AU

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4 hours ago, all4AU said:

 

 

With UW and UCLA being top 5 opponents, they will be difficult. I would really love to beat Oregon. 

I'm reading a desire on your part to throw MM at Oregon, to give us the best chance of winning one of those three.  I'm seeing it a bit differently.  First, I think we can beat Oregon without Makayla.  UCLA is, IMO, the best team we're going to play; plus, I think they have better offense than UW.  I want Makayla against UCLA for sure. To  do otherwise says to the team, I don't think we can beat UCLA.  Probably not - they beat Oklahoma 7-1 - but let's give it our best shot.  Next thing to know is Washington plays Florida a few hours after us.  Whoever Tarr thinks is pitching best is going to get the ball against the Gators.  Now, I don't know that there's much to choose from between Alvelo and Plain; they're both great.  Bottom line:  Use Martin only if necessary the first three games.  Pitch her one time through the lineup against UW , then switch to Harris.

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It's an interesting decision. MM has struggled a bit this year and last when pitching 2 days in a row or pitching twice in a day ("low rest"). CMD rode her extremely hard early last year, giving her 4 appearances in 3 days starting Feb 16, and then 5 appearances in 4 days starting Feb 21 (2 days rest between those streaks). Overall she gave up 13 ERs in 45 innings in her low rest appearances, for a 2.02 ERA. That doesn't sound too bad, until you find out she gave up only 13 ERs in the rest of her innings (89), for a 1.02 ERA. Plus those low rest appearances were exclusively against non-SEC teams, and no real big names (Wisconsin, Long Beach St., Oregon St. were the biggest of the 12). This year, 4/5 of her ERs were in low rest appearances, a 2.21 ERA vs a 0.23ERA in her non-LR appearances.

However, she was fantastic in LRAs in 2017, with a 0.70ERA in 50.2 innings. 2016 was mixed, a 0.91ERA in 23 innings but a 3.35 RA/7. She faced a lot of tough competition in her 2016+2017 LRAs as well. So overall, she's actually been better in LRAs.

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Knowing this, I'd pitch her all 3 days. Start her against LMU, with Handley to relieve if we get a solid lead. UTSA looks like a pretty patient team, so if you're going to give Swindle a start that would be the game imo, otherwise Harris.

Oregon is very patient as well, with the most walks drawn of the teams we play (73, 4.87 per game), strike-throwing MM should be a good matchup. They shouldn't be underestimated. I think Washington is pretty lefty heavy so going with Harris against them makes sense. I bet we'll get Gabbie Plain, I'd probably rather get Alvelo though tbh, neither will be fun. Handley can relieve if we get down, give her some experience against an elite team. Their pitching is so good that a comeback is improbable, definitely don't waste MM.

UCLA - I think we're going to get Garcia; their #2a and #2b have both been lights out this year as well though, Holly Azevedo, a member of last year's Pac-12 Conference All-Freshman Team and Megan Faraimo, a freshman and the #1 recruit in the country per Flosoftball. Start MM, and pray.

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Lots of good ideas above.  I still feel we will give UTSA a good dose of a LHP.  I am sure Coach has a plan but the monkey wrench is always what if plan A goes south.....for some reason your usually reliable starter has an off day.  That can be an issue for any team.  Like Wildling above, I have wondered about using Makayla multiple days and hope the supporting role players can be effective.  That assumes Makayla is effective.  She has the most experience on the big stage.  Guess the team will leave today?

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38 minutes ago, slot canyon said:

Lots of good ideas above.  I still feel we will give UTSA a good dose of a LHP.  I am sure Coach has a plan but the monkey wrench is always what if plan A goes south.....for some reason your usually reliable starter has an off day.  That can be an issue for any team.  Like Wildling above, I have wondered about using Makayla multiple days and hope the supporting role players can be effective.  That assumes Makayla is effective.  She has the most experience on the big stage.  Guess the team will leave today?

I somehow missed that part of your OP (UTSA vs LHP). They have only 16 ABs vs LHPs this year, batting 0.125/0.263/.188 - much worse than their overall numbers. Same thing last year, they had a .186/.266/.344 triple slash vs LHPs, substantially worse than their overall numbers (they have about 2.7 freshman starters this year, so a fairly similar lineup). Their best hitter, senior Bailee Baldwin who had 19 HRs last year, is a lefty.

You are right, go with a lefty for sure. I'd say Harris because they do seem very willing to take walks and that's not ideal for Handley.

