Mardi Gras Mambo

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Grizfan-24
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First up: ULM. (ranked 119th in RPI last year, with a 25-32 record)

No live video for the tournament (bummer), but at least for the first game there are live stats.

Of note:
Brinka gets the start at pitcher and Ontiveros is absent from the lineup. Stanfield gets the start in center, Riley Peschek at SS and Eisen at 2B.
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Through 2:
ULM 3, Montana 0.
Montana Offense: 6 AB, 6 ground outs.

Montana defense: Through two innings: 3 errors, 4 extra hitters (1 walk), and 3 what should be unearned runs. The three errors led to an additional 3 extra bases and two of the errors that led to runners reaching base both scored. Along with a walk. For a contact pitcher like Brinka, plays NOT made matter.

ULM pounced for 3 in the bottom of the second, and it could have been a lot worse. Not a good start for the Griz.
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Game through 4:
ULM 4, Montana 1.
Montana offense:
3rd: Gets its first hit of the season by Jablonski, and then it is immediately wiped out by a 4-6-3 DP in the top of the third. 9 AB's 1H 1K, 1 HDIP.
4th: Starts off w/ a single by Jantzi, Stanfield clubs a double (yes a double) and the Griz are on the board. Stanfield was caught in a FC for the second out (6-5). Eisen strikes out to leave a runner stranded at 1st.

Montana Defense: In the bottom of the third, Brinka responded by inducing two ground outs and then getting a K to end the third. A fairly good start in the circle for the Griz, not a lot of walks, pitching to contact.

Bottom of the 4th: A walk followed up by another error at 3rd, led to runners at 1st and 2nd w/ no out. Two more ground outs led to another another run (this one classified as unearned).

Brinka 4IP, 21 BF 5H (all singles) 3K's 2BB.4R 3ER 8 ground outs. All in all, when you look at the totality of it, not a bad start for Brinka. Should really be through four with maybe 1R or 0R.
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Through 6:

ULM , Montana 2
Montana offense:
Top of 5: Last year the problem was that the LG couldn't get traffic on the bases, if you erase the first two innings the Griz have 4 hits (3 1b's and 2B). The Griz couldn't put up crooked numbers in so many games given the opportunities. Today in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings they have had the leadoff runner on. They started off the inning with a single (Stockton) two ground outs and a walk to Strong turned the lineup over for Jantzi. Jantzi singled to right and it loaded the bases for Jessica Stanfield. Stanfield grounded out to SS and the inning was over. Opportunity granted, opportunity not taken. 1R 5H 4LOB.

Top of 6: Sweyer flied out foul in LF to start off the inning and Hardy then fouled out to SS, then Eisen walked. Stockton then doubles and Eisen scores. Jablonski walks and Bonkavich (running for Stockton) advances to third. Yet another opportunity for the Griz to put up a crooked number for the second inning in a row. Newcomer Peschek was due up at the plate, and Meuchel goes to the bench for Mohl who showed some pop in her bat last year in limited at-bats but strikes out to end the threat. Again, opportunities were granted but the Griz couldn't capitalize. You can't say they didn't have opportunities in the 5th and 6th innings to take control of the game.

2 6H 6LOB.

Montana Defense:
Bottom of 5: Two quick outs (two fly balls) for Brinka were followed up by a IF single and a walk. Brinka gets GB to get the Griz out of the inning.

Bottom of 6: Brinka started off with a k, gave up a bunt single and then didn't help her cause with a throwing error that put runners on 1st and 3rd with 1 out and a ball hasn't been advanced beyond the pitcher. This was a chronic issue last year as unforced errors on outs given to them consistently led problems. Brinka induces a line out to second, and the gets a fly out to center.

That might likely close the book on Brinka's day and it was a solid first outing for the UNM transfer. Lots of positives to build upon.

6ip 31 BF 4R 3ER 8H 4K 3BB.
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alabamagrizzly
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Looks like LM brought in the wrong reliever.
"In Bill's(Wild Bill Kelly) tragic death there might be some message for the college society that basks in the glory of the football team and the individual heroes, but overlooks the fact that they are like the rest of us with conflicts, fears, frustrations, and weakness."-Joseph Cochran, friend of Kelly's
alabamagrizzly
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Great comeback and a great start to the season. Build on this ladies!
"In Bill's(Wild Bill Kelly) tragic death there might be some message for the college society that basks in the glory of the football team and the individual heroes, but overlooks the fact that they are like the rest of us with conflicts, fears, frustrations, and weakness."-Joseph Cochran, friend of Kelly's
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Top 7 and beyond:

Strong-Jantzi-Stanfield.

