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Author Topic: Update on Softball Recruiting  (Read 4024 times)

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psycHOGlogist

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Update on Softball Recruiting
« on: February 19, 2018, 11:48:12 pm »

The start of the season inspired me to do a deep-ish dive into what future recruiting classes look like for the softball Hogs. Just as a reminder, if you hadn’t seen it already, the class that Coach Deifel just signed was very good, earning a #22 ranking from FloSoftball. Here’s the release about the class:
http://www.arkansasrazorbacks.com/deifel-brings-second-top-25-class-to-fayetteville/

The players of particular note are Taylor “Taco” Greene and Larissa Cesena, both top 50 kids nationally, although all of them are very good. Maggie Hicks is one of the best, if not the best, in state kid this year. Robertson is an emerging talent in the circle, and Torres is a great little speedster/role player. It’s a strong class, especially coming after this year’s freshmen class, which Flo also had in the top 25.

So, let’s look ahead to the future commits. Here’s what I’ve been able to put together - I make no claims that this information is complete, so if you know of others, please help me out!

2019:
INF Paloma Usquiano - actually a Larabee commit (his last, I believe). Plays for a very good travel ball team in California. Stock has dropped a tiny bit nationally, but still ranked in the top 200 overall 2019s (#180).

P Jenna Bloom - our bluest chip commit for 2019, she’s listed as the #31 player in the country in the latest FloSoftball Top 100 for 2019. She has moved up 20 spots since the previous ranking, so her stock is definitely rising. Throws mid-60s and has both a knuckleball and a very good change up. Excited to see what she can do in the circle.

OF/IF Rylin Hedgecock - Has pitched some but doesn’t project as a college pitcher. Good hitter and well-known for her ultra-competitive attitude. No relation to Caroline. Currently ranked as the #203 player in the 2019 class.

There may be other 2019s, but I’m not aware of them at this point. This is a small but very talented class, and we’re adding a great arm.

2020 - a bit larger class

P Lauren Howell - currently the #181 player for 2020s on Flo, which is an improvement of 14 spots since their last ranking. From Missouri, noted to be “one to watch” as she gains strength and size.

3b/C/OF Hannah Gammill - Arkansas kid from Beebe, flying under the radar so far but made first team all state as a freshman. Has a very sweet swing, good size, and good power.

LHP/OH Kaitlyn Howard - second of three in-state kids, this one from Sheridan and a strong travel ball program in Texas Glory. I know she has camped at Arkansas and the coaches really like her, but I couldn’t find video or much out there on her nationally.

SS/IF Marlene Friedman - one of two serious blue chip players in this class, she is #61 at present in her class on FLO, and they describe her this way: “a big, strong shortstop with an excellent arm and strong defensive skills. She can make plays deep in the hole that other shortstops can't and at the plate she is a gap hitter who can also go deep at any time.  Coaches rave about her great work ethic and desire to keep improving her game and help her team win.” Plays for a strong Cali travel ball team, Explosion.

P/MIF/OF Cally Kildow - the last of the in state kids, and the most highly rated, Kildow hails from Gravette. FLO currently ranks her as the #57 player in the country for 2020, and describes her this way: is a two-way threat both in the circle and at the plate. As a freshman, Kildow recorded an impressive line finishing with a 0.53 ERA on 185 innings pitched all the while breaking the strike out record fanning 331. In the box she led her team with a .443 batting average and 32 RBIs which further solidified her spot on the All-State team. Kildow plays her summers with DeMarini Aces and, in the heart of their lineup, batted .425 with a nearly .500 on base percentage. Kildow entertained multiple college offers before deciding to stay in-state at Arkansas.”

This class looks pretty solid.

