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BlueSky

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Reply with quote  #1 
Let's keep posts on this thread to the Cats' 2019 season please.

Gonna have a nicer stadium (for the fans and press, at least).

2018 was yet again another lackluster season for the Cats. What do we know about 2019? Well, I think Coach Mowatt demonstrated herself as a pretty darn good PC. The Cats needed that in a big way.

Just saw on the 2018 thread that there may be a couple of Mizzou transfers. Without knowing who's transferring in (or out), and far short of improvements in the off and fall seasons, here's my take on offense and defense at the moment.

Defense. Seven pitchers, led by McQ (Sr) and Denham (Jr). Snyder (RS Sr) may show up as a solid one as well. Bowen (So) didn't shine much in the circle last year. Ain't gonna know how the two frosh (Schuld and Foreman) adapt to the PAC 12 yet, for now they can listen to Taryn and just do what they're told. Mulipola (Jr) starts behind the plate. She threw out 8 of 15 last year. Way better than 2017 (4 of 15 CSB). Infield returns, Palomino  (RS Jr) at 1B, Carranco (Jr) at 2B, Harper (Jr) at SS, M.Martinez (Jr) at 3B. Their Fielding %'s ranged from .935 (Martinez) to .987. I'd like to see Krist (Sr) work out at 3B. Campbell and Kean (both Sophs) will hold down the OF, dunno which will get the nod for Center. Ivy (So) may well be the third outfielder.

Offense. Hughes graduated, need a badass leadoff hitter. Carranco may be the one. Otherwise the top through middle of the order is back. We may see Krist and Edior (both Seniors) as DH, unless Statman (Sr) comes back better than ever. 

Overall. I see potential everywhere. Dunno if this squad will develop into contenders. Time will tell. What I am pretty sure of though - there will again be great teams looking to pound them, in and out of conference.



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1janiedough

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Reply with quote  #2 
The bench is really bad. Yikes.
azshadowwalker

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scupino


The now outfield is so much worse.
WITF will drive in the runs?
Kean 8 RBI
Campbell 7 RBI
Young 0 RBI

The outfield doesn't need to drive in runs. We actually need to stop worrying about the power numbers so much and develop a good short game. Kean is key there. She can get on base and take the extra base. If you are looking for the big bat, though, it's Palomino. If Harper can ever stop swinging wildly in big situations, she can do it, too, but that's a big if right now. She's young, so I have hope. Mulipola can be effective in the power department, too.

Arizona needs mental strength AND great stuff in the circle more than they need offense.

As for the stadium, there will be improved dugouts, too, so the players will see new amenities, as well.
BlueSky

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scupino


The now outfield is so much worse.
WITF will drive in the runs?
Kean 8 RBI
Campbell 7 RBI
Young 0 RBI


If I had a choice of one transfer coming in, I'd grab a strong defensive center fielder ... and let Mowatt do her job, she's got plenty to work with.

That said, I see mike putting the current OFer's (=speed) in the #2 and #9 slots.

Now that I've had a few margaritas, I'm thinking Kean may be the best candidate for leadoff.

1 Kean
2 Carranco
3 Palomino
4 Harper
5 Mulipola
6 M. Martinez
7 DH =? Krist, Edior
8 have no clue
9 Campbell



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azshadowwalker

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scupino
Azshadowwalker: Were you watching Arizona softball in 2000?


I have been watching since I was a student at UA in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I played the game in the early 1980s, and I coached my daughter in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I am now a member of the media who covers the team, attending every home game, studying the numbers and discussing the program with the players and coaches. I am quite familiar with the program and the sport, if that is what you are implying. How about your background?

Arizona doesn't need everyone to be hitting f'ing home runs. Did Mauga's HR record get them to the WCWS? Or would you feel better about Palomino's stats if it said "CF" next to her name instead of "1B"? Your obsession with outfield power is silly.
1janiedough

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scupino


Which one of these players in her last 69 at bats got only 8 hits?


Martinez and the bench are huge liabilities. Huge.
1janiedough

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by azshadowwalker


I have been watching since I was a student at UA in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I played the game in the early 1980s, and I coached my daughter in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I am now a member of the media who covers the team, attending every home game, studying the numbers and discussing the program with the players and coaches. I am quite familiar with the program and the sport, if that is what you are implying. How about your background?

Arizona doesn't need everyone to be hitting f'ing home runs. Did Mauga's HR record get them to the WCWS? Or would you feel better about Palomino's stats if it said "CF" next to her name instead of "1B"? Your obsession with outfield power is silly.


AzSW I love you, girl!!
BlueSky

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Reply with quote  #8 
Yeahhhhh.

How many dingers did Caitlin hit? One of the best CFers of all time.

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UGASBFan

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSky
Yeahhhhh.

How many dingers did Caitlin hit? One of the best CFers of all time.


