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2023-24 Shocker Softball Offseason, Fall Season and Pre-Season

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  • #31
    RH: "I Can Now Give The Help"

    Quiet time is no longer allowed for Wichita State shortstop Sami Hood, who as a sophomore must use her voice to encourage, organize and teach.

    "I need to figure out how to make that my new comfort zone," she said. "Coach (Kristi Bredbenner) keeps me on my toes, for sure. If I'm not talking at practice, she will look at me and be like 'Hey, you're not talking.'"

    The Shockers started fall practices earlier this month and open their scrimmage schedule against McLennan (Texas) Community College at noon Saturday at Wilkins Stadium.

    This fall's theme is one of new roles and a new generation after the departure of All-American shortstop Sydney McKinney, power hitter Lauren Mills and first baseman Zoe Jones. The Shockers, NCAA regional participants three straight seasons and four of the past five, will do a lot of experimenting, teaching, and learning this fall during practices and eight scrimmages.

    "The learning curve is going to be really important for us," sophomore outfielder Taylor Sedlacek said.

    Bredbenner will use the fall to find out what type of offensive team the Shockers are, a surprising question after years of record-breaking power. Injuries will keep All-American Athletic Conference outfielder Addison Barnard out of fall practices and limit all-conference center fielder Lauren Lucas' activity.

    "The big difference for me is going to be figuring out who we are as an offense," Bredbenner said. "Can we hit the ball out of the ballpark, or are we going to have to manufacture runs and bunt a little bit more? Try to utilize a little more speed that we have?"

    Hood, the AAC's co-Defensive Player of the Year as a freshman, is a key figure. She will move to shortstop after playing second base last season. In addition to fielding and throwing, Hood is the person who needs to pick up a teammate after an error, convince a pitcher that ground balls are outs and get fielders in the right position.Taylor Sedlacek

    "Shortstop is such a big one," Bredbenner said. "Sami Hood looks great there. From a leadership perspective, that presence of Sydney and the calm of having her out there is something we have to replace. We talked a lot about it (Wednesday). The confidence in talking and understanding what you're doing and believing that you're going to be able to make the play."
    While the losses are significant, the Shockers return six of their top nine hitters from last season and their top three pitchers. Pitchers Alex Aguilar and Lauren Howell earned second-team all-conference honors and Aguilar was the Rookie of the Year. Catcher Lainee Brown also grabbed a spot on the All-AAC second team.

    The absence of Barnard and Lucas will give Shockers such as senior Bailey Urban, junior Camryn Compton and freshmen Mila Seaton, Sydney Zenon, and Avery Barnard (Addison's sister) opportunities in the outfield. Sedlacek, who played right field last season, will practice in center this fall with Lucas sidelined.

    "We've got quite a few kids that can play some outfield and some first base," Bredbenner said. "We're going to try to manipulate the lineup to give everybody as much opportunity as possible."

    Courtney Oliver joined the staff as pitching coach in June after two seasons as associate head coach at Houston and six as head coach at ECU. Freshmen Chloe Barber and Erica Schertz join the staff and Bredbenner likes the speed of their pitches.

    "Coach Oliver has a really good philosophy and mindset in there," Bredbenner said. "I've seen improvement in the returners in just three weeks."
    There will be questions, but you still have to like out chances to be really good. The overall recruiting seems to have gotten better and while we may not have a Syd, few do, we should have a lot of talent and if they can put it together, they can be pretty special in their own right.
    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


    • #32

      Playing McClennan Community College (Waco, Texas)


      • #33
        According Shocker X notes the Shocks beat McClennan 15-3. They played at least 9 innings.

        McClennan actually took the lead at 3-2 with a 3-spot in the top of the 3rd. Lauren Howell started the game but I do not know who was in the circle for the Shocks in the 3rd inning.

        Taylor Selacek delivered a 2-run single and Camryn Compton delivered a grand slam to put the Shocks back on top 8-3 after 4 innings.