I assume that the 2021 and beyond classes are still works in progress (but maybe not?). There seem to be a decent number of 2021s already:

2021
SS/IF Ally Sockey - so far, one of two studs of the class. If she keeps her current ranking of #29, she’ll be one of the highest rated recruits in school history (Caroline Hedgcock was 26, I think), except for the one below (foreshadowing). Here is what FLO said about her: one of the top defensive players at any position in this class and is one of the top 1-2 shortstops in the nation. She has great hands and lateral movement and one coach said she "plays shortstop like a baseball player and plays way beyond her age." Last fall almost every D1 coach that watched her compete wanted Sockey to come to his or her college camp and many said they wanted to recruit her after watching Sockey play a few games. Tulsa Elite organization head Jeff Filali says, "She may turn into the best defensive shortstop we've ever had." With all this, though - keep in mind that 2021s are currently freshmen in HS, I believe. So ...

OF/IF Sadie Saul - Currently projected as the #244 2021 in the country, she came to softball a little later than most players and has really taken off. I like that we got this kid before she might really blow up. Plays for a strong travel ball team, Mojo, out of TN.

C Madi Conklin - honestly, I haven’t been able to find much out about Madi. Her twitter feed shows some videos of her hitting in Bogle park, and she has a smooth swing and can really bomb the ball off of BP pitching, but I don’t know much else about her. I believe she’s from Ft. Smith and plays travel ball for the Oklahoma Athletics, but I honestly am not sure.

C/3b/UT Tori Hedgecock - She is 2019 commit Rylin’s little sister, and she just committed last week. Her name is misspelled on the FLO site, so initially I didn’t find her there. Oops. She is actually the #14 ranked player in the 2021 class! Here’s some of FLO’s write up about her: “It's a strong class in Georgia, and right at the top is Headgecock (sic), a power hitter who hits for a high average and can beat you with the bat in a multitude of ways. Since joining the Bullets in the fall, she has slugged 10 home runs and batted .453, and one softball legend said of Tori, "She has one of the purest swings I've ever seen." Tori can go deep in any situation -- in one recent game she cleared a 220-foot fence at 9 AM in 45-degree weather. The backstop has such a strong arm, few dare challenge her anymore on the basepaths, and her great glove also translates to her being able to play the corners as well. She works out regularly with Thomas Macera, the head coach at Valdosta State, who is considered one of the best hitting instructors in the country” (written in May 2017). The LSU softball insider on TigerBait announced that she was committing to LSU (over Tennessee) ... Oops! We have snagged her!

3b/OF Spencer Prigge - currently rated at #224 on FLO for 2021, she’s an Arizona kid (not sure we’ve had many if any from Arizona?). Haven’t been able to find out too much about her, but obviously she’s gotten some national attention to be listed on FLO.

We currently have one 2022 commit (soooo young!!!)
1b/Pm - Kiana Estrada - also from the Phoenix area, plays travel ball with one of the elite Cali clubs (Athletics - Mercado). Don’t know too much about her, but the YouTube videos I found seem to indicate that she can hit the ball a mile. And then there’s this — from when she was NINE lol. http://www.championnewspapers.com/sports_and_recreation/image_2e25183c-26da-5e5c-bb25-a9fdc2e6ff07.html?mode=jqm

Not sure if this is comprehensive or not, and I know there are some other kids out there that we are on, but I think this is an amazingly good looking slate of recruits — especially when you consider where the program was just two years ago.

Way to go Coach Deifel and staff! WPS!

flippinhogmana

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2018, 11:54:58 pm »

nice report, thanks for digging
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flippinhogmana

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2018, 05:18:22 am »

I am replying to bump this up close to the freshman class thread.
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psycHOGlogist

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2018, 09:43:46 am »

Just going to share something another poster MSG'ed me regarding our 2022 commit, Kiana Estrada:

https://extrainningsoftball.com/player-spotlight-class-2022-sec-commit-kiana-estrada/

The Extra Innings site is similar in some ways to FloSoftball, and EI is in the process of announcing their top 100 for 2022. Young Ms. Estrada made their list at #27. The article makes it seem like she'll be an OF/1b prospect, rather than a pitcher -despite the article linked above about her heroics at age nine! ;-) Also, this article indicates that she lives in Chino, CA, not AZ like I thought in the previous post.

