Tennessee Lady Vols Softball 2022.

EZE

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To OU's credit, they have some local businesses that value softball to the point that NIL deals have made scholarship limits basically meaningless. So where there previously wouldn't have been money available for kids, they basically have extra now.

UT is taking advantage of this as well, but OU has perfected the pitch when recruiting transfers, convincing them to walk-on and worry about the money later.
Question for the board…would increasing scholarships to 15 (with, say 12, required to be full) help reduce the flow into the portal each year? I can see where a girl on a partial scholarship might want to see if she could do better elsewhere, but I have to think that a girl with a full scholarship would have to think twice (at least her parents would) before risking it by transferring.

I don’t pretend to know the answer…and I know the NIL money complicates the issue…I’m really just wanting to see some debate on the topic.
 
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Majors

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Question for the board…would increasing scholarships to 15 (with, say 12, required to be full) help reduce the flow into the portal each year? I can see where a girl on a partial scholarship might want to see if she could do better elsewhere, but I have to think that a girl with a full scholarship would have to think twice (at least her parents would) before risking it by transferring.

I don’t pretend to know the answer…and I know the NIL money complicates the issue…I’m really just wanting to see some debate on the topic.
Just think we have 26 on the roster this year.
 

anecwnrjcns12

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There should be a limit on that, too, IMO. Maybe dress 16-18 per game. And allow a few redshirts.
I think redshirts only work if both the player and coach agree that is what will be best long-term. I thought there was a limit on how many players can dress out. I could be wrong but didn’t ULL have like a roster of 22+ plus like 5,6 years ago? I remember watching one of their regional games and they had a ton of people not dressed out.
 
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EZE

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I think redshirts only work if both the player and coach agree that is what will be best long-term. I thought there was a limit on how many players can dress out. I could be wrong but didn’t ULL have like a roster of 22+ plus like 5,6 years ago? I remember watching one of their regional games and they had a ton of people not dressed out.
I think you always want redshirt opportunities for players who are known projects…known by the coach, the player and their family. I can’t imagine many, if any, of those types of players getting scholarship money for that redshirt year.

But, some players have obvious potential that could blossom with the opportunity to get college level coaching and strength training for a year without having to produce.
 

Majors

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I think you always want redshirt opportunities for players who are known projects…known by the coach, the player and their family. I can’t imagine many, if any, of those types of players getting scholarship money for that redshirt year.

But, some players have obvious potential that could blossom with the opportunity to get college level coaching and strength training for a year without having to produce.
Unless it's an injury redshirt or pitcher, I don't see the use of redshirts for kids not ready anymore. The portal has put a stop to that by being able to go get a player ready now vs. later. Freshman today going to P5 schools are day 1 ready to compete and provide depth if not then they will be recruited over/pushed out or hit the portal themselves. The one player in our class this year that I would entertain being a RS would be Pickens, only because we have the luxury of deep experienced staff this year.
 

EZE

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Unless it's an injury redshirt or pitcher, I don't see the use of redshirts for kids not ready anymore. The portal has put a stop to that by being able to go get a player ready now vs. later. Freshman today going to P5 schools are day 1 ready to compete and provide depth if not then they will be recruited over/pushed out or hit the portal themselves. The one player in our class this year that I would entertain being a RS would be Pickens, only because we have the luxury of deep experienced staff this year.
I think there are situations where I’d use it as a coach. Especially if I had an incoming freshman pitcher with an exceptional arm, but some control inconsistencies. Maybe my staff could fix a small mechanical issue and we’d have an ace. I’d give no scholarships money, so what would I have to lose?

But, I agree with you. The more likely path would be for the kid to play at a lower level her first year, prove herself and transfer up.

We could get to the point that very few freshmen play high level D1 out of high school. But instead, lower level D1 starts serving as a kind of farm system for the bigger programs.
 

OrangeBeachVol

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I have seen comments by other coaches in SB, FB,BB say the same thing with the portal. Now not only do they have to recruit the new players they also have re-recruit a number of players currently on the team. But I guess it works both ways, you lose one to the portal you just get another one. Different world now.
 

jp1

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I have seen comments by other coaches in SB, FB,BB say the same thing with the portal. Now not only do they have to recruit the new players they also have re-recruit a number of players currently on the team. But I guess it works both ways, you lose one to the portal you just get another one. Different world now.
Yeah, kind of sucks for the non power 5 coach. Coaches constantly raiding the roster that they developed (and spent a lot of money on) and never getting to reap the rewards.
 

Vol67

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Question for the board…would increasing scholarships to 15 (with, say 12, required to be full) help reduce the flow into the portal each year? I can see where a girl on a partial scholarship might want to see if she could do better elsewhere, but I have to think that a girl with a full scholarship would have to think twice (at least her parents would) before risking it by transferring.

I don’t pretend to know the answer…and I know the NIL money complicates the issue…I’m really just wanting to see some debate on the topic.
No. Raising a scholarship limits will not affect the portal very much at all.
 
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Majors

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I was out in HB today and I realized Karen was a couple feet away from me watching Virginia Unity. I really hope a few of those kids commit to UT. A lot of good, quality players w big potential on that team.
Strong team with roster top to bottom of talent. She’s still trying to get a seat at the table with Heavener and not moving the needle. They have a few younger TN kids, Linton would be the one that will get a lot of interest. To me the 3rd/4th best LHP in the state this year. At best a Jordy Bahl type kid if she can get her pitching MPH to what she promotes.
 