The video of her running into the wall against CSUF is one that immediately comes to mind. She always gave her all, especially during that (scary) play, and I respected her game so much.
courtney26

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1janiedough


Martinez and the bench are huge liabilities. Huge.


Huge. The fact that she continued to start day in and day out with the abysmal stats to finish out the year.. ugh.

I’m waiting to see how the freshmen perform too because we have some good ones that may be able to come in and jump in. Riley Kuderca, Ali Ashner (who I believe had ACL surgery in April-May?) either way Martinez who I saw some potential in really needs to get more consistency. It was so frustrating. Glad we’ve freed up an outfield slot from the liability of Craighton.
Prowler

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSky
Seven pitchers


Seriously? That’s like a third of the roster or more.

Forget upgrading the stadium. They’re going to have to expand the bullpen!
9Wildcats

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Reply with quote  #12 

Thoughtful lead-in BlueSky – thank you.

The million-dollar question I ask is where the Cats stand as potential contenders, aided by numbers when the returning team is mostly intact, as is the case here.

Even though 100% of pitching and 83% of RBI production is returning, I don't see how the Cats can jump high enough to advance to the WCWS without an infusion of quality frosh or transfer talent, or a some sort of coaching epiphany. This is because the returnees went 3-12 against the top eight in 2018, scoring an average 2.1 runs per game and surrendering 4.7;  that’s an average margin of 2.1-4.7 = -2.6, which gives a mean win percentage of 29%, or ~4.4 wins in 15 games, based on average NCAA DI stats. The Cats’ 3-12 record showed they underperformed the mean by ~1.4 games but that’s not a big deal in view of four, 1-run losses to top-shelf opponents.

To have an even chance of advancing to the WCWS, they’ll need to win 50% against the top eight by improving their average run margin from -2.6 to 0. That means they’ll need to lift overall production by about 2/3, say by trimming 1/3 from the ERA and increasing run production by 1/3. Although unearned runs were just 18% of total runs surrendered, there is always room for better fielding.

Some general improvement is expected from intangibles such as experience & maturation, but boosting overall productivity by 2/3 against the best is a tall order. Analysis of the Cats’ 2018 performance, with correction for opponent strength, shows no change from pre-conference to PAC 12, which means there was no net (team) improvement during conference play. More precisely, since the better DI teams generally raise their level of play as the season progresses, the Cats just kept pace with the rising tide. This indicates that the returnees lack the collective depth of talent (or coaching depth) needed to make any significant, positive readjustments, much less take a bounding leap forward by 2/3 against the elite eight. And so the need for talented, fresh blood, and perhaps a new coaching strategy.

The entire team, not just the fabulous few, played superbly at times. McQ’s ERA continues to improve progressively over the last three seasons (3.17, 1.92, 1.68), a welcome change from the post-Evans era that saw marginal or little improvement with seniority – and sometimes a significant deterioration. With Mowatt now on board, the prospect of enhanced pitcher development and VASTLY better recruiting mojo is encouraging and long overdue.   

Perhaps the coaches have not yet found the means to consistently unleash the entire team’s (hitherto) hidden potential. I’m hopeful that a vaunted coach like Candrea will try a new approach to offense, say one that doesn’t rely on the fickle home run to produce ~1/2 of RBI, especially when 79% of the HR power and 57% of the RBI come from just three players. He simply must find a way to get more production from the other 2/3 of the lineup or remain stuck in the same “lackluster” rut. Absolute certainty is a rare thing, but I’m quite sure that the same ol’ approach with the same ol’ team will yield the same ol’ result.

3leftturns

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scupino


With the kind of outfielders Candrea has right now he has never won.
You went off my topic so to hell with you.
mensa vs. moron
Scupino

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Posts: 434
Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3leftturns
mensa vs. moron


What's up Camel Face?
How's things in Florida?
How's the cancer lady doing?
BlueSky

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Posts: 884
Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9Wildcats

Thoughtful lead-in BlueSky – thank you.

The million-dollar question I ask is where the Cats stand as potential contenders, aided by numbers when the returning team is mostly intact, as is the case here.

Even though 100% of pitching and 83% of RBI production is returning, I don't see how the Cats can jump high enough to advance to the WCWS without an infusion of quality frosh or transfer talent, or a some sort of coaching epiphany. This is because the returnees went 3-12 against the top eight in 2018, scoring an average 2.1 runs per game and surrendering 4.7;  that’s an average margin of 2.1-4.7 = -2.6, which gives a mean win percentage of 29%, or ~4.4 wins in 15 games, based on average NCAA DI stats. The Cats’ 3-12 record showed they underperformed the mean by ~1.4 games but that’s not a big deal in view of four, 1-run losses to top-shelf opponents.