Good stuff here, and good commentary about how recruits are viewing the Jones Ctr and the softball staff.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2018, 10:01:54 am by psycHOGlogist »
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Lulu Hog

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2018, 08:04:36 am »

I read recently that the division 1 coaches almost unanimously recommended to the NCAA that recruiting contact in Softball begin September of the prospect’s junior year.  Maybe I read it in here somewhere, but for the sake of the kids and the coaches I hope that’s true.  This 2022 kid is an eighth grader.   for her to commit, and Arkansas to have accepted it then the recruiting of her had to be going on for some time.  This kid might have been in seventh or even sixth grade when she was being recruited.  That’s not fair to the  kid or the school.  This needs to be fixed

LadybackBBFan

Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2018, 08:37:19 am »

I read recently that the division 1 coaches almost unanimously recommended to the NCAA that recruiting contact in Softball begin September of the prospect’s junior year.  Maybe I read it in here somewhere, but for the sake of the kids and the coaches I hope that’s true.  This 2022 kid is an eighth grader.   for her to commit, and Arkansas to have accepted it then the recruiting of her had to be going on for some time.  This kid might have been in seventh or even sixth grade when she was being recruited.  That’s not fair to the  kid or the school.  This needs to be fixed
  I agree.  This is not good for anyone.  They should at least be in high school.
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psycHOGlogist

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2018, 09:35:27 am »

Totally agree that early recruiting is out of hand. There have been some articles recently about 7th graders committing (Florida has two committed, for example).

Not sure if this is behind a paywall, but it's a write up about UF's two 2023 commits. Crazy.
https://www.flosoftball.com/articles/6063080-2023-keagan-rothrock-verbals-to-florida-second-7th-grade-commit

For this kid, she stated in that article that her recruiting began last October, while she was in 8th grade. That is so weird to me. So many things change over that time - it's no wonder there are so many transfers (though softball may not be as bad, transfer-wise, as WBB, it is one of the worst, if not THE worst, in terms of early recruiting).

Another thing that would help would be to fully fund softball to a higher number of scholarships - that would reduce (though not eliminate) the subjective sense that delaying a commitment would screw you out of scholarship funds. 
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flippinhogmana

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2018, 10:12:08 am »

That is true to some degree.  But the girl from Gravette actively sought out the UofA as I recall in the seventh grade and made her intentions known to the coaching staff that she intended to come there way back then.  They have hopes and dreams even as seventh graders.
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Lulu Hog

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2018, 10:58:13 am »

Here is a recent article from a meeting of the NFCA. 

 https://nfca.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7638:ncaa-division-i-coaches-take-a-stand-against-early-recruiting&catid=284&Itemid=149

Carol Hutchins, Michigan:  "We are spiraling in a poor direction"

Carol Weekley, Tennessee:  "The biggest problem facing college softball is early recruiting..."

college coaches need to be watching high school kids, they do not need to be recruiting middle schoolers, or worse elementary school kids
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Lulu Hog

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2018, 01:55:07 pm »

I want to apologize for derailing the thread.  I do thank you for the information.  I am glad to see our staff is working very hard under the current NCAA rules.  I just wish the NCAA would fix this problem.  But again thank you for the information on these prospects.  Sometimes its hard in softball to find stories online about them.
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psycHOGlogist

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2018, 10:43:14 pm »

Well, I’m just one person, but I don’t think you really derailed the thread. I mean, it’s not like there was a lot of discussion of the different recruits. I appreciated your information and perspective. :-)
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flippinhogmana

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2018, 03:42:25 am »

I too am just one person, but I dont think you have to apologize for derailing the thread (although it might have been better to have opened a separate thread on the subject).  Its an opinion board, your opinion was respectful and you were looking out for young women.  I dont find that objectionable.
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Bacons Rebellion

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2018, 02:29:25 pm »

I'm fascinated by the prospect of having an entire starting lineup named "Hedgecock."
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psycHOGlogist

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2018, 03:52:35 pm »

I'm fascinated by the prospect of having an entire starting lineup named "Hedgecock."

