- Jan 19, 2023
FactsIncorrect. I was there, for both the game itself and the decision making process that led to the lineup. Ashley‘s injuries meant that she typically needed 3 to 4 days of rest and recovery to be ready to go another 5 to 7 innings. We could’ve been talking about a different situation had Tennessee run ruled Alabama, rather than that game having to go to the full seven innings, but that’s not what happened.
The Karen quote that you keep leaning on as if it validates your point was when she was asked in the post game whether Ashley was healthy enough to pitch. She said she would have been available for an inning or two had the game turned out differently. And I can tell you from sitting in those meetings with the team that was the plan. Get it to late in the ball game and let her come in and finish it out. She was physically ready to do that, but not start and go 5-7 innings.
Oklahoma had struggled all season with high velocity pitching. The thought was to get a time or two through the lineup with Pickens, then turn it over to Peyton or Ashley to get the win. The other thing that did was ensure that your entire staff was available in the event you also had to play an elimination game the next day. For the record, I would still love to have seen how the first two innings had turned out if Pickens had been getting the corners of the strike zone, but she didn’t, so playing the if’s and buts game isn’t worth spending the time on.
I can appreciate your fandom, particularly your appreciation for sports that don’t get the same coverage as football or basketball. But you often speak in absolutes on what should happen or should have happened without the correct or complete information. That’s certainly your right, but you are making sweeping judgments about coaches and decisions when the information you are facing at all on is often not correct.
Karen watched the Stanford Freshman pitcher dominate the Oklahoma hitters and made a terrible coaching decision off of that game. She tried to out smart the #1 team in the country. Coaching mistake number #1
The “RISK” she was referring too was thinking Pickens is the same pitcher as Candy.
If Ashley could pitch in relief why not start her and get what you can out of her? It’s called setting the tone. That was the dumbest coaching move ever and not any other coach in college softball would have your ace setting the bench waiting to come in for relief in that situation.
She had zero trust in Pickens and didn’t pitch her in regionals and supers but thought she could pitch her on the biggest stage against the best team. That showed Ralph was the true mastermind of Tennessee Softball all those years.
The team over achieved and Karen received a lot of credit but she better be able to take it when the team underachieves with the lack of pitching this year.