To have an even chance of advancing to the WCWS, they’ll need to win 50% against the top eight by improving their average run margin from -2.6 to 0. That means they’ll need to lift overall production by about 2/3, say by trimming 1/3 from the ERA and increasing run production by 1/3. Although unearned runs were just 18% of total runs surrendered, there is always room for better fielding.

Some general improvement is expected from intangibles such as experience & maturation, but boosting overall productivity by 2/3 against the best is a tall order. Analysis of the Cats’ 2018 performance, with correction for opponent strength, shows no change from pre-conference to PAC 12, which means there was no net (team) improvement during conference play. More precisely, since the better DI teams generally raise their level of play as the season progresses, the Cats just kept pace with the rising tide. This indicates that the returnees lack the collective depth of talent (or coaching depth) needed to make any significant, positive readjustments, much less take a bounding leap forward by 2/3 against the elite eight. And so the need for talented, fresh blood, and perhaps a new coaching strategy.

The entire team, not just the fabulous few, played superbly at times. McQ’s ERA continues to improve progressively over the last three seasons (3.17, 1.92, 1.68), a welcome change from the post-Evans era that saw marginal or little improvement with seniority – and sometimes a significant deterioration. With Mowatt now on board, the prospect of enhanced pitcher development and VASTLY better recruiting mojo is encouraging and long overdue.   

Perhaps the coaches have not yet found the means to consistently unleash the entire team’s (hitherto) hidden potential. I’m hopeful that a vaunted coach like Candrea will try a new approach to offense, say one that doesn’t rely on the fickle home run to produce ~1/2 of RBI, especially when 79% of the HR power and 57% of the RBI come from just three players. He simply must find a way to get more production from the other 2/3 of the lineup or remain stuck in the same “lackluster” rut. Absolute certainty is a rare thing, but I’m quite sure that the same ol’ approach with the same ol’ team will yield the same ol’ result.



Great analysis here. Agree with everything you said. Still thinking that the coaching paradigm shift needed to contend in the top 8 may be developing. Mowatt's been around less than a year. While her coaching had an immediate positive impact on the pitchers and the team, I think we will see that effect continue to grow - you said similarly.

I think her presence will, if the players are committed, mold the emotional state of the team going into a tough schedule from "we can win" to "we will win" and "we must what it takes to win."

Maybe a freshman will come in an motivate the team. I sure hope so. But I'm not the kind of dude that believes some great new recruit is gonna kick butt her first year in a top 15 DI program. That needs to be demonstrated in the fall and early spring non-conference.

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1janiedough

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scupino


What's up Camel Face?
How's things in Florida?
How's the cancer lady doing?



Ummm, scupino...seriously dude... go f u c k yourself you piece of s h i t.
BlueSky

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scupino


So Craighton was a liability?
Who beat Oklahoma?
Was it Campbell or was it Kean?
Was it 32 rbi for AC?


Scupino, I think the liability was MM, not AC. Wish AC would have been a bigger impact, but was still glad to have her play her senior year.

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1janiedough

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scupino


So Craighton was a liability?
Who beat Oklahoma?
Was it Campbell or was it Kean?
Was it 32 rbi for AC?



The Oklahoma game is the only game I can remember where Craighton did anything of note...otherwise she was an automatic out, usually by strikeout.  She reminded me a great deal of Matte Haack from some years back who left Az to go to ULL.  She was an automatic strikeout at Az and her numbers hugely improved at ULL.
1janiedough

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Reply with quote  #19 
Btw, scupino, you, like the great majority of Az basketball and softball fans, live squarely in the past, fawning over az's long past glory.  What have they done lately, in the past 8 years?

I will tell you...ZERO!


3leftturns

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Reply with quote  #20 
At least Scupino properly inferred who was who
HenryLouisAaron

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Reply with quote  #21 
<< Glad we’ve freed up an outfield slot from the liability of Craighton. >> (Courtney26)

<< Who beat Oklahoma?
Was it Campbell or was it Kean?
Was it 32 rbi for AC? >> (Scupino)

<< The Oklahoma game is the only game I can remember where Craighton did anything of note...otherwise she was an automatic out, usually by strikeout. >> (Janie)

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Aleah Craighton did lead Arizona in strikeouts with 42 (another player also had 42). 
But she also led the team in walks (29).
Craighton was 4th on the team in six offensive stats:  OPS, Slg%, doubles, HR, EBH and RBI. 
She was also third in triples... and 5th in both OBP and Runs scored. 

She struck out in 22.4% of her plate appearances. She got a hit in 25.2% of her at bats. 
Her OBP was .370... which means she made an out 63% of the time. 
She made 114 outs:  17 ground outs, 55 fly outs, 42 stirkeouts.
36.8% of her outs were strikeouts.

