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Paige Knight
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Refriedbeans
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 Posted: Tue Jan 7th, 2020 04:10 pm

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Story a few days old but exciting to read. Championship mindset!

https://www.tulsaworld.com/communities/owasso/sports/owasso-s-paige-knight-named-player-of-the-year-finalist/article_6400a08e-4dd0-59f2-8fc1-1cf12188503b.html

OUBeliever56
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 Posted: Tue Jan 7th, 2020 05:16 pm

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Congratulations to Ms. Knight. At the very least she will add quality depth to the OU softball team starting next fall. Knight is taller than I had thought and must have good glove skills to play shortstop at the 6A level.

Maybe at OU, she can transition to 2B, 3B, 1B or OF to gain chances for playing time. She will definitely have to hit to earn her way to playing time. Her stats looked good so maybe she can do that as well.

Any player at OU can play softball well. Hopefully she can be an in-state girl that can contribute to the team in a big way.

Boomer Sooner!

MsProudSooner
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 Posted: Tue Jan 7th, 2020 06:04 pm

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I never played 'organized' softball so I'm not familiar with a lot of details. Does SS require different skills than 3rd or 2nd? My first thought was that anyone who could play SS could play 2nd or 3rd.

OUBeliever56
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 Posted: Wed Jan 8th, 2020 01:29 am

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Most people would say that if you have the glove skills and quickness to play SS that you can play anywhere except maybe catcher.

The main difference between SS and 2B is the covering of 1B on bunts which is no small thing. Catching the ball and finding the bag at the same time can take some practice.

The main difference between SS and 3B is the speed of which the ball reaches you and the fielding of the bunts and throwing across your body while running. Most SS can adjust to that but it is not immediate.

The difference between SS and the OF is running after the fly ball and staying on your toes instead of your heels. This can be referred to as gliding to the ball. (This keeps the ball from bouncing on you as you chase it.) Learning how to read the depth of the ball when the line drive is hit right at you also takes some practice.

Each position takes some specific skills at the elite D1 level.

Ms. Knight is reported to be a very good athlete. She can make the switch when OU decides what that switch will be.

Boomer Sooner!

MsProudSooner
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 Posted: Wed Jan 8th, 2020 02:33 am

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OUBeliever56 wrote:
Most people would say that if you have the glove skills and quickness to play SS that you can play anywhere except maybe catcher.

The main difference between SS and 2B is the covering of 1B on bunts which is no small thing. Catching the ball and finding the bag at the same time can take some practice.

The main difference between SS and 3B is the speed of which the ball reaches you and the fielding of the bunts and throwing across your body while running. Most SS can adjust to that but it is not immediate.

The difference between SS and the OF is running after the fly ball and staying on your toes instead of your heels. This can be referred to as gliding to the ball. (This keeps the ball from bouncing on you as you chase it.) Learning how to read the depth of the ball when the line drive is hit right at you also takes some practice.

Each position takes some specific skills at the elite D1 level.