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2022-23 Softball Offseason/Preseason Discussion

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  • 2022-23 Softball Offseason/Preseason Discussion

    Looking to next year. .

    The offense should be good again.

    Neleigh Herring has finished her excellent career as a Shocker and will be tough to replace at 1st base. We will probably have some fall off there.

    Wyle Glover also has finished her career. She had a good senior season but was serving primarily as a backup player until sophomore Bailey Urban went down for the season on March 14th after an injury in the Iowa game (an ACL tear I believe). She had played in 16 games hitting .333 with a 1.056 OPS and is a good fielder. How her ACL injury will affect her game remains to be seen.

    I don't know if grad transfer Arielle James will be back or not. I don't know if she even has any elegibility remaining. Arielle who was lost for the season in the 1st game of the season due to an injury (an ACL tear I think). She would have added an element of speed into the offensive mix this year. If she does have another year in her not sure how the injury will impact her game.

    Otherwise, all other position players should be back. Hopefully, no transfers.

    The pitching will again be a big concern and question mark. Perhaps even more than it was coming into this season.

    Caitlyn Bingham (13-5, 5.34 ERA) and Erin McDonald (10-8, 5.61 ERA) both had decidely ho-hum, somewhat inconsistent senior years and have finished their Shocker careers. They both appeared in 28 games and combined to pitch 69% of the Shocker innings.

    Of the other 3 pitchers on the roster, 2 true freshman and 1 redshirt freshman, only 5'4" Allison Cooper (8-4, 4.78 ERA) got much action and traction. Like her senior counterparts Alison was somewhat inconsistent. Alison is clearly a finesse pitcher and a such her ability to command her pitches and the strike zone is important. She has some work to do with that. She walked 36 batters and hit 5 batters in 64 innings and had the highest WHIP on the team at 1.67 (1.75 if you include the 5 hit batters).

    True freshman RHP 5'10" Kenzie Schopfer pitched 25 innings in 10 appearances. She had a 5.68 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP (lowest on the team) in those somewhat limited appearances. I think Kenzie has some upside and her 5'10" frame is a bit more traditional for a pitcher. She will no doubt get some opportunities.

    Redshirt freshman RHP 5'6" Jordyn Pipkin only pitched 12 innings this year although her numbers in those limited appearances were comparable to her teammates. Seems ike a righty version of the left Alison Cooper. My guess is Jordyn was getting lit up in practice more than the the pitchers on the roster and that was the reason for the limited opportunities. Her last appearance was on March 4th. Not aware of any injury.

    So the question is what do we have coming in next year. I will follow up with some information on that.

  • #2
    Bailey graduated. Are we sure she’s returning?

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    • #3
      Here is a link to the softball recruiting thread.

      https://shockernet.net/forum/wichita...ng#post1353069

      7 player signed NLI's in the fall but one of those, catcher Cassie Passwaters, joined the team this year.

      Of the other 6 players, 2 are pitchers, 3 are infielders and 1 is listed as a utility player.

      The two pitchers, 5'5" Alex Aquilar out of MIdland, TX and 5'5" Sarah Proberts out of Olathe, KS, are both on the smallish side as are 2 of the 3 Shocker returning pitchers. Not totally determinative but good chance we are not bringing in flame throwers. There is some good video on Alex Aquilar on the recruiting thread and she looks like she might be able to contribute.

      Coach Bredbenner on the signing of pitchers Aguilar and Proberts: "As we navigate the trends in softball, we are seeing an increase in the number of pitchers teams are carrying on their rosters. We are following that trend by signing Alex Aguilar and Sarah Proberts. They bring two completely different pitching styles to the circle, but both are competitive and have had to carry their travel teams through some tough tournaments."

