Sure Quiet

Discussion in 'Softball' started by flash34, Feb 19, 2018.

  1. flash34

    flash34 250+ Posts

    Regarding softball's 4-4 season start. Is there any optimism that it will get better? The four wins are against second-tier teams and the four losses are against good teams (that we were essentially non-competitive in). Pitching again seems less than stellar..........as in weak. Hitting is ??? Real early but...............
     
  2. racerx5908

    racerx5908 500+ Posts

    Pitching: When you have 6 (!!) pitchers, you have no pitchers

    Hitting: I think firing Corrie Hill is turning out to be a mistake. Offensive output is way down.

    Newbies: Very impressed with Jenae Jefferson. Here's hoping we don't "ruin" her like we did with others, those that had a breakout year, only to decline each year afterwards.

    I hope the new AD takes a close look at the progress of this team. The recruiting and the play calling has me scratching my head.
     
  3. ViperHorn

    ViperHorn 5,000+ Posts

    I will not say insanity, but nothing has changed since Cat left so why expect any improvement?
     
  4. flash34

    flash34 250+ Posts

    I would love to be a fly on the wall and listen to the discussion between Del Conte and the holdover women’s AD as to what is going on with the softball program and why Clark has been retained over the last 5 years or so. By end of this season, If there is no change in results and no change in program leadership.........something is VERY strange. Corporate world, changes would have happened years ago.......so what is the criteria?
     
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  5. racerx5908

    racerx5908 500+ Posts

    The fact that he fired the track coach in the middle of the season was a "Wow" moment for me. It shows he's also looking at what he's got now and the past history of the program. I almost wrote him an email asking him to take a closer look at softball this year. I still might.
     
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  6. Vol Horn 4 Life

    Vol Horn 4 Life 2,500+ Posts

    Not surprising, I was going to buy season tickets. All of the game times were listed as TBD so i sent an inquiry because last years games were almost all afternoons which being a working family would be almost impossible to attend games. I didnt even get an automated response and never heard back at all.

    When my daughter attended camp, Clark was involved about 15 minutes for the entire two days giving an opening speech.

    Not surprising the program is this bad.
     
  7. racerx5908

    racerx5908 500+ Posts

    Last year I exchanged emails with Chris Plonsky. I said:
    1) I have to be waiting at the curb to pick up my kids directly from school and race over to McCombs to make these insane 4:00 or 4:30 or 5:00 games.
    2) The stands are empty because other people aren't as crazy as I am to fight through traffic. Playing to an empty stadium is not good for the "brand"
    3) How are you going to build a loyal following without any live fans?
    4) Is it because of LHN?

    To her credit, for this email and others I've sent her in the past, she does personally respond.

    She comeback was:
    a) some of the times were shifted to accommodate teams such as Texas State who agreed to come up and play and wanted to get back earlier than originally planned
    b) one game was moved up earlier in the afternoon (!!!) to accommodate a fashion show that was being broadcast on LHN (!!!)
    c) sorry, but sometimes we have to accommodate LHN. There is a number of hours that the men and women's teams have to provide content to LHN according to some agreement or contract. So sometimes, they make scheduling decisions based on the slot that LHN has open

    Some longtime seat neighbors have finally had enough and given up their season tickets. There's no worry about seeing a game, they can get tickets anytime because no one shows up anymore.

    Tomorrow, it's projected to be a high of 49 and rainy and the game starts at 5:00. I guess I'll be watching in on LHN and "eating" my tickets.

    I may write the new AD.
     
  8. Vol Horn 4 Life

    Vol Horn 4 Life 2,500+ Posts


    I'll give credit that there was an honest response, but to me that sounds like very defeatist mentality.....eh, its LHN's fault. That may be a fact, but there could have been some basic attempt to talk about things they are doing to improve.

    After posting I went back to the schedule and I see game times have been posted for the season and it is almost like last year with lots of games in the middle of the afternoon and some weekend games at 11am or noon. I can see none of those games unless I happen to be off those days (I get rotating days off) so I'm glad I didn't take a chance and waste my money on season tix.

    You are absolutely right that getting tickets is not a problem because the stadium is almost completely empty for every game.
     