Edited by wildling
"vs LHP"

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22 hours ago, OlderWhiskey said:

I'm reading a desire on your part to throw MM at Oregon, to give us the best chance of winning one of those three.  I'm seeing it a bit differently.  First, I think we can beat Oregon without Makayla.  UCLA is, IMO, the best team we're going to play; plus, I think they have better offense than UW.  I want Makayla against UCLA for sure. To  do otherwise says to the team, I don't think we can beat UCLA.  Probably not - they beat Oklahoma 7-1 - but let's give it our best shot.  Next thing to know is Washington plays Florida a few hours after us.  Whoever Tarr thinks is pitching best is going to get the ball against the Gators.  Now, I don't know that there's much to choose from between Alvelo and Plain; they're both great.  Bottom line:  Use Martin only if necessary the first three games.  Pitch her one time through the lineup against UW , then switch to Harris.

You are somewhat reading my desire correctly. Makayla relies HEAVILY on her drop. It´s a great pitch, but I am actually somewhat worried about her going a full 7 innings giving strong teams more time to adjust. Maybe against Oregon we could start Lexie and go to Makayla??? Great discussion in this thread as Dean has several options. 

I´m not so sure I agree with Wildling. I don´t think ¨low rest¨ is the issue. Look at how much Oregon´s ace has been asked to throw. I think it´s variety. Makayla´s drop is devastating, but look at how UAB performed the 2nd game seeing Martin. Teams will adjust to her in SEC play throughout a weekend series, and I am concerned about her low repertoire of pitches. Troy just had a good game plan. They were patient, and the umpire squeezed her for most of the game.  

UW´s pitchers will be tough... Alvelo and Plain are excellent, and if one struggles, the other can come in. Coach Tarr is smart and will do what it takes to win the AU game before she worries about the Florida game. With co-aces, we don´t have to really even consider seeing their ¨#2¨ pitcher with them saving anything for Florida. Both are fantastic.

After reading your idea about starting Makayla and going to Harris, I actually like Makayla in a closing role better. If one of our other pitchers can get the game to the 4th or 5th inning either tied or with the lead, I love the chances of our senior closing it out. 

Edited by all4AU

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3 hours ago, all4AU said:

I´m not so sure I agree with Wildling. I don´t think ¨low rest¨ is the issue. Look at how much Oregon´s ace has been asked to throw. I think it´s variety. Makayla´s drop is devastating, but look at how UAB performed the 2nd game seeing Martin. Teams will adjust to her in SEC play throughout a weekend series, and I am concerned about her low repertoire of pitches. Troy just had a good game plan. They were patient, and the umpire squeezed her for most of the game. 

My low rest stuff was to counter OlderWhiskey's idea to save MM for the last two games, because we could win without her in the first three, not to disprove the fairly well studied "Times through the order" penalty.

There is the question of what's bigger, that penalty or the dropoff from Makayla to pitcher #2. Harris has been near unhittable against weak competition, and very pedestrian against moderate to tough competition (small samples of course).

Edited by wildling
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Not AU related but a pertains to the Judi Garmin Classic, I noticed Florida (18-0) is playing UCLA twice out in Fullerton. One game is tonight and is not a part of the Classic. Then on Thursday they play New Mexico (5-9) and Oregon. Friday will be a big day with a second game with UCLA and a game with Washington. They end up Sat. with a game against Cal. State Univ. Northridge or CSUN (4-9). Of the SEC teams playing (Fla, AU & Tenn) it appears that Tennessee has the easiest schedule with games against UTSA, Fresno State, New Mexico, Michigan and Oregon.

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That begs the question, who sets the schedule up?  I'm sure UCLA and Florida arranged that non-tournament game between the two schools.  For the tournament, do the teams just agree to play in the tournament, then play the schedule they're handed?  Or do they have a say in whom they play?

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1 hour ago, OlderWhiskey said:

That begs the question, who sets the schedule up?  I'm sure UCLA and Florida arranged that non-tournament game between the two schools.  For the tournament, do the teams just agree to play in the tournament, then play the schedule they're handed?  Or do they have a say in whom they play?

14 schools....can't see how you can let them pick and choose....could draw 'em out of a hat I guess though looks like the SEC teams are not playing each other....so maybe setting it up where the conference teams from SEC and PAC can avoid playing opponents from their own conference is necessary. 

Edited by AU64

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I've asked the question of how it's arranged on a more national site - we'll see if I get an answer.  I know it's hosted by Cal State Fullerton, and they don't play anyone from their conference, either.

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Doing a quick check I believe Cal State Fullerton is in the Big West conference and the only other team from that conference in the tournament is CSUN.  There are 3 teams from Pac 12 and 3 from SEC.  the Mountain West also has 2 teams, Fresno State and New Mexico.  From what I can tell, 4 of this years competitors played last year; Michigan , Cal State Fullerton, Fresno State and Florida.  I would say the "big" teams last year were Florida, Louisiana-Lafayette, Michigan, Stanford and Baylor.  This years participants look somewhat more impressive (my opinion) mainly due to SEC and PAC 12 representatives.  Seems they do avoid conference matchups which is reasonable.  It will be interesting to see if Whiskey gets an answer.

