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2021 Softball Schedule & Season Discussion Thread


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Just now, blakem said:

That has been exactly what I’ve been thinking. She has to be disgusted with how this team plays.

Yes.  I went to two of the TN games and watched one on TV.  Coop was not happy- you could certainly "listen" between the lines, so to say.

 

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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

Not sure that one can make any conclusions, but I decided to look at James Madison SB since CMD departure.  It has been mentioned that they continue to do well.  When CMD left prior to the 2018 season

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please include at least a portion of the article and not just a link

AUBURN, Alabama – Auburn softball shortstop Makenna Dowell and pitcher Lexie Handley have entered the transfer portal and are likely to play elsewhere as graduate transfers next season.

With roster limits returning to the pre-COVID-19 size of 22 and scholarships returning to the former limit of 12, Auburn has signed nine incoming freshmen who will enroll this summer. Both Dowell and Handley are seniors who have already earned degrees and will finish out this season at Auburn. Should unexpected transfers open up more scholarship money, they could still decide to return. They have one more year of eligibility because of the NCAA’s decision when last season was canceled because of COVID-19.

“They are great kids,” Auburn coach Mickey Dean said. “I’m going to do everything I can to help them. I told McKenna in all my years of coaching she’s been one of the most fun kids I’ve ever coached.”

Handley was dominant in 4 2/3 innings of relief Saturday against Tennessee, giving up two hits and no runs.

“As long as she doesn’t just try to throw it by people, she can do that,” Dean said. “Maybe it’s going to click for her now.”

Dowell has been a four-year contributor and has been Auburn’s starting shortstop since the beginning of her junior season and has been a contributor since her freshman year.

This season, she has started every game and is batting .294, third best on the Auburn team.

Handley, in her third Auburn season after transferring from Akron, is 2-0 this season with a 2.53 earned run average.

Auburn plays its final regular-season SEC series starting Friday at LSU. The SEC Tournament is set for the following week in Tuscaloosa.

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I am glad to see they will be finishing the year at Auburn. We would definitely be in trouble at SS without Dowell. 

I am also glad to see nothing mentioned around the team and / or their relationship with Dean. It was interesting the article mentioned a possibility to return if others transfer. It seems Dean is trying to look to the future and honor his word to his recruits in the 2021 class. 

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I’m not worried about losing the older ones after this year. These freshman should be better than those leaving so I’m not concerned. The concern if when freshman start transferring.

 

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Glad the article came out quickly.  The rumors could have escalated swiftly. 

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22 hours ago, slyinsocal said:

I swear at this point, since the hitters can't hit, I'd have the entire lineup bunting just to change things up. Shock the system. Anything on earth to put the ball in play, on the ground, to force the defense to shift, to make a play. Do SOMETHING different. Nothing to lose.

We cannot bunt either.....

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11 minutes ago, AU1947 said:

We cannot bunt either.....

Yea that's bad if you want to play small ball lol

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Dean simply has to go. We are absolutely horrible at hitting and he makes the worst calls on stealing bases. We just lost again. Another lost weekend for Auburn softball. 

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, saminbama said:

It's so ironic that Dean's former team is going to a Super Regional while we couldn't win a game.

That just goes to show that he is a good recruiter ..... 

Edited by AU1947
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3 hours ago, Jad0003 said:

I’d be foolish to think no one will leave the program, but I am always hesitant to believe the posters on Auburn sites who claim to have inside information about a player’s future plans. Dean will probably have end of the year meetings this week and next week, so I imagine we will have an idea of who is transferring. We will also probably know which coaches will remain on staff. 

The transfer market landscape has definitely made it hard for coaches, but I am of the belief a student athlete should determine their future rather than a coach - within reason. I love Auburn and Auburn softball, but I will wish any of the players all the success with a new program if they choose to leave. 

Obviously keeping Penta, Lowe, Dismukes, and Yarbrough at Auburn should a priority for Dean. We only need marginal improvement at the plate if we keep our staff intact. 

I will say - I am curious about the validity of the post on mutual parting of ways on AU Undercover and Robocoach. 

I will go out on a limb and say Penta, Lowe and Dismukes for sure will be at Auburn next year. I would also give it a 75% chance that Yarbrough is at Auburn next year as well. I do think there will be a few transfers but a majority of the players will stay. My other prediction is Dean will be given another year but there will be a new hitting coach.

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57 minutes ago, LetsGo said:

I will go out on a limb and say Penta, Lowe and Dismukes for sure will be at Auburn next year. I would also give it a 75% chance that Yarbrough is at Auburn next year as well. I do think there will be a few transfers but a majority of the players will stay. My other prediction is Dean will be given another year but there will be a new hitting coach.

I think that is what most softball folks hope for, after such a disappointing year. Although some, want Dean gone, bc they think he doesn't manage a game worth a flip...ofc...as a student of the game...many of us have different opinions on in game strategy anyway. But there were some no brainers we would all agree were not good coaching calls. I just wonder how much of those were bc we simply couldn't execute and have good inning rallies and score a buncb of runs. 

 I will disagree that ALL the pitchers stay. We definitely need 2 of the 3 of Penta, Lowe, and KK to stay to have a solid pitching core. I don't think we got any pitching from the players he signed(could be mistaken). Ofc, there is  always the tranfer portal to get another good pitcher...

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13 minutes ago, steeleagle said:

I think that is what most softball folks hope for, after such a disappointing year. Although some, want Dean gone, bc they think he doesn't manage a game worth a flip...ofc...as a student of the game...many of us have different opinions on in game strategy anyway. But there were some no brainers we would all agree were not good coaching calls. I just wonder how much of those were bc we simply couldn't execute and have good inning rallies and score a buncb of runs. 