Right? Lol.

But by the time Tori gets here, Caroline will be gone. Plus ... Caroline doesn’t put the “e” in her last name.

However, you have to think that if there are any OTHER Hedg/e/cocks out there, we have the inside track on recruiting them!
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howie76

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2018, 05:20:52 pm »

Anyone thats interested Sheridan will be playin in a tournament this weekend in Farmington. Maggie Hicks and Kaitlyn howard will be playing.
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flippinhogmana

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #15 on: March 23, 2018, 05:37:07 am »

I did some checking and found that the softball scholarship limits are similar to baseball (11.7 scholarship limit for baseball) - there is a 12 scholarship limit for division one.  There is however, unlike baseball, no limit on the roster size.  We are presently at 24.  I would presume that very few of the ladies have a full ride, probably most of them have a half scholarship, with them picking up the other half on academic scholarships.

For next year with five coming in and only four going off the roster, that will make it 25.  I am not sure what the status of Allison Stewart is.  She hasnt pitched since very early last spring (over a year).  We lost three players from last years signed class, of them two were infielders, which is one reason we havent had as many options there.
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psycHOGlogist

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #16 on: March 23, 2018, 12:42:18 pm »

Yes, I think partial scholarships are quite common, though I wonder about the really high rated kids (and/or stud pitchers) and whether they might get full rides (or larger chunks of a partial scholarship). It's all a lot of algebra, it seems -- see, you DO need it! ;-)

We lost three players from the 2016 class? I can only think of Hailey MacKay and Jade Miller, who transferred. (The class was the Brotherton twins, Keely Edwards, Carline Hedgcock, MacKay, Aly Manzo, Miller, Sydney Parr, and Autumn Storms). We lost Kennedy Ratliff this year before the season started (like Miller last year; MacKay transferred after the season), and Valerie Ventura, who had been committed, had to end her career due to injury (not sure if you are counting her or not). We do have 4 players listed as "infielders" on the roster who haven't played in the field much - one of the Brothertons, Malkin, Edwards, and Sydney Benz. And it seems Bugarin jumped past all of them (to be fair, I think Malkin's only option in the IF is 1b) to transition from OF, where she played last year, to 2b this year.

Your point about a thin infield is spot on, though, I realize. Next year's class (Larissa Cesena, Taylor Greene, Maggie Hicks, Megan Robertson, and Sam Torres) contains only one infielder, Hicks. It seems we will need some options next year - maybe Hicks, Edwards, or Brotherton will be ready, as we'll lose Belans and Buczek and really only have Manzo as a proven left-side infielder.

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flippinhogmana

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #17 on: March 23, 2018, 02:00:11 pm »

I looked at an earlier (I am not sure if it was yours or not) from some time ago announcing the Haff class - three of them, including the two you mentioned and among them two listed as inf didnt make it.  I would have to go back and check what the other name was.
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flippinhogmana

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #18 on: March 23, 2018, 02:03:26 pm »

the three who didnt make it were Ventura, Ratliff and Taylor Moore
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psycHOGlogist

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2018, 08:15:17 pm »

Oh yeah, I remember Moore. I don’t think we expected her to sign. Not sure if the new staff cut her loose, she decommitted, or something else. But I might not count her as a didn’t make it. Could be wrong though - thanks for jogging the old memory!! :-)
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flippinhogmana

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2018, 10:42:32 pm »

Oh yeah, I remember Moore. I don’t think we expected her to sign. Not sure if the new staff cut her loose, she decommitted, or something else. But I might not count her as a didn’t make it. Could be wrong though - thanks for jogging the old memory!! :-)

Losing Ventura was probably the biggest loss of those we lost, especially since she was an infielder.
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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2018, 04:28:44 pm »

Dont count Valerie Ventura out

flippinhogmana

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2018, 04:57:15 pm »

Dont count Valerie Ventura out

I dont think we would, but her doctors told her she had to take a medical retirement from softball.  Maybe its not permanent, I dont know.  Whether or not she is able to come back from her injuries I wish her well and I thank her for committing to the University of Arkansas.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2018, 05:56:33 pm by flippinhogmana »
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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2018, 02:58:18 pm »

As a proud “Hedg(e)cock” I had to respond to this thread.  A “Hedgy” lineup would be fantastic!! It’s entirely possible Rylin’s family is related somehow to us, as they are from the same area, and as far as I know we are the only Hedgcock’s in Illinois.  Perhaps a drunk uncle on our side dumped the “e” at some point?? ;) Wouldn’t that be fun if we were distant cousins or something…. 