Griz at least gave themselves a chance to battle back in the 7th. They could have folded after the bottom of the 3rd and kept scratching and clawing their way back.

Strong flied out to left and then Jantzi doubled to left center. The 3rd extra base hit on the day put the tying run at the plate with CF Stanfield. The third inning in a row that UM has had the tying run or winning run at the plate. Prior to the inning they were 0-fer in those situations. Stanfield walks and brings up Sweyer as the potential winning run with 2 on and 1 out. Sweyer comes through with a bases clearing DOUBLE and then advances to third on the play at the play. The Griz finally come through when they needed it and tied the score 4-4. That is the 4th double on the day for the Griz. Grace Hardy singles through the left side and puts the Griz up 5-4 in the top of the 7th. After going 0 in innings 5 and 6, the Griz are 2-2 in the same situation this inning.

Forces a pitching change (ULM's fourth on the day) with 1 on (Hardy) and 1 out in the top of the 7th. Eisen flied out to left for the second out. Then Stockton flew out to left to end the inning.

Montana Defense:
Brinka comes out for the bottom of the seventh and induces her umpteenth ground ball for the game. This was a gb to Peschek at shortstop who executes the 6-3 PO. Carter who the Griz couldn't get out, follows that up with...you guessed another ground out to short. The final out...another ground out to short.

Griz win. 5-4.

Great start to the 2024 season.
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grizzlyjournal
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Congrats to Emmalyn Brinka on a complete game win to open the 2024 season!

Without being able to view a stream, it's tough to make conclusions on a box score, but I liked the fact that that fr. Riley Peschek played errorless D at short stop. Here's hoping Grace Hardy can shake-off first game jitters.
Go GrizSB
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The Griz hammer 4 doubles, score 5 runs and beat ULM which was a top 120 RPI team from last year. Obviously it is a new season, but you can chalk this up as a quality win regardless if it was the first or 15th game of the season.

Honestly minus the defensive hi-jinks (5 errors) and 3 in the third inning, this is a game that the Griz had to feel pretty good about.

Obviously 1 game does not make a season, but they did some really nice things that we didn't see last year:

1. Keep base running traffic to a minimum. Only 3 walks, no HB's. Great first outing by Brinka.
2. Lots of contact. Few strikeouts, and traffic. 9 Hits, 4 walks and only 3K's.
3. RISP: 3-7.
4. Won a game in the opening weekend.

Great start to the season. Face Southern next. Has every opportunity to start the season 2-0.
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alabamagrizzly
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Grizfan-24 wrote: Fri Feb 09, 2024 3:58 pm The Griz hammer 4 doubles, score 5 runs and beat ULM which was a top 120 RPI team from last year. Obviously it is a new season, but you can chalk this up as a quality win regardless if it was the first or 15th game of the season.

Honestly minus the defensive hi-jinks (5 errors) and 3 in the third inning, this is a game that the Griz had to feel pretty good about.

Obviously 1 game does not make a season, but they did some really nice things that we didn't see last year:

1. Keep base running traffic to a minimum. Only 3 walks, no HB's. Great first outing by Brinka.
2. Lots of contact. Few strikeouts, and traffic. 9 Hits, 4 walks and only 3K's.
3. RISP: 3-7.
4. Won a game in the opening weekend.

Great start to the season. Face Southern next. Has every opportunity to start the season 2-0.
Especially since what is essentially a road win against a home team. I know LM was not the host but at least they got to stay w/in their states border while montana traveled ruffle 2,000 miles.
"In Bill's(Wild Bill Kelly) tragic death there might be some message for the college society that basks in the glory of the football team and the individual heroes, but overlooks the fact that they are like the rest of us with conflicts, fears, frustrations, and weakness."-Joseph Cochran, friend of Kelly's
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GrizSB go 2-0 on the young season, beating Southern 5-4 behind a solid seven-inning outing from soph. pitcher Grace Haegele, who walked only two while striking out four.

The Griz committed three errors again, on two throwing errors by outfielders and a possible fielding error by an outfielder. Montana scored all five of its runs in the top of the third, the key hit a 2-rbi double into the lf gap by catcher Kynzie Mohl.

Montana plays the host team, Southern Louisana, in Saturday's first game at 1 p.m. Congrats to Grace for a solid first-game win. Go GrizSB.

Story link from GoGriz: https://gogriz.com/news/2024/2/9/softba ... -louisiana
Last edited by grizzlyjournal on Fri Feb 09, 2024 10:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Montana lost both Saturday games of the Mardi Gras Mambo, getting shut out 5-0 by Southeast Louisana before dropping a 9-4 decision to Eastern Illinois.