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I was out in HB today and I realized Karen was a couple feet away from me watching Virginia Unity. I really hope a few of those kids commit to UT. A lot of good, quality players w big potential on that team.
Would be interested in your thoughts on Orsini if you've had a chance to see her live this week, I don't expect her to pitch much this late in the tournament if any. I've seen her a few times but would interested in your take.
 

anecwnrjcns12

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Would be interested in your thoughts on Orsini if you've had a chance to see her live this week, I don't expect her to pitch much this late in the tournament if any. I've seen her a few times but would interested in your take.
She’s playing at a different park at the moment, but if I have time I’ll head over and watch her play. I know she pitched early in this tournament and looked decent. I also saw Pickens and her stuff looked good from where I was standing.
 

Majors

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Orsini will be playing in the PGF championship on EPSNU. I highly doubt that she will be starting, but it’ll be nice, if she does pitch, to get a good gauge on what she brings.
Here’s my view on her this summer seeing her a few times. Good experience for her to be able to go up against better/faster competition. She’s a #3-4 on the Bolts and used in blocks of 1-3 innings. Ground balls and pop flys for outs, very few strikeouts but doesn’t give up too many runs. Big games leading up to PGF had a game or two where she was brought in up big (5 runs) and lost it to be eliminated. A coach was talking with one of TN coaches in CO and it was led to believe “wait and see” “project”. She won’t blow it by anyone, screwball mix with drop maybe being her best pitch.
 

anecwnrjcns12

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Here’s my view on her this summer seeing her a few times. Good experience for her to be able to go up against better/faster competition. She’s a #3-4 on the Bolts and used in blocks of 1-3 innings. Ground balls and pop flys for outs, very few strikeouts but doesn’t give up too many runs. Big games leading up to PGF had a game or two where she was brought in up big (5 runs) and lost it to be eliminated. A coach was talking with one of TN coaches in CO and it was led to believe “wait and see” “project”. She won’t blow it by anyone, screwball mix with drop maybe being her best pitch.
I agree. I think that if she can mentally keep it together and trust the process I can see her being very useful as a relief pitcher for us.
 

DeerPark12

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Here’s my view on her this summer seeing her a few times. Good experience for her to be able to go up against better/faster competition. She’s a #3-4 on the Bolts and used in blocks of 1-3 innings. Ground balls and pop flys for outs, very few strikeouts but doesn’t give up too many runs. Big games leading up to PGF had a game or two where she was brought in up big (5 runs) and lost it to be eliminated. A coach was talking with one of TN coaches in CO and it was led to believe “wait and see” “project”. She won’t blow it by anyone, screwball mix with drop maybe being her best pitch.
Exactly what you are looking for from someone that is not eating up any of your athletic scholarship money.
 

Majors

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Exactly what you are looking for from someone that is not eating up any of your athletic scholarship money.
Agree on the principle you stated. Not sure I’d put her in the Top 4 pitchers in the state of Tennessee in the class of 22, could have done the same with any of them. And that’s not a slight to her but more of recruiting the state the last two years for the circle.
 
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DeerPark12

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Agree on the principle you stated. Not sure I’d put her in the Top 4 pitchers in the state of Tennessee in the class of 22, could have done the same with any of them. And that’s not a slight to her but more of recruiting the state the last two years for the circle.
Right or wrong, the best in-state players are looking for athletic money, even if you can show them an easy path to a full ride without it. There’s some pride there, along with bragging rights for travel programs.

That said, they didn’t pass on anyone, in-state or otherwise, to take Orsini. She may be great, she may not, but it’s low-risk. I will say that the staff is higher on her than that.
 

Majors

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Right or wrong, the best in-state players are looking for athletic money, even if you can show them an easy path to a full ride without it. There’s some pride there, along with bragging rights for travel programs.

That said, they didn’t pass on anyone, in-state or otherwise, to take Orsini. She may be great, she may not, but it’s low-risk. I will say that the staff is higher on her than that.
Don’t disagree on that in regards to scholarships. Timing on Orisini you’re correct as those others had committed, so they didn’t pass as I know one was told they won’t be taking another pitcher in the class once Pickens committed. Agree it’s low risk no harm by taking her.
 

DeerPark12

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Don’t disagree on that in regards to scholarships. Timing on Orisini you’re correct as those others had committed, so they didn’t pass as I know one was told they won’t be taking another pitcher in the class once Pickens committed. Agree it’s low risk no harm by taking her.
Here’s the other thing on scholarship money, and it’s a new thing going forward, but I think baseball and softball are probably the sports where saving money for players that will be in the transfer portal is going to have the biggest impact on high school kids. Especially when it comes to pitching. I think when you look across the country, the hit rate on highly rated pitchers is much lower than it is for position players, while some “late bloomers“ end up being fairly successful early in their careers, albeit frequently at smaller or less traditionally successful programs.

You’re always going to see kids like Pickens or Jordy Bahl at Oklahoma that are highly rated throughout the process get major offers and come off the board early. But I don’t see a lot of programs committing a lot of money to pitching beyond those top prospects. You may let a kid walk on or give them a lower percentage of scholarship, then increase it if they pan out. But I think many coaches would rather budget differently to make sure they will have something left to chase a proven picture from a smaller school or a program that is going through a transition.

It may regulate itself out a little more once these fifth year players stop being a thing after 2024, but where the majority of sports in the NCAA use the transfer portal to replace transfers that they lost, baseball and softball with partial scholarships seem to be using it as an opportunity for late bloomers to move up. Oklahoma is using it to let everybody else develop players for a couple of years, then build another super team. I really hope that changes eventually.

Ultimately, it’s the high school kids that are going to miss out on scholarship opportunities at major schools because so many are doing so much shopping in the portal.
 

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