Lady Vols Softball Team Gets Worse Each Year

#1

Spook1

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#1
The Lady Vols Softball team has peaked and is getting worse each year. The team only has one good pitcher who will be a senior next year. The Weekly's have done a good job over the years, but it is time to do something else. The team will be no better next year. The team was eliminated from the softball world series teams today and beaten soundly by James Madison University and Liberty. It is time to do something better.
 
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#2

youcancallmeAl

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#2
The Lady Vols Softball team has peaked and is getting worse each year. The team only has one good pitcher who will be a senior next year. The Weekly's have done a good job over the years, but it is time to do something else. The team will be no better next year. The team was eliminated from the softball world series teams today and beaten soundly by James Madison University and Liberty. It is time to do something better.
What's your plan?
 
#3

cwbytruckers

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#3
Sadly making a change is always hard for long tenure coaches. But they do seem stuck in their plan. We need some sluggers. Not just small ball slappers. I know that works also. But look at some of the better teams. We dont have that batter pitchers really fear. And we need more than one good pitcher. Now I admit I dont follow recruiting that closely. Hopefully they are making these changes.
 
#6

Spook1

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#6
First, I would look at the coaching staff and possibly do a couple of replacements with some strong recruiters along with the ability to coach players upward. Ralph Weekly has his brother as a coach, but can he be replaced with someone else that is a strong recruiter. Next I would look at getting some better pitchers...essentially we currently have one good pitcher. She pitched in two successive games with something like 165 to 170 pitches in one game and around 140 in the next game...the reason was simply she was all we had. Most good teams have 3 strong pitchers. Without her the LV's would be in the very bottom of the league. Since, you asked what would be your plan?
 
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#7

1TheCoach1

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#7
First, I would look at the coaching staff and possibly do a couple of replacements with some strong recruiters along with the ability to coach players upward. Ralph Weekly has his brother as a coach, but can he be replaced with someone else that is a strong recruiter. Next I would look at getting some better pitchers...essentially we currently have one good pitcher. She pitched in two successive games with something like 165 to 170 pitches in one game and around 140 in the next game...the reason was simply she was all we had. Most good teams have 3 strong pitchers. Without her the LV's would be in the very bottom of the league. Since, you asked what would be your plan?
Once again, have you seen the 2022 class they are bringing in?
 
#8

Spook1

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#8
You are a glass is half empty kind of person aren't you. 2022 class is loaded for the Lady Vols softball team and a pitcher that is already throwing up to 71 mph as a junior in high school is in that class.
It seems we hear that story of a great class every year, while still being a mediocre team the last few years. Your junior high school pitcher is two years away from college and will probably end up going elsewhere for a team that will win a national championship.
 
#9

Putbacks

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#9
Detail the 2022 class for us again if you will. I recall a recent class that looked impressive two or three years out, but thinned out due to defections closer to signing day. Who else is in that class besides the pitcher from NC? Thanks
 
#10

youcancallmeAl

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#10
First, I would look at the coaching staff and possibly do a couple of replacements with some strong recruiters along with the ability to coach players upward. Ralph Weekly has his brother as a coach, but can he be replaced with someone else that is a strong recruiter. Next I would look at getting some better pitchers...essentially we currently have one good pitcher. She pitched in two successive games with something like 165 to 170 pitches in one game and around 140 in the next game...the reason was simply she was all we had. Most good teams have 3 strong pitchers. Without her the LV's would be in the very bottom of the league. Since, you asked what would be your plan?
We pay AD White to make plans with each program. I trust he will sit the Weekly's down and give them the resources they need to meet their improvement plan and give them a chance to improve. I'm guessing the last AD didn't pay as much attention to them as he should have. So my plan is to let AD White do his thing.
 
#11

1TheCoach1

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#11
It seems we hear that story of a great class every year, while still being a mediocre team the last few years. Your junior high school pitcher is two years away from college and will probably end up going elsewhere for a team that will win a national championship.
Where exactly do you get 2 years away from college? She is a class of 2022 commit. You are aware it is 2021 now? If she graduates early she could come in and play next season. If she graduates normal she will be here after next season. Worst case scenario is she is here after 1 season. Nicola Simpson signed in the 2021 class (pitcher). Things are not nearly as bad as some want to believe.
 
#13

BelleVol

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#13
It seems we hear that story of a great class every year, while still being a mediocre team the last few years. Your junior high school pitcher is two years away from college and will probably end up going elsewhere for a team that will win a national championship.
Something happens to the “great classes” between their first and last years with the current coaching staff in recent years. Good pitchers get burned out, good hitters don’t improve year to year, players are indoctrinated into an obsolete game strategy that has failed to be relevant, lack of player leadership.
This team in particular looked like they were merely going through the motions. Burned out. That’s on the coaching staff.
 