Montana soph. pitcher Emmalyn Brinka gave up all 5 runs before being replaced in the 5th inning by frosh pitcher Rylee Rehbein, who tossed two scoreless innings in relief.. Montana went hitless but had two baserunners via walks vs. Southeast Louisana... not much of a surprise since it's the fifth-straignt shutout by SLU pitchers to start the 2024 season.

Montana second-game starter Grace Haegele struggled with control, walking three and throwing three wild pitches. Haegele, who allowed 5 runs, was replaced after 2.2 innings by frosh Nyeala Herndon, who pitched 3 innings and allowed 4 runs in relief. Frosh pitcher Rylee Rehbein pitched a scoreless 7th. Montana had 8 hits vs Eastern Illinois. Catcher Riley Stockton had two RBIs in the game losing effort.

Montana faces Nichols State Sunday morning it its final game of the Mambo tourney.
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Montana finished the Mardi Gras Mambo tourney with a 9-2 loss to Nichols State with soph pitchers Emmalyn Brinka (6 runs allowed) in two innings, and Grace Haegle (3 runs allowed) through 3.2 innings... getting tagged for 11 of the 12 hits allowed through six innings. Frosh pitcher Rylee Rehbein got the final out for the Griz.

The most concerning stat of the tourney is Montana's 13 errors in 5 games... which reminds me of Jamie Pinkerton's admonition that northern teams use the first two weekends of invite play as their actual spring training, compared to southern teams having had all of January for practice on real softball fields.

I personally like the makeup of the Mambo field and next week's UTEP Invitational, both of which feaature a mix of teams the Griz should be able to compete against... and at least one Top 50 RPI team. Go GrizSB.
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I’d say the most concerning stats are a .192 BA and a .289 OBP. Obviously it’s early but our ability to get on base and generate runs appears to be a continuation of what we saw last year.
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Mardi Gras Mambo Wrap Up:

The Field: This was a pretty good group of teams from comparative conferences to begin the season. Eastern Illinois and Southeastern Louisiana are expected compete for their conference titles, Louisiana-Monroe was a top 100-120 team last year and Nichols State was 125-150. Other than Southern, probably teams that would have been upper tier in the BSC a year ago.

The Results: Going 2-3 isn't terrible but it surely could have gone better. Saturday was a tough task, as Southeastern Louisiana showed why they are a top 50 team nationally. Almost have to think Sunday was a bit of a let down because you might have been compelled to think that Nichols State game was definitely winnable.

What I liked:

1. Brinka's performance on the mound. She's going to keep the team in the ball game if she can keep the ball down. She limited ULM to just singles on Friday and 90% of her outs came as a result of ground balls. She was relatively efficient, which is going to allow her to go deep into games.

2. Jantzi/Eisen: They led the team in hitting over the weekend, 6 and 4 hits respectively, and consistently provided quality at-bats over the course of the weekend. Eisen had two XB hits (Double/Triple) and looks to be a key addition to the lineup and something the Griz were missing a year ago.

What I didn't love as much:
1. The defense. Caused problems all five games. Brinka's three starts were marred by errors and she didn't help herself at all with a team leading 3. Part of that might have been the first weekend yips, but 13 errors is problematic. The SELA game would have been closer as would the Nichols State game.

2. The hitting: I think you are going to get ebbs and flows, but the Friday games were super positive because it appeared the offense was going to get production much deeper into the lineup in terms of contact and on base percentage. That didn't really happen as much over the weekend, as the hitting sort of regressed to what we saw last year against SELA and to a lesser degree Nichols State. They also struck out more over the weekend (17 times in the last two games), and much of the hitting was centered around Stockton, Jantzi or Eisen.

Concerns:
1. Elise Ontiveros. Didn't play this weekend. Having her in the outfield both as a defensive presence but as an anchor at the top of the lineup is key. I don't know what the scenario is as to why she missed and when she'll return, but it makes a difference when your pre-season all-conference player is unable to suit up.

2. Pitching Usage. Sort of the same thing as last year. Brinka wasn't really good on Sunday, third game in three days, and Haegele had a return of the inconsistency that she had as a freshman. When Haegele is in the zone and getting ahead, she's got a really high ceiling. But when she's walking players, getting in to deep counts, those pitches add up over three days of games. They need to get some consistent innings out of Rehbein so they don't have to lean on their top two pitchers so much over these 5 games in 3 game tournament weekends.
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