  9. ViperHorn

    ViperHorn 5,000+ Posts

    Winning helps everything and covers a lot of warts. Any coach using LHN as an scape goat should be given the option of not having their team on the LHN - and lose their share of the golden kitty.
     
  10. racerx5908

    racerx5908 500+ Posts

    Hunh? Which coach? Using what excuse of LHN? The discussion was about the funky, inconsiderate scheduling based on some LHN considerations.
     
  11. ViperHorn

    ViperHorn 5,000+ Posts

    Excuse me. Plonsky blamed LHN so if the women's AD doesn't like LHN - give the women's share to the general school fund..
     
  12. jusme828

    jusme828 1,000+ Posts

    Texas wins over #20 Michigan, 3-0.
     
  13. racerx5908

    racerx5908 500+ Posts

    But loses to Wichita State. Leading 5-3, you could see Eric Wright losing her control, walking 2 hitters and loading the bases. I said, "Pull her, pull her Connie. C'mon pull her!!!!!"

    But Connie has always been consistent in leaving in a pitcher one inning too long and just had the serious mound talk with Erica.

    Who turns around and gives up a double scoring 3.

    Connie will never, ever change. Argh.
     
  14. ViperHorn

    ViperHorn 5,000+ Posts

    As consistent as the sunrise.
     
  15. Vol Horn 4 Life

    Vol Horn 4 Life 2,500+ Posts

    We win against Va Tech 3-2 when we probably should have lost. If the pitcher would keep her foot on the rubber Texas probably never scores the first two runs.

    Blew a 5-4 7th inning lead against Ohio St with a grand salami to lose 8-5.

    Lost to Michigan 4-0 with nothing at all happening offensively today leaving the Horns 6-8 overall.

    It's time for a change, but it will never happen.
     
  16. racerx5908

    racerx5908 500+ Posts

    I was going to post something but UT Softball has broken my will.
     
  17. lostman

    lostman 500+ Posts

    A bit late, but just now catching up on this. Just to clarify something...Texas State has not played a weekday game at 4:30 for at least the last three years, as far as I recall. It has always been a 6:00-6:30 game.

    I don’t think they are in any rush to drive 30-45 minutes down the road. :rolleyes1:
     
  18. racerx5908

    racerx5908 500+ Posts

    My bad.

    I looked at last year's schedule and we had:
    UTSA @ 4:00 pm on 3/08
    McNeese State @ 4:00 pm on 3/22
    Texas Southern @ 5:00 on 4/19

    All Wed games, not Sat or Sun.

    those teams wanted to hit the road ASAP
     
  19. lostman

    lostman 500+ Posts

    Not your bad, but Plonsky’s. She doesn’t know what her teams are doing and is creating scapegoats where there shouldn’t be.
     
    racerx5908 likes this.
  20. Vol Horn 4 Life

    Vol Horn 4 Life 2,500+ Posts

    So the team is now 10-12 on the year with the most recent loss to Eastern Illinois while barely beating Coastal Carolina in a late come from behind victory. We have powerhouses Jacksonville St and College of Charleston on the schedule for today then Georgetown tomorrow. I "hope" we go 2-1 this weekend, but who the heck knows.

    I can't hardly bear to check results when we get into conference play.

    What excuses is CP giving for poor results this year? Not sure a losing record will get us into the tourney so what next? Just keep on under performing year in and year out? Surely Del Conte will have something to say about this.

    The description for the feeling I have right now for a once proud and excellent program is apathy.


    Edit: We swept both games yesterday closing with a 7th inning surge to win 1-0 against Coastal Carolina. I guess a win is a win? :idk:
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
  21. Vol Horn 4 Life

    Vol Horn 4 Life 2,500+ Posts

    We lost to Georgetown 1-0 which made me realize this team has absolutely no offense at all. I know these ladies knew how to bat before coming to Texas, so what happened?

    Below are scores of 8 of the last 12 games. We have averaged 0.625 runs per GAME. We're making some mediocre pitchers look like all stars!

