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2021 Softball Schedule & Season Discussion Thread


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55 minutes ago, tigersrock1980 said:

 

Hard to find a grove when the pitchers don't get innings.  SEC is a different dog.  CMD has said this is his deepest pitching staff he has ever coached but he appears to be riding or dying with just 2.  

CMD has also stated he told the team they are going to play every game as if it were their last which would imply he will put the players he deems most capable on the field.  I presume he uses prior game performance and practice observations to make those decisions.  Based on performance to date we may see an expanded role for Dismukes.  All of our pitchers have had some moments when they had good performances but some have been more consistent than others.  In the series this weekend I think you ride one of the pitchers who got you here and not pick some one just to get some innings and hope they are "on".  

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If we look back on 2017 under Myers, Kaylee and Makayla pitched all but 34.0 innings for the season. The team had a 1.74 ERA. In 2018 under Dean, Kaylee and Makayla pitched all but 79.2 innings for a

I love this team & their future potential but I don't think this is the year we go on a magic ride. Even when our pitching clicks hitting will be a question mark. Our hitters haven't seen pitching

Here's an interesting stat.  Auburn boasts the sixth toughest schedule in the country, according to the NCAA. The Tigers' opponents hold a combined .657 win percentage and 1,001 total wins.  We have a

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If we look back on 2017 under Myers, Kaylee and Makayla pitched all but 34.0 innings for the season. The team had a 1.74 ERA. In 2018 under Dean, Kaylee and Makayla pitched all but 79.2 innings for a 1.37 ERA. 

Deans best year at JMU was 2016 when he had Megan Good and Jailyn Ford who pitched all but 12 innings for a 1.15 ERA. Megan is a hard throwing righty, and Jailyn was a spinny lefty (Sound familiar?). 

If we look at Florida and Kelly Barnhill then we see her most effective (ERA, SO/inning, BB/inning, HRs given up) years were Sophomore and Junior years because she had a solid number two pitcher who complimented her hard throwing riseball - Gourley is a spinny lefty (Again, sound familiar?) and Ocasio is a drop ball pitcher.

There seems to be a sweet spot between 150.0 - 200.0 innings for a pitcher before wear and tear starts to set in on the pitcher’s arm. KK, Lexie, and Sam already have 32.2 innings between them, and I imagine KK’s role will expand with her recent performances. The jury is still out on the other two.

In terms of effectiveness, it is important to have different types of pitchers. Maddie is a hard throwing rise / screw / curve pitcher that might show a changeup, and Lowe is a spinny lefty with a rise / curve / changeup combo who will also throw a drop. These two combinations seem to compliment each other well if you look at the Good / Ford and Barnhill / Gourley stats. When you add a drop / curve pitcher like KK then you see a really hard trio to plan for. 

My two cents and analysis. 

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16 minutes ago, Jad0003 said:

Man, I certainly know how to kill a thread. This is like the fifth time this has happened. 

@Jad0003 You didn't kill the thread. This thread doesn't get posted in that much & your other post was only 6 hours ago.

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45 minutes ago, Jad0003 said:

Man, I certainly know how to kill a thread. This is like the fifth time this has happened. 

I don't think you killed the thread either. Dean wants to win, and I don't think relying on these 2 is going to wear them out. As of today, Lowe and Penta have both thrown exactly 41.2 innings. Compare that to Johnson from Troy who has already thrown 69.2 innings before conference play has started. 

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The Saturday double header with Charlotte has been canceled due to COVID-19 issues on the Charlotte end.  I believe CMD is attempting to get a replacement but I cannot imagine someone being able to fill the slot on such short notice.

Tweet per CMD

We have an opening for this weekends tournament. If interested please DM me or

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Our only hope is if someone else’s opponent has covid, causing them to look for games. They would also have to be willing to travel to Auburn. 
 

Maybe AU will still play 2 games vs Kennesaw State at a minimum. 

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17 minutes ago, all4AU said:

Our only hope is if someone else’s opponent has covid, causing them to look for games. They would also have to be willing to travel to Auburn. 
 

Maybe AU will still play 2 games vs Kennesaw State at a minimum. 

As far as I know it has no impact on the scheduled Kennesaw State games.  They are still listed for Friday and Sunday.

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13 hours ago, slot canyon said:

As far as I know it has no impact on the scheduled Kennesaw State games.  They are still listed for Friday and Sunday.

Correct, but Kennesaw was driving down Friday and Sunday for double headers both days (with Charlotte and AU). Don't know if they would want to drive down twice for a single game both days so look for modifications if there isn't a replacement team. 

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2 hours ago, slot canyon said:

Wow! Check out this update on the schedule:

https://auburntigers.com/news/2021/3/18/softball-adjusts-war-eagle-battle-schedule-no-13-florida-state-added-to-tourney-field.aspx

No game on Friday but.......

Now double headers on Saturday and Sunday vs Kennesaw State and #13 Florida State .