      The 4 position players are:
      5'9" CC Fleming out of Lake Villa, IL
      5'7" Taylor Sedlacek out of Bennington, NE
      5'8" Sami Hood out of Allen, TX
      5-6" Siera Hoekstra out of Overland Park, KS

      Coach Bredbenner on the signing of Fleming and Sedlacek: "The versatility that we will have with Taylor Sedlacek and Cierra (CC) Fleming will be fun to watch. They are both multi-sports athletes, and their athleticism will allow us to try them out at several positions on the field. Their speed and potential at the plate will wreak havoc on the bases.

      Coach Bredbenner on the signing of Hood and Hoekstra: "Sami Hood and Siera Hoekstra have the potential to be an outstanding middle infield combo. They both read the ball well, have strong arms and make big plays on the field. When you combine their abilities at the plate with their defense, they both have a chance to make a real impact in the program."

      Taylor Sedlacek might be similar to Addie Barnard as a prospect. Check out her weight-lifting video on the recruiting thread.

      Of course, it is always difficult to know how a recruiting class will pan out and, outside of pitching and replacing Neleigh Herring at 1st base these our immediate needs aren't great. Whether Aquilar and Proberts can contribute in the circle and to what degree may be the key to this recruiting class.

      I think this is a photo of the incoming recruits form Sarah Proberts twitter account. Sarah Proberts is in the middle and Alex Aquilar on the far right. Cassie Passwaters who joined the Shocks this year is 3rd from the viewers left.


      Last edited by 1972Shocker; May 22, 2022, 01:40 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by WuDrWu View Post
        Bailey graduated. Are we sure she’s returning?
        That is a good point. I forgot that she received her accounting degree in 3 years.

        She did not participate in senior day fesitivities. But technically she is not a senior.

        We will just have to wait and see on that.

        She could do worse than stay around a couple more years and get masters degree in either accounting or a relate business degree.

        Comment


        • #5
          As far as replacing Neliegh at first base the only other player on the roster listed as a 1st baseman is Lolo. Somehow I don't see Lolo being an every day player in the field. Camryn Compton who played very little this year played some 1st base last year. Freshman Caroline Tallent at 5'9" who also played very little this year might get a look at that position.

          Another possibility would be to see if Lainee Brown could handle playing first base and turn the catching duties over to Jessica Garcia and Cassie Passwaters.

          Looks to be a wide open competition for replacing Neleigh at this point. In any case, it also looks like we're likely to be a little weaker at that spot next year.

          Comment


          • #6
            Neleigh is sort of like the Tekele Cotton of softball. Damn good player who gets overshadowed a bit by the two All American types. Wouldn’t be surprised if HCKB went the transfer route to seek a replacement.

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            • #7
              Need to find a pitcher or 2 the transfer route!!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by shoxlax View Post
                Neleigh is sort of like the Tekele Cotton of softball. Damn good player who gets overshadowed a bit by the two All American types. Wouldn’t be surprised if HCKB went the transfer route to seek a replacement.
                She very well may. The 2 transfers she brought in last year Zoe Jones and Arielle James seemed like they were good gets. Zoe proved to be. Arielle never got the chance due to her injury.

                Perhaps she can find a pitcher via transfer to bolster the pitching staff. The Shocks certainly provide the opportunity for someone come in a become the bell cow.

                Not sure where, if anywhere, you can access the softball transfer portal other than some things behind a paywall and not sure those are the full portal.

                Spring athletes have until July 1 to enter the portal. Zoe and Arielle signed with the Shockers in mid-July last year.

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                • #9
                  I'm curious to see how Aguilar does coming in. I know she pitched for Texas Glory which is a damn good travel organization that I've seen a couple of times over the years of following niece's.

                  Cooper has good movement on some of her pitches which can be huge if she can find some consistency with her control. I've seen pitchers dominate with lower top end speed because they can move the ball around effectively. Time will tell if she can find that.

                  Neleigh is definitely the biggest loss from the current team and may be the hardest to replace. Not only has her bat been terrific, but her D at 1st has been pretty damn good.
                  Infinity Art Glass - Fantastic local artist and Shocker fan
                  RIP Guy Always A Shocker
                  Carpenter Place - A blessing to many young girls/women
                  ICT S.O.S - Great local cause fighting against human trafficking
                  Wartick Insurance Agency - Saved me money with more coverage.
                  Save Shocker Sports - A rallying cry

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 1972Shocker View Post

                    That is a good point. I forgot that she received her accounting degree in 3 years.