    L - Michigan 0-4
    L - Zona 0-2
    L - Zona 2-10
    W - UTSA 1-0
    L - USC 0-1
    L - Eastern Il 1-5
    W - CoC 1-0
    L - Georgetown 0-1
     
  22. racerx5908

    racerx5908 500+ Posts

    It seems the bats have gone dead after Corrie Hill left.
     
  23. ViperHorn

    ViperHorn 5,000+ Posts

    and that is usually what happens when an assistant is a sacrificial lamb to save the HC's job.
     
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  24. racerx5908

    racerx5908 500+ Posts

    I would encourage many of you to write: ad@athletics.utexas.edu
    as I am planning to do. I decided to map the last 10 years, including
    this year, so I can graphically see how things are. Also, this will
    be included in my note to the AD. The UT softball record:
    [​IMG]

    When I say "Non-CWS", I mean not in Oklahoma City. In almost all the years listed above, we played in a Regional (and lost).

    When doing this, though....to be fair, are we holding Connie to a different standard (winning percentage) then we do women's basketball? Here's my chart I built to see how Karen Aston (who I like for UT) is doing:
    [​IMG]
    What's the minimum for softball? 0.700 and above? I would think that's true for basketball (for me) as well.
     
  25. Vol Horn 4 Life

    Vol Horn 4 Life 2,500+ Posts


    I would say winning 3 of 4 or .750, making the tourney almost every year, advancing past the first round every other year or better and being in the CWS once every 5 or 6 years is a solid expectation for a major university who expects to be competing for national championships.

    Please keep in mind I'm saying after the program is rebuilt these numbers should be the expectation. Karen Aston has a career winning percentage of .655 but that is while doing serious building at Charlotte, one year at North Texas and her first two years here. I would be willing to wager a bet that in five years from now she will hover somewhere at or above .750 every year. Just looking at the talent she is piling up I would be surprised if I'm wrong.

    I can see having one year occasionally around the .600 mark if the team is in a rebuilding year, but there are enough patsies on the schedule that a .600 winning percentage is a pretty low bar. With a good coach we can recruit anyone we want and should be able to develop those players to win more than what we are now even in a rebuilding year...in my opinion.

    Regardless, to be at or below .600 in three of the last five years is terrible coaching of the talent we do manage to get. I mean, that's losing not quite every other game for three of the past five years.

    Connie's last conference tournament championship was 13 years ago and her last regular season conference championship was 8 years ago. Her only consistent success was when Cat was dominating in the mid 2000's making the CWS three times and even with one of the most dominating pitchers in the history of college softball she still couldn't get it done.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
  26. ViperHorn

    ViperHorn 5,000+ Posts

    THIS.
     
  27. racerx5908

    racerx5908 500+ Posts

    Excerpt of my email to Chris Del Conte (I've only left in pertinent parts):

    I have many issues to write you about, but in this email I'd just like to focus on softball. The softball
    team really needs a review from your perspective. Chris Plonsky is too emotionally invested in the
    program to look at the situation realistically.

    When I look at the sports programs at UT, I consider three factors:

    1) recruiting
    2) player development
    3) in-game coaching

    Recruiting
    There was a time where Connie Clark recruited outstanding players. These days, the best
    Texas players are headed elsewhere. You just have to look at the current squad to see it
    plainly. Texas softball has 6 (!) pitchers on the roster. It's common for a team to have 3,
    maybe on a rare occasion, 4 pitchers on staff. Last year Connie had 5 pitchers for the first
    time ever. We lose 3 pitchers after this year and we gain 2 pitchers next year, so we will
    be back to 5 pitchers.

    What does this tell you? This indicates that she's crossing her fingers and praying that
    one of those 5 or 6 pitchers will be THE transcendent player that will lift her team for 3-4
    years. I know that TCU has no softball team, so you may not have had to analyze a softball
    team for a while. But really successful softball teams have a 1A pitcher and the ones
    that make it to the College World Series have a 1b as well.

    You only have to look at Oklahoma. They have had superior pitching for many years - enough
    that they've won multiple NCAA championships in the last 10 years. Two years ago, they
    found a freshman pitcher that was phenomenal. Then last year, they found an even BETTER
    pitcher that regulated their start pitcher to second-best. Connie is struggling to guess which
    of her 6 pitchers is the ONE, and to be honest they're good but superior.