That's a big step up in competition.  The open challenge was accepted lol.  How did FSU have a spot available? 

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They won 2 of 3 from Arizona, split two with Florida and two with Missouri, but lost 2 of 3 to Virginia Tech.  One of their pitchers is Caylan Arnold, who transferred there from Tennessee.  They still have Sydney Sherrill, Anna Shelnut, and Elizabeth Mason.  Kara Bilodeau transferred somewhere last year, I think.

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Glad we were finally able to get a win in SEC play. We played Missouri close in the first two games, but we could not get a timely hit. Unfortunately for Auburn, Missouri seemed to figure out their pitching staff / rotation the weekend before against Georgia with Weber, Nichols, and Schumacher. Auburn did not see Missouri’s other pitchers who are struggling.

From a pitching perspective, Lowe is a star. She allowed 1 ER over 14.1 innings to a very powerful Missouri lineup. The one bright spot for me pitching-wise in game 2 was Sam looking pretty sharp - 2.2 IP, 3 SO, 2 BB, 1 H, 0 ER. She definitely earned more innings but will need to keep her walk numbers down. Dismukes seems more comfortable in a relief role, and her drop ball is a good compliment to the rest of the staff. I am still uncertain on Lexie’s consistency and role moving forward. If Penta can return from soreness this weekend and Sam can continue the momentum of her performance against Missouri then we have 4 very good options heading into the rest of SEC play.

I liked Dean’s changes hitting-wise on Saturday, but we are still trying to figure out the best lineup, especially at CF, 3rd, and DP. If Perry and Rivera can provide run and some power production like they did this weekend, I’d love to see Dean try this:

1. Cox, 2B

2. King, LF

3. Dowell, SS

4. Perry, 1B / Rivera, RF

5. Perry, 1B / Rivera, RF

6. Godwin, C

7. Packer / Schmidt, CF 

8. Koepke / Bryant / Garcia, 3B

9. Horton, DP

From my perspective we need to see power earlier in the lineup. Horton moving to 9th will still allow Cox and King RBI opportunities without relying on them to be high run producers. Horton can also play CF if Packer or Schmidt struggle, which would also allow another opportunity to get the hottest hitter into the lineup at DP.
 

Looking ahead, Arkansas also has a lot of power. It reminds me of Alabama’s lineup we faced a few weeks back with speed at the top and power in the middle. We can’t allow speed on the bases for the big boppers. Arkansas is not a great fielding team, so we might be successful if we can put the ball in play. They do have a good pitching staff though. They rely heavily on their ace, Mary Haff. She already has 117 innings so far this season due to Storms injury. We will probably see Haff on Thursday, Storms on Friday, and either Bloom or Haff on Saturday depending on the results of the first two games.

As always, my two cents. I am by no means an expert. 

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7 hours ago, Jad0003 said:

Arkansas also has a lot of power.

This is an understatement. Their big hitter had 15 HRs by herself leading into last weekend. I think they hit for average as well. Like you said, base runners will kill us especially walks. 

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Arkansas has swept all 3 opponents so far this season - leading the league at 9-0.  Don't know their schedule, whether they play Alabama or Florida, but they're in a good spot with 'bama having two losses to Kentucky.

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1 hour ago, AU1947 said:

They have swept South Carolina, Miss State, and Ole Miss. While beating #18 Baylor, and Texas Tech and Northwestern 2x each. They are solid

They beat Northwestern State, not Northwestern. They haven’t played any really good teams outside Oklahoma State and Baylor. Their SEC schedule has not been the hardest either, but it is impressive they have swept all of their series so far. They have a chance to win the SEC. Like AU1947 said, they are solid.

Looking back, the loss to SC in game 2 was rough, and I imagine Dean would like to go back and start Lowe over Yarbrough. 

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1 hour ago, Jad0003 said:

They beat Northwestern State, not Northwestern. They haven’t played any really good teams outside Oklahoma State and Baylor. Their SEC schedule has not been the hardest either, but it is impressive they have swept all of their series so far. They have a chance to win the SEC. Like AU1947 said, they are solid.

Looking back, the loss to SC in game 2 was rough, and I imagine Dean would like to go back and start Lowe over Yarbrough. 

In reference to the earlier South Carolina game I believe that Yarbrough was in an ankle brace coming of an injury and there was a lot of blooper hits from what I remember watching the live feed. None the less this weekend will be very interesting to watch how it plays out.

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And I believe we could have won the Friday game against Mizzou if he would have left Lowe in the game. He cut her off at 100 pitches and just a year ago he let Yarbrough go 10 innings against #7 Florida. If I recall someone said she threw close to 200 pitches not including warm ups.... JMO

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This series will come down to Auburn’s offense, IMO. Arkansas was shut down by Liberty’s lefty for 10 innings. Yes, the Hogs are 9-0 in the league, but a winless State team played them very tough for all 3 games in Fayetteville last weekend. 

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