Btw, kudos to you and your users for keeping their comments respectable for the most part. I don’t see anyone raking our softball kids over the coals too badly like some blogs do.

Thanks for your support everyone! Go Hogs!!  :)
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Lulu Hog

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2018, 03:27:55 pm »

As a proud “Hedg(e)cock” I had to respond to this thread.  A “Hedgy” lineup would be fantastic!! It’s entirely possible Rylin’s family is related somehow to us, as they are from the same area, and as far as I know we are the only Hedgcock’s in Illinois.  Perhaps a drunk uncle on our side dumped the “e” at some point?? ;) Wouldn’t that be fun if we were distant cousins or something…. 

Btw, kudos to you and your users for keeping their comments respectable for the most part. I don’t see anyone raking our softball kids over the coals too badly like some blogs do.

Thanks for your support everyone! Go Hogs!!  :)

Welcome to the board!  We try to stay positive, and we love Razorback Sports both men's AND women's. 
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psycHOGlogist

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #25 on: March 29, 2018, 04:52:43 pm »

As a proud “Hedg(e)cock” I had to respond to this thread.  A “Hedgy” lineup would be fantastic!! It’s entirely possible Rylin’s family is related somehow to us, as they are from the same area, and as far as I know we are the only Hedgcock’s in Illinois.  Perhaps a drunk uncle on our side dumped the “e” at some point?? ;) Wouldn’t that be fun if we were distant cousins or something…. 

Btw, kudos to you and your users for keeping their comments respectable for the most part. I don’t see anyone raking our softball kids over the coals too badly like some blogs do.

Thanks for your support everyone! Go Hogs!!  :)


Hahaha - welcome! Let’s make that Hedgy lineup happen! :-)
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flippinhogmana

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2018, 05:17:24 pm »

As a proud “Hedg(e)cock” I had to respond to this thread.  A “Hedgy” lineup would be fantastic!! It’s entirely possible Rylin’s family is related somehow to us, as they are from the same area, and as far as I know we are the only Hedgcock’s in Illinois.  Perhaps a drunk uncle on our side dumped the “e” at some point?? ;) Wouldn’t that be fun if we were distant cousins or something…. 

Could be, especially in the south...down here we count third cousins (if we want to be related!)
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howie76

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #27 on: April 08, 2018, 07:40:20 pm »

http://www.bryantdaily.com/lady-hornets-suffer-through-painful-night-against-sheridan/

Pretty good write up abt the Bryant and Sheridan game. Bryant came in as number one in the state and Sheridan as 4th. Future razorback Kaitlyn howard had a big game. If this in the wrong spot feel free to delete just thought some folks would like to know how some of our future players are doing against some stiff competition. Maggie hicks who plays for Sheridan and has already signed with the Razorbacks had a good defensive game and hit the ball hard just right to the 3rd baseman evertime except her last at bat and she slapped form the left side n hit it back to the shortstop.
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psycHOGlogist

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #28 on: May 15, 2018, 11:04:22 pm »

I am pretty sure that these players have not yet committed to Arkansas, and now with the new rule, they can’t for another couple years, but as of now their twitter feeds are pretty much nothing but Arkansas. They are sisters, Hannah and Lauren Camenzind out of Omaha, NE. Hannah is the #76 2022 player in the country, per ExtraInnings -  a lefty P/1b prospect. Lauren is ranked the #52 2022 (also per EI), and is a C/IF prospect.

They both only seemed to have started their twitter pages in March, but I would say that 80% of their feeds are Hog softball related.