    One damning statement from Connie years ago was that she won't keep recruiting a player
    that has verbally committed to another school. She said that she's had it done to her
    and that she won't do it to another coach. That shows a lack of competitiveness that others,
    notably OU and Baylor do not subscribe to.

    Player Development
    I've had season tickets for many years now. As I mentioned earlier, the beauty of women's sports
    is you can see their development. Through the years, I've seen players have surprising freshman or
    sophmore years never to live up to those breakout years. In fact, it's downright depressing to
    see some freshman come in and become a surprise homerun or RBI hitter to get worse and worse
    over the their remaining years.

    Players in high school and can see this deterioration as well and are not inclined to come play for
    Texas. I think Connie has realized this and has tried changing her coaches, but it's only gotten worse.
    She's a bad evaluator and boss of the coaches that are supposed to be helping improve our players.

    In-game coaching
    I think this is really what Connie lives for. Speaking to others who know more about the inner
    workings of the program, they call her a "CEO" coach. She doesn't deal with the day-to-day
    coaching and training but seems to only live for game day coaching decisions. I've seen many,
    many games literally tossed away because she's stubborn and won't make a change when the
    game is on the line. To be blunt, the game has passed her by. She hasn't adjusted to what other
    teams are doing and we lose winnable games.

    I'm attaching a chart I've made of the last 10 years. In each year, we do play in an NCAA Regional
    and in 9 out of the 10 years we lose in the Regional.

    [Inserted graph of Connie's record for the last 10 years]

    It used to be the case where we were always chasing OU and every 1 out of 4 years we'd catch them
    and be Big 12 champs. Now, Baylor has surpassed Texas and we're chasing Baylor!

    Chris Plonsky will never fire Connie because she did build the program from the ground up, literally.
    And maybe that's the problem.

    [I sent the email and forgot a key part - so I had to send a second part email]

    Sorry, I sent the email too quickly. Last year, I received the softball ticket renewal application. I sighed
    and sat on it for a week and then decided, "Okay, why not" and renewed.

    Since we've started getting softball season ticket holders, we've seen probably.....5 sets of season
    ticket holders around us give up their tickets. I know of 2 more that will be giving up theirs next year.

    And sadly, I'm not going to renew next year. In the past, our section would be full of Longhorn burnt
    orange. As time has gone on, and ticket holders have lost faith in the program, anyone can get
    these prime seats meant for longtime ticket holders or Foundation members (of which I'm one).

    And the most annoying thing? Being surrounded by opposing fans IN OUR OWN SECTION
    on game day since they just buy these great seats that are open.

    One more annoying factor is the awful scheduling. I wrote Plonsky about this one one of
    her replies was that LHN contract requires X-many games to be shown. One game interfered
    with a fashion show to be shown on LHN, so they moved the game time up! So, it's better
    to broadcast a game in an empty stadium!

    I'm giving up my season tickets and then just purchasing games we can actually attend.

    Last year the games were at:

    UTSA @ 4:00 pm on 3/08
    McNeese State @ 4:00 pm on 3/22
    Texas Southern @ 5:00 on 4/19

    Why bother when I can record in on LHN?
     
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  28. Vol Horn 4 Life

    Vol Horn 4 Life 2,500+ Posts

    I'll be interested to see if he responds, which I'm betting he actually will. Very curious to see the slant, because there's no chance he tells you there will be a change.

    I really wanted to get season tickets this year, but with such crappy scheduling I couldn't figure out how to see the games.

    Notice how quickly they are to cancel games due to weather? Twice this year softball games were cancelled when baseball games were played. A third game was cancelled but not sure if baseball was in town. Almost like she'd rather not compete.
     
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  29. ViperHorn

    ViperHorn 5,000+ Posts

    Remember the Dish is all turf.
     
  30. racerx5908

    racerx5908 500+ Posts

    Got a thank you note from Del Conte's admin saying he read the email and appreciated the input.

    Hey, that's something. I once copied Del Conte on an email to Tom Herman and neither confirmed.
     
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