slot canyon 1,252 Posted November 19, 2017 Share Posted November 19, 2017 Coach Dean has clearly stated “it starts in the circle” and he wants his pitchers to throw strikes . Those who follow AU softball know this is a change in pitching philosophy. However, you need a pitching staff capable of executing that strategy. I believe Auburn has that type of pitching talent. Also from attending a couple of fall practices and a couple of fall games it seemed obvious that Coach Dean does not hesitate to steal bases. Some examples from 2017 season stats may shed some light. Looking first at JMU 2017 (60 games with record 52-8). JMU pitchers accounted for 374 strike outs while the opposing pitchers had 175. AU pitchers accounted for 239 SO. JMU had 76 stolen bases out of 93 attempts while opponents were 14 steals on 19 attempts. Last season AU had 28 steals on 32 attempts with opponents 33S/46A. It may be easy to say that the Colonial Atlantic Association is not the SEC but it is worth noting that JMU had a win against Missouri and Auburn; the two SEC schools on their schedule. However, being a bit of a SEC snob, I would not expect their conference competition to match SEC. Looking at some SEC stats: Georgia had the highest batting average at .338 but finished near the bottom with a pitching era 2.73. Florida had batting average of .299 (3rd) but had 2 fantastic pitchers and conference best team era 0.81. AU was 3rd with 1.74. In the SEC conference standings, Florida finished #1, AU #2 and Georgia was last. Georgia led the conference in steals 105S/121A. Georgia seemed to have some good slappers and good speed on the bases but were doomed by their pitching and last in the conference fielding % .954 and highest errors of 71. Florid not only had the great pitching but also conference best fielding % .985 and lowest errors at 27. Auburn was mid conference at .970 with 56 errors. SEC strike outs: Florida pitchers led the way with 683. Bama was next with 551. AU, with pitch to contact strategy, was near the bottom at 239. One area where AU really excelled was in double plays with 47. The next closest was Ole Miss with 28. Georgia last with 9. There many statistical categories one can explore. A lot I looked at found AU roughly mid conference in ranking. I think it speaks highly of Coach Myers game coaching that we finished 2nd in the conference. I may miss the pitch to contact concept because I really enjoy good defensive plays (by AU of course). Coach Dean has stated that “we will come to a happy medium” regarding his philosophy. Should be interesting to see how this unfolds. War Eagle. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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