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On 2/25/2019 at 7:24 PM, all4AU said:

Yes, we are Oregon´s only opponent on Friday, and I have no doubt we will face their top pitcher, Jordan Dail. She is a lefty and has already thrown 69 innings in only 3 weeks. There is a big drop off when they go to their #2, Maddie MacGrandle. Both have had control issues (especially MacGrandle) so we need to be patient. 

How we use our 4 pitchers for these 5 games is interesting.

1. Will Coach Dean give Makayla a start on Thursday when we play Loyola Marymount/UTSA, or will he attempt to save her for Friday/Saturday?

2. When will Makayla start on Friday/Saturday? 

 

With UW and UCLA being top 5 opponents, they will be difficult. I would really love to beat Oregon. 

I would go with MM in game 1 against Loyola just to get her in game mode.  If it goes as expected, pull her after 4 or 5 innings.  Go with one of the lefties against UTSA.  Only use MM on Friday to close if needed.  Save her for UCLA on Saturday.  

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We should get a good feel for this team after this weekend.  I'm curious to see if our plate discipline and hitting will hold up against some top level pitching.  

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46 minutes ago, around4ever said:

I would go with MM in game 1 against Loyola just to get her in game mode.  If it goes as expected, pull her after 4 or 5 innings.  Go with one of the lefties against UTSA.  Only use MM on Friday to close if needed.  Save her for UCLA on Saturday.  

I really like that strategy. I am definitely for bringing in anyone necessary to close a game if that helps get a win, regardless of which game that is. We can worry about the next games later. W´s are precious, and we should do whatever it takes to get them. 

 

Edit: And with a staff of four regularly used pitchers, we have options. If someone has to come in to finish a game that even goes to extra innings, we should have fresh arms for the next game. 

Edited by all4AU

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3 hours ago, OlderWhiskey said:

I've asked the question of how it's arranged on a more national site - we'll see if I get an answer.  I know it's hosted by Cal State Fullerton, and they don't play anyone from their conference, either.

It is my understanding that teams sign up, and the host does all the scheduling. I don´t know if there is any promise of, ¨we promise at least 2 games against Power 5 opponents¨ etc. The Garman has a strong reputation of a solid field so I would guess for this one, Mickey just signed up knowing it would be tough.

 

The Mary Nutter is widely regarded as the best preseason tournament. I felt like we got an ¨easy¨ draw last year with no ranked teams. Of the 5 games, our Power 5 games were against Notre Dame, Wisconsin, and Oregon State. We dodged the UCLA´s, Oklahoma´s, and Arizona´s of the world. In the end, this was supposed to be the biggest part of our preseason schedule, and I think it really hurt our strength of schedule because we had a light draw and only went 3-2 in that tournament last year. 

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Laid out roughly $30 for 1 month  of Flo softball so I could watch the AU games this weekend and avoid the frustration I frequently have with the radio broadcast.  As a "warm up" I have been watching the FLA vs UCLA game.  Overall pleased with the picture quality, adequate narration and minimal on screen score, inning, strike count.  Does not seem to have ability to do replay but camera work has been fine.  So far in bottom of 3rd (UCLA is home team) the bruins ahead 4-0.  Barnhill started for Gators and they hit her well with 2 balls going off the center field wall.  Barnhill was a bit shaken covering home and tagging a runner from home on a passed ball.  Apparently got hit around the mouth area.  She was replaced by freshman RHP Farley after 2 innings.  UCLA started Azevedo and so far has kept Gators off balance to this point.  Looking forward to watching the Tigers tomorrow.  Thought I would mention in case anyone else considering.

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Checked in on LiveStats and UCLA now leading 7-0.  Ace pitcher Rachel Garcia is playing first tonight and has 5 RBI on a single and a 3-run homer.  Going to bot 5.

Edit:  Florida finally got a run in top 6, final was 7-1.  Garcia was 4 for 4 for the Bruins.  Florida had 8 hits, UCLA 12.

Edited by OlderWhiskey

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9 hours ago, OlderWhiskey said:

Checked in on LiveStats and UCLA now leading 7-0.  Ace pitcher Rachel Garcia is playing first tonight and has 5 RBI on a single and a 3-run homer.  Going to bot 5.

Edit:  Florida finally got a run in top 6, final was 7-1.  Garcia was 4 for 4 for the Bruins.  Florida had 8 hits, UCLA 12.

As noted above, now the Gators have to turn right around and play the first two games of the day with New Mexico and Oregon at 9:30 PT and 12 PT.  UCLA roughed up Barnhill in a hurry.  I don't know when they arrived in Fullerton but just the thought of making a flight to the west coast gives me jet lag.  Additionally UCLA has no games today while Florida plays the two early games then they meet again on Friday.  Seems very slanted in favor to of UCLA.  They are a great team and really don't need any advantage.  

Edited by slot canyon
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