                    She did not participate in senior day fesitivities. But technically she is not a senior.

                    We will just have to wait and see on that.

                    She could do worse than stay around a couple more years and get masters degree in either accounting or a relate business degree.
                    If she plans to go for her CPA, which WSU really pushes, she’ll need a fifth year of school.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Here is a look forward by Taylor Eldridge including input from HCKB.

                      A look ahead at what has Wichita State softball already excited about 2023 season

                      Read more at: https://www.kansas.com/sports/colleg...#storylink=cpy

                      “I don’t want to say we overachieved because it’s our expectation to get here, but we did face and overcome a lot of obstacles this year,” Bredbenner said.

                      Before Bredbenner arrived, WSU softball had never won in the NCAA postseason. Now the Shockers have won at least one game in an NCAA regional (the Shockers beat Princeton 5-4 on Saturday) in all four postseason appearances under Bredbenner in 2016, 2018, 2021 and 2022.

                      Arielle James will not be back. No mention of Bailey Urban one way or the other.

                      With so much hitting talent poised to return to WSU next season, Bredbenner feels like the task this summer is obvious: find experienced pitching help in the transfer portal.

                      “We’re going to be looking to add some experience in the circle and it wouldn’t hurt to add another bat to our lineup either,” Bredbenner said. “But we’ve got a lot of talent coming back and we have to use this momentum and my hope in recruiting a pitcher is we can attract someone with the simple fact that we have 100-plus home runs coming back and a lot of great batting averages. We’ll use that to our advantage and try to attract someone who maybe wasn’t getting that kind of run support at their old school.”




                      Last edited by 1972Shocker; May 23, 2022, 11:03 AM.

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                      • #12
                        shoxlax reporting that Texas Tech's leading hitter, Payton Jackson (.336 BA, 1.036 OPS), is in the transfer portal. Texas Tech was 22-27 (5-13 in Big 12 play) last year.

                        She would know Zoe Jones as they played together for 2 years. HCKB said finding a quality pitcher in the portal is probably the priority but she did say it wouldn't hurt to add another bat. Payton is an outfielder and she started all 46 games she played this past season so probably wants to go where she will be a starter. WSU is set in center (Lauren Lucas) and right (Addie Barnard). Leftfield is open. I guess the question is what's Bailey Urban's status. Bailey was having a very good year (.333, 1.056) this past season before she went down with an ACL tear (I think) after playing in 16 games plus Bailey did earn her Bachelors in Accounting this spring. So what are her prospects for making a full recovery wiith her knee and how will have a degree in hand impact her plans.

                        I don't know if any of these outfielders have a secondary position. If one of them could play 2nd we could move Zoe back to her more natural position at 3rd.

                        And it's also very possible that Payton Jackson's interest lies elsewhere and this is all moot.





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                        • #13
                          There is some quality pitching that has entered the portal the last few days. Not sure we would have a chance with any of them, but there may be a lot of choices.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by shoxlax View Post
                            There is some quality pitching that has entered the portal the last few days. Not sure we would have a chance with any of them, but there may be a lot of choices.
                            I don't know what other top schools need, but I could see a good pitcher seeing our offense and wanting to be here.
                            Infinity Art Glass - Fantastic local artist and Shocker fan
                            RIP Guy Always A Shocker
                            Carpenter Place - A blessing to many young girls/women
                            ICT S.O.S - Great local cause fighting against human trafficking
                            Wartick Insurance Agency - Saved me money with more coverage.
                            Save Shocker Sports - A rallying cry

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by shoxlax View Post
                              There is some quality pitching that has entered the portal the last few days. Not sure we would have a chance with any of them, but there may be a lot of choices.
                              Where are you finding your softball portal information?

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