 I will disagree that ALL the pitchers stay. We definitely need 2 of the 3 of Penta, Lowe, and KK to stay to have a solid pitching core. I don't think we got any pitching from the players he signed(could be mistaken). Ofc, there is  always the tranfer portal to get another good pitcher...

Looks like Koepke has hung up her cleats. Not certain of the reason but she announced she will no longer be playing softball.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, LetsGo said:

Looks like Koepke has hung up her cleats. Not certain of the reason but she announced she will no longer be playing softball.

She was one of my favorites and one I felt could take a big step forward for us next year. Sad she is leaving the sport.

Auburn Twitter posted a photo before the game on Saturday with the girls wearing bracelets saying “Maddie Strong.” I wonder if they are related. 

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Didn’t she hurt herself recently towards the end of season?

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Not sure that one can make any conclusions, but I decided to look at James Madison SB since CMD departure.  It has been mentioned that they continue to do well.  When CMD left prior to the 2018 season, his two assistants moved up such that Loren LaPorte became HC and Herzig became Associate HC.  Libby Morris was hired as Assistant Coach and my understanding is that she helps with pitchers wile Herzig is primary hitting coach and coaches catchers and outfield.  LaPorte I believe coaches infield.  In 2018 they had a record of 43 - 14 and qualified for a regional. In 2019 they were 51 - 10 won their regional (defeating Michigan and DePaul) and lost to UCLA in super regional.  This years record was 37 - 1 winning their regional over Liberty and Tennessee and headed to super regional vs #8 Missouri.  I suspect CMD had some difficult circumstances to overcome on his arrival at AU but one might surmise his staff at James Madison, which has essentially remained intact,  was a big factor in his prior success since they have continued to thrive. We have had a lot of turnover with our assistant coaches. 

Something I think I have noticed when watching some of the other SEC teams is a different level of respect and admiration  with their HC.  Maybe my imagination.   

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, slot canyon said:

Not sure that one can make any conclusions, but I decided to look at James Madison SB since CMD departure.  It has been mentioned that they continue to do well.  When CMD left prior to the 2018 season, his two assistants moved up such that Loren LaPorte became HC and Herzig became Associate HC.  Libby Morris was hired as Assistant Coach and my understanding is that she helps with pitchers wile Herzig is primary hitting coach and coaches catchers and outfield.  LaPorte I believe coaches infield.  In 2018 they had a record of 43 - 14 and qualified for a regional. In 2019 they were 51 - 10 won their regional (defeating Michigan and DePaul) and lost to UCLA in super regional.  This years record was 37 - 1 winning their regional over Liberty and Tennessee and headed to super regional vs #8 Missouri.  I suspect CMD had some difficult circumstances to overcome on his arrival at AU but one might surmise his staff at James Madison, which has essentially remained intact,  was a big factor in his prior success since they have continued to thrive. We have had a lot of turnover with our assistant coaches. 

Something I think I have noticed when watching some of the other SEC teams is a different level of respect and admiration  with their HC.  Maybe my imagination.   

I can’t provide a point of view on the player’s perception of Dean, but I will comment on his tenure at JMU.

He took over JMU in 2013 after they won less than 30 games in 2012. Their win total increased almost every year of his tenure: 2013 - 42; 2014 - 45; 2015 - 48; 2016 - 52; 2017 - 50. They actually took a step back in 2018 from a record standpoint, but it was solely due to Megan Good’s injury. She returned in 2019, and they reached 50 wins and a super regional. 

Yes, LaPorte has been able to sustain success of the program, but Dean built the program. The majority of the staff coached under him, so they learned from him. Most of the players who are contributing to their success this year are Dean’s recruits. We can debate all day on who developed and never know the truth.

Dean has shown he can build a successful program in the past, and it is one of the few reasons I want him around next year. The man took a job no one wanted after the Myers scandal and a divided team. 

If the team doesn’t show improvement next year then don’t extend his contract. I bet there will be more coaches willing to take the job though.

Edited by Jad0003
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50 minutes ago, Jad0003 said:

I can’t provide a point of view on the player’s perception of Dean, but I will comment on his tenure at JMU.

He took over JMU in 2013 after they won less than 30 games in 2012. Their win total increased almost every year of his tenure: 2013 - 42; 2014 - 45; 2015 - 48; 2016 - 52; 2017 - 50. They actually took a step back in 2018 from a record standpoint, but it was solely due to Megan Good’s injury. She returned in 2019, and they reached 50 wins and a super regional. 

Yes, LaPorte has been able to sustain success of the program, but Dean built the program. The majority of the staff coached under him, so they learned from him. Most of the players who are contributing to their success this year are Dean’s recruits. We can debate all day on who developed and never know the truth.

Dean has shown he can build a successful program in the past, and it is one of the few reasons I want him around next year. The man took a job no one wanted after the Myers scandal and a divided team. 

If the team doesn’t show improvement next year then don’t extend his contract. I bet there will be more coaches willing to take the job though.

That being said, I think it’s imperative to hold on to the pitching core to take that step, or find a transfer to come in to replace like Carlson did for us with Meyers. 

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13 hours ago, AUBwins said:

That being said, I think it’s imperative to hold on to the pitching core to take that step, or find a transfer to come in to replace like Carlson did for us with Meyers. 

Agree. Pitching will always always be the key to any teams success. If we had just a tad more hitting we would be having a very successful year.You can't have that without SEC type pitching on your staff.

I too, want to see this group coming in, since on paper they are to be the better hitters and power we have been needing. GRanted, they will be raw, but I want to see improvement.

With Dean getting another year, he has to make a change w a better hitting coach, AND hope that too many key players don't jump on the transfer portal. That's critical to Dean's chance at being better next year...

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