The new contact/commit rule makes things more complicated, but they certainly seem to be on the hook for joining Kiana Estrada in the 2022 class, as of now. 

I also believe that we are (one of many schools) recruiting Madison McClarity, a 2022 from Garland TX who plays for the Texas Travelers. Not sure how interested in us she is, but she lived in Arkansas at one time and played her first travel ball here. Extra Innings has her ranked somewhere between 200-300 in the 2022 class, but her twitter timeline suggests that she’s been on a number of unofficial to pretty elite programs (including Washington, MS State, OK State, Minnesota, and others).

FloSoftball begins their first countdown of the Top 100 2022 prospects on Monday. These are kids who are just beginning 9th grade in the fall, I think. Yikes.

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2018, 06:35:08 am »

I did a lot of research on the students coming in (Twitter and a lot of other sites as well).  Its amazing how much some of these players know each other and girls already on the team and how much they follow the hogs already.  Most of them from next year especially already have a sense of belonging.  And some of them are also very talented.  I dont think any one on the team (other than a few notable exceptions) should considered their positions as a lock.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 07:03:00 am by flippinhogmana »
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hawg1221

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2018, 10:36:03 am »

We need another really good pitcher.
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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2018, 02:55:37 pm »

Forecasting pitching success is really tough to do. Someone who has a lot more experience evaluating prospects than most of us do told me before the season that he thought Mary Haff was good, but wouldn't be a star for us. Clearly, he was half right! ;-)

I still think Caroline Hedgcock will get it turned around. She has a great arm and is a fierce competitor. She's not had the success this year that I had expected, but I am very hopeful that another off-season will help her get things sorted out. If she's our 3rd pitcher next year providing quality innings, I like our staff a LOT. Also, Megan Robertson (incoming FR) also has a lot of potential. I certainly think Coach D has a good eye for pitching talent. It's probably not reasonable to expect Robertson to remind us of Haff (especially not right away), but it's hard to know for sure.

And for the year after next, we have 2019 Jenna Bloom committed. She is a definite blue-chipper. Her freshman year, Storms will be a senior, and Haff and Hedgcock will be juniors. Presuming that current players keep developing, and the evaluations are correct, that's a pitching rotation to look forward to!
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hawg1221

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2018, 03:40:59 pm »

Here's an old article about Robertson. I never really new what her medical condition was.     https://www.flosoftball.com/articles/5043676-florida-gem-megan-robertson-hidden-no-longer
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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #33 on: May 27, 2018, 03:52:41 pm »

add #18 MARLENE FRIEDMAN to the 2020 class, she plays on the same team as Larissa Cesena.  She is an infielder (2B/ss). 
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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #34 on: May 27, 2018, 04:15:17 pm »

Friedman is included in the ‘20 class, noted in the original post in this thread.

Love that we have some highly rated IF’s we have coming in — notably Sockey (‘21) and Friedman, and somewhat less highly rated, Usquiano in ‘19.
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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #35 on: May 27, 2018, 04:36:51 pm »

FLOSoftball is halfway through its first ranking of top 100 2022 athletes, and two players named above have been mentioned.

One of the Camenzind sisters, Lauren, came in at 70, and McClarity came in at 63.

The countdown resumes with players 50-41 tomorrow (Monday).
« Last Edit: May 27, 2018, 05:23:31 pm by psycHOGlogist »
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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #36 on: May 27, 2018, 04:42:38 pm »

Friedman is included in the ‘20 class, noted in the original post in this thread.

Love that we have some highly rated IF’s we have coming in — notably Sockey (‘21) and Friedman, and somewhat less highly rated, Usquiano in ‘19.

somehow I missed the original post!
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Scott7703

Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #37 on: May 27, 2018, 04:43:40 pm »

Where is the compete list for this years class?
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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #38 on: May 27, 2018, 05:16:05 pm »

FLO Softball also recently posted that LeighAnn Goode, a 2022 SS/CF from San Antonio has committed to Arkansas. She was selected to be on the 2022 First Team USA Elite Select 30 squad last August, following a big, competitive tryout camp at LSU. We’ll see if she shows up in the top 50 2022’s on FLOSoftball’s countdown this coming week (she was not listed between 100-51, which makes sense if she was rated a “top 30” kid at a camp last year. Though, to be fair, a lot of these camps are about who goes/who can afford to participate. It is not always THE BEST kids who go to them. Still - I think it’s a good indicator of talent overall).