#15

volman128

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#15
Where exactly do you get 2 years away from college? She is a class of 2022 commit. You are aware it is 2021 now? If she graduates early she could come in and play next season. If she graduates normal she will be here after next season. Worst case scenario is she is here after 1 season. Nicola Simpson signed in the 2021 class (pitcher). Things are not nearly as bad as some want to believe.
He meant two seasons (i.e. the 2023 season). Softball is a spring sport, last I checked. I supposed you'd rather play semantics (since this season is technically over) instead for whatever reason.

Simpson is a great prospect but not elite. And she will still be a freshman. Callie Turner was an elite pitching prospect that has basically been a scrub here so far. The Weeklys need to pray they can get someone through the transfer portal or it's not going to be a whole lot better next season in terms of relying on Ashley Rogers in the circle. Hopefully Simpson can help relieve some pressure on her and Turner can become more reliable.

We just had the worst NCAAT performance (1-2 and didn't even make our own regional final) since the pre-Abbott days, after several years of obvious slippage in the program and you want to say "it's not as bad as some want to believe"? Fans have every right to be alarmed, and I question anyone who isn't alarmed, TBH.
 
#18

DeerPark12

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#18
Sadly making a change is always hard for long tenure coaches. But they do seem stuck in their plan. We need some sluggers. Not just small ball slappers. I know that works also. But look at some of the better teams. We dont have that batter pitchers really fear. And we need more than one good pitcher. Now I admit I dont follow recruiting that closely. Hopefully they are making these changes.
Tennessee has only started one slapper, Kaitlin Parsons, this year, and she only started about half the games. The Weeklys moved away from relying on that several years ago. They turned Cailin Hannon from a slapper to a swing away hitter three years ago and she's become one of the more consistent performers offensively. Every team is going to have a couple of fast players that have that in their arsenal, but nobody uses it as a primary offense anymore.

As far as slugging, UT was 6th in the SEC in home runs, second in doubles and fourth in runs scored. Players with the ability to do these things was not the problem. Players' inability to do them in key situations was definitely the problem.

As for pitching, I would agree that it wasn't good enough behind Ashley Rogers. But relying on only her certainly wasn't the plan. Since you don't follow the recruiting side, you probably weren't aware that Callie Turner was one of the top pitchers in her class and was someone that most every SEC school wanted. She took a step back this year after a solid freshman campaign last year. Bailey McCachren and Anna Hazelwood were both Top 50 overall recruits in their classes and have proven to be vastly overrated. Some of that is coaching, some is evaluation, so you'd have a valid criticism there, but the idea that UT wanted to rely on one pitcher is not correct.
 
#21

Hoya Saxa

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#21
How much money does the softball program lose every year to get these results? As a public university, that means the citizens of the state are being taxed so the university can prop up a losing program. Is this really the best use of limited taxpayer funds?
 
#22

SDV

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#22
I’m not calling for a coaching change, but I find it concerning that when I listened to Karen on the EA show earlier in the week, she sounded very cocky and acted like these teams wouldn’t be ready to play with UT since we played in the SEC all season long. It’s not the kind of message that you want to send to your players as a coach. Simply put, they overlooked these teams and got beat.
 
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#23

Memvol44

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#23
I’m not calling for a coaching change, but I find it concerning that when I listened to Karen on the EA show earlier in the week, she sounded very cocky and acted like these teams wouldn’t be ready to play with UT since we played in the SEC all season long. It’s not the kind of message that you want to send to your players as a coach. Simply put, they overlooked these teams and got beat.
Does Karen ever have an after game interview?? Interested to hear her thoughts on these embarrassing losses.,Or do her and Ralph just get on their boat and ride the rest of the summer away??
 
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#24

beachvol23

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#24
We pay AD White to make plans with each program. I trust he will sit the Weekly's down and give them the resources they need to meet their improvement plan and give them a chance to improve. I'm guessing the last AD didn't pay as much attention to them as he should have. So my plan is to let AD White do his thing.
Your assuming the Weekleys have a “plan” to to make changes when they probably do not. They look tired, stubborn and DONE! Time to turn the program over to the Shipleys for fresh energy and take program to next step!
 
#25

djohnnyg

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#25
Vol softball always just good enough to be considered "good" but not enough to get anywhere in the post season. When you are a ranked sec team and you bow out like this every year... especially this year there should be change. It can't be accepted as "oh well...it happens" cuz it happens every year. The op is right. The program is not getting better...it's getting worse...and at this point in their long tenure it's gotta change.
 

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