So.... NO, she wasn't an automatic out.   And, NO, her outs were NOT usually by strikeout. 
1janiedough

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HenryLouisAaron
<< Glad we’ve freed up an outfield slot from the liability of Craighton. >> (Courtney26)

<< Who beat Oklahoma?
Was it Campbell or was it Kean?
Was it 32 rbi for AC? >> (Scupino)

<< The Oklahoma game is the only game I can remember where Craighton did anything of note...otherwise she was an automatic out, usually by strikeout. >> (Janie)

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Aleah Craighton did lead Arizona in strikeouts with 42 (another player also had 42). 
But she also led the team in walks (29).
Craighton was 4th on the team in six offensive stats:  OPS, Slg%, doubles, HR, EBH and RBI. 
She was also third in triples... and 5th in both OBP and Runs scored. 

She struck out in 22.4% of her plate appearances. She got a hit in 25.2% of her at bats. 
Her OBP was .370... which means she made an out 63% of the time. 
She made 114 outs:  17 ground outs, 55 fly outs, 42 stirkeouts.
36.8% of her outs were strikeouts.

So.... NO, she wasn't an automatic out.   And, NO, her outs were NOT usually by strikeout. 


Close enough! Az's offense was horrible this year so on any other Az team she would have been riding the bench and not making an offensive blip on the radar, other than having passable pinch hit numbers.
Craighton was not clutch either.
SECFan04

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Reply with quote  #23 
Does Arizona have any top recruits coming in? Didn't see any
SECFan04

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Reply with quote  #24 
Zona picks up transfer Rylee Pierce from Missouri
HenryLouisAaron

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Reply with quote  #25 
<< Close enough! Az's offense was horrible this year so on any other Az team she would have been riding the bench and not making an offensive blip on the radar, other than having passable pinch hit numbers. >> (Janie)


The stats indicate that Craighton was Arizona's 4th best offensive player in 2018.
That means there were five other starters who were doing WORSE than her.
 
It seems to me - that you might want to start with any (or all) of those other five players... 
before calling out Craighton as the offensive weak link. 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


<< Craighton was not clutch either. >> (Janie)


She was 4th on the team in RBI.
That means five other starters had less RBI than her.

It seems that you are arbitrarily picking on Craighton... when many others were even less effective offensively. 
1janiedough

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Reply with quote  #26 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HenryLouisAaron
<< Close enough! Az's offense was horrible this year so on any other Az team she would have been riding the bench and not making an offensive blip on the radar, other than having passable pinch hit numbers. >> (Janie)


The stats indicate that Craighton was Arizona's 4th best offensive player in 2018.
That means there were five other starters who were doing WORSE than her.
 
It seems to me - that you might want to start with any (or all) of those other five players... 
before calling out Craighton as the offensive weak link. 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------


<< Craighton was not clutch either. >> (Janie)


She was 4th on the team in RBI.
That means five other starters had less RBI than her.

It seems that you are arbitrarily picking on Craighton... when many others were even less effective offensively. 



The point is that Craighton came in as 3 time all american...very high expectations with that kind of resume.

And did you not see where I mentioned Az was quite poor offensively this year?

You come into Az with 3 aa honors and one season to play, you have to rock the house.



Did you bother to look at Pac 12 stats?

Patsy stats don't mean a thing other than inflation.
HenryLouisAaron

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Reply with quote  #27 
<< The point is that Craighton came in as 3 time all american...very high expectations with that kind of resume.
And did you not see where I mentioned Az was quite poor offensively this year?
You come into Az with 3 aa honors and one season to play, you have to rock the house. >> (Janie)


Now that you mention - how - you were framing it... that makes much more sense.
Your expectations for Craighton were far above... the results you got.
If you had presented it that way originally - I would have understood where you were coming from much better.

1janiedough

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Reply with quote  #28 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HenryLouisAaron
<< The point is that Craighton came in as 3 time all american...very high expectations with that kind of resume.
And did you not see where I mentioned Az was quite poor offensively this year?
You come into Az with 3 aa honors and one season to play, you have to rock the house. >> (Janie)


Now that you mention - how - you were framing it... that makes much more sense.
Your expectations for Craighton were far above... the results you got.
If you had presented it that way originally - I would have understood where you were coming from much better.



In conference, Craighton had 59 at bats with a .186 ba and 22 strikeouts..

Boom.
http://arizonawildcats.com/cumestats.aspx?path=softball

Those are some miserable conference stats.
lovsofbal

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Reply with quote  #29 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SECFan04
Zona picks up transfer Rylee Pierce from Missouri


High School teammate of my DD.
1janiedough

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Reply with quote  #30 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scupino
On May 6, 2000 Arizona needed 7 RBI from one of its outfielders to come from behind to beat UCLA 12-9. She went 6 for 6 that night.
At one point Bruins were ahead 9-1.
It was Jennie Finch against Amanda Freed in the circle both in relief.
Many call it the greatest comeback in the history of Arizona softball.


Proving my point..living in the long gone Az past.
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