Some video of her here: http://www.scout-softball.com/players/l/leighann_goode.php

Like her swing a lot, though she seems a bit stiff fielding. (I have to keep in mind how young these kids are, though!)

Also, last week PGF announced their regional 2018 All American teams (divided into Western, Mountain, Southwest, Southeast, and Central regions ... I guess the Northeast just sucks? Lol). Four of Arkansas’s five incoming freshmen (not counting Ventura, who would not have been considered) made regional teams:

Larissa Cesena - Western
Maggie Hicks - Southwest
Taylor Greene - Southeast
Megan Robertson - Southeast

Sam Torres was not recognized, but she plays in the most competitive region (Western), and ironically enough she is featured in the promo video for the announcement (the play where she runs into the mesh fence in the outfield to make a home run-saving catch).

The schools the All-Americans are committed to is a who’s-who of college softball, so it’s fantastic to see so many Arkansas signees represented, including the one in-state signee this year!

Edited to add: Just noticed that LeighAnn Goode was an option to vote for in FLO’s “who’s the best player in the 2022 class” poll, which ran before they started the countdown. So, I’m gonna guess that means that she will be pretty highly rated. (She didn’t get a ton of votes, however.)
« Last Edit: May 27, 2018, 05:49:47 pm by psycHOGlogist »
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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #39 on: May 27, 2018, 05:22:22 pm »

Where is the compete list for this years class?

We have 5 signees this year, plus a “holdover” from the 2017 class who waited a year to rehab a knee injury before coming to campus.

The 2018 Freshman class this fall will include (alphabetically):

Lari Cesena - OF, California, top 50-ish ranking.
Taylor Greene - C/UT, Georgia, top 50 ranking
Maggie Hicks - IF, Arkansas, not nationally ranked, though PGF regional All-American
Megan Robertson - P, Florida, like Hicks, not nationally ranked but PGF regional All-American
Sam Torres - OF, California, ranked #198 (or thereabouts) nationally
Valerie Ventura - IF, California, was supposed to be part of 2017 class but injured her knee the summer before enrolling. She announced that injuries would prevent her from playing college softball, but later said that rehab had gone well and that she would be attending Arkansas this coming fall.

This is a very solid class.

Here is the release about them, which includes blurbs on everyone except Ventura:

http://www.arkansasrazorbacks.com/deifel-brings-second-top-25-class-to-fayetteville/

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #40 on: May 27, 2018, 05:27:47 pm »

just touching a bit on pitching prospects from their coaches (which sometimes is good info, sometimes just promotion):  Jenna Bloom throws four pitches effectively (the definition of that varies whether you are throwing to the sisters of mercy or OU) knuckleball, rise, screwball, and change.  I guess her change and knuckle between them take the place of a drop.

Megan Robertson's coach says she throws SIX pitches effectively.  Would that be curve, screwball (which is sort of a curve but in the opposite direction), drop, rise, change up, super mystery pitch (maybe straight fastball)?

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #41 on: May 27, 2018, 05:29:31 pm »

Lol at “super mystery pitch” - that’s awesome.

I hope the catcher knows what it is!!!
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flippinhogmana

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #42 on: May 27, 2018, 05:34:57 pm »

Lol at “super mystery pitch” - that’s awesome.

I hope the catcher knows what it is!!!

she has to, its number six!
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flippinhogmana

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #43 on: May 27, 2018, 05:46:45 pm »

some thoughts in general and then about pitching:

First, Coach D was quoted recently as saying that what the SEC is now in woman's softball, the PAC 10 used to be.  The rise of the SEC, partially supplanting the PAC ten conference (they did get five of the supers but only 7 in the tournament while we got 13) is in direct proportion, imho, to two things:  the weather (SEC being more generally favorable to earlier and more year round training and games, and the recruitment of Cali girls to the SEC.