        Sami Hood with a solo homer run made it 9-3 after 6.

        Lauren Lucas' triple leads to a run to stretch the lead to 7 after 7.

        Freshman pitcher, Chloe Barber swinging the bat and delivers a 2-run homer followed by Krystin Nelson's 2-run double in the bottom of the 8th making it 14-3.


        • #34
          Was at the game. Howell was pitching in the 3rd and gave up home run. She was up and down in her innings. Coop was solid, and Erica Schertz was lights out.

          Shocker didn’t hit a ball hard until the fourth inning as they were way out in front of many of their pitchers.

          Our Fr class is physically impressive, most of them are tall, lean and all of them are athletic. Barber may not be pitching much….her swing is really nice. Zenon also looked good in the field and is has the look of a legit power bat. Oh and Avery Barnard is fast…like “any ball on the left side of the infield could be a hit” fast. Six positions should be settled(2 OF, SS, 2nd, 3rd and Catcher). DH, 1B and one OF are up for grabs. Lucas and Brown didn’t come into until later in the game.

          All in all a good use of $5.00 watching real student athletes.
          Last edited by shoxlax; September 16, 2023, 05:04 PM.


          • #35
            Interesting trip for a team from Waco TX - the Shockers today and the Razorbacks tomorrow.


            • #36
              Originally posted by flyingMoose View Post
              Interesting trip for a team from Waco TX - the Shockers today and the Razorbacks tomorrow.
              They have some decent bats and arms. Should be a very good Juco team this spring.


              • #37


                • #38
                  Shockers defeated Seminole 12-3 in a 10 inning game yesterday. They went up 11-0 on the strengths of HRs by Urban and Wong, then Kristi started really mixing up the lineup in the field and at bat. Seminole scored three runs due mainly to a botched double play ball that kept an inning alive.

                  The battles for playing time initially in the field will be at 2nd and 1st IMHO. Seaton, AvBernard and Zenon should all be in the discussion. Sedlacek could move from OF to 2B which would free up an OF position. Seaton and Av Bernard are lightning fast. Hoestra, Tallent and Compton are the returnees they will have to beat out.

                  Designated player appears to be Wong although Barber could push. At pitcher, Schertz and Barber will be interesting to watch develop. Both have looked good at times.

                  If either of the games tomorrow are science experiments, we still won’t be able to tell a lot as to overall expectations. Plus, Ad Bernard is worth a lot when she’s healthy.


                  • #39
                    Did I mention how pleasant it is to watch both softball and baseball in late summer/early fall?


                    • #40
                      I assume Addison is still recovering from her shoulder surgery and not playing in the fall.

                      I was hoping to make it out tomorrow for the KU doubleheader but life may get in the way. At this point I doubt I will make it.



                      • #41
                        Originally posted by 1972Shocker View Post
                        I assume Addison is still recovering from her shoulder surgery and not playing in the fall.

                        I was hoping to make it out tomorrow for the KU doubleheader but life may get in the way. At this point I doubt I will make it.

                        Correct. She is a very vocal supporter of the team right now.


                        • #42
                          Now that looks like a tough strike zone. Looks like Lolo's Mini-Me. If she has as good of an eye as Lolo she will walk a ton.


                          • #43
                            Had to leave early. Hood suffered a wrist injury of some sort fielding a slow roller.

                            Howell struggled with her command. Cooper was great. We left a lot of runners on base and had several hard hit outs.

                            KU is a veteran team and in my untrained softball eyes, will be very competitive in the Big 12 this spring.


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by shoxlax View Post
                              Had to leave early. Hood suffered a wrist injury of some sort fielding a slow roller.
                              Hopefully, nothing to serious I hope, but better now than in the spring.


                              • #45
                                KU 3 - Shocks 1 in Game 1.

                                KU 5 - Shocks 4 in Game 2

                                Hopefully, a good learning experience for our younger players.
                                Last edited by 1972Shocker; September 25, 2023, 11:37 AM.