As the level of play has improved more in the SEC, it has also improved the level of play for high school and travel programs in the southeast.  There was once a time that if a girl in the southeast had the same stats as a girl from Cali, then you naturally assumed the Cali girl was better.  Thats not as true anymore.  Take for instance Mary Haff.  It is difficult to evaluate players on what vids I can get (maybe because Psych has a flosoft membership he has access to better).  If you want to evaluate girls especially in that region you have to do a lot more research and dig harder.  Sometimes it comes down to intangibles as well.  In respect to Haff I had found enough by last winter to be convinced that she was the real deal.  I said so sometime back then.  I thought she might be better than Autumn Storms but I think that turned out that way for two reasons.  (1) I am not convinced that Autumn has been herself all this year (2) Haff is more of the real deal than even my optimism lead me to believe.  That said, two of our future pitchers are one of each (one from Cali and one from the Southeast).  I think both Jenna Bloom and Megan Robertson will prove to be the real deal as well. 

I think both Autumn and Caroline will be improved this year as well.  They should be well motivated to be because if they aren't Megan Robertson might become our number two pitcher for next year.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2018, 12:14:58 am by flippinhogmana »
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Scott7703

Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #44 on: May 27, 2018, 10:52:06 pm »

Thanks for the info Psych! I could see 3-4 of them fitting right in and contributing immediately.

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #45 on: May 28, 2018, 06:39:57 am »

http://www.arkansasrazorbacks.com/deifel-adds-depth-with-seven-newcomers/

Even though this article is entitled seven newcomers, it shows eight.  There was no write up on Valerie Ventura (the one in the front far right, next to Kennedy Ratliff who also ended up not stay either) because between the time they brought them all in as a group and time to announce their signings she blew out her knee. 

Other than her pick and a few comments in threads in early 2017 from either me or Psych, I couldnt find any ink.  But I am happy she is making it to campus now as a 2017-18 hybrid. 

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #46 on: May 28, 2018, 11:24:34 am »

Here is a link to her most recent tweet about making it after all:

https://twitter.com/_valerieventura/status/984597405633949696?s=21

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #47 on: May 28, 2018, 12:16:21 pm »

there are several of our recruits (larissa cesena is certainly another one as well) who are devoted hogites already.  Its nice to see them bonding with her teammates, retweeting hog tweets and each others tweets as well as keeping up with each other. 
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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #48 on: May 28, 2018, 05:10:30 pm »

she has to, its number six!

Do you need a six fingered catcher to call her pitches?

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Re: Update on Softball Recruiting
« Reply #49 on: May 28, 2018, 05:14:32 pm »

Do you need a six fingered catcher to call her pitches?

nah just more data points on all the arm bands

I just dont know what six separate pitches would be.  Most softball pitchers throw maximum four.  Most left handers throw a screw ball, a curve-ball, a drop ball and/or a rise.  If you throw a knuckle ball that is a mystery pitch in itself, at least in baseball - even most pitchers who use it aren't entirely sure how it will break. But it usually dives like a splitter.  Maybe that is her sixth pitch a splitter but like I said, a knuckle ball is very similar. 

Most right-handers dont throw the screwball (again most of my knowledge about the screwball in particularly comes from baseball, and in baseball the screwball is hard on the elbow, but left handers always seem to have more of a knack for it).  Throwing both a splitter and a drop is also redundant. 

If you can consistently throw a drop, rise, curve and a change-up for strikes and keep any repetitive use of them down, you are going to get most college hitters out most of the time, even the good ones.   The trick is to be able to throw all of them for strikes on any count and to keep the hitters off balance.   Haff gets most of her strike outs looking on the change.  They just arent expecting it where she puts it on a two strike count.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2018, 05:25:47 pm by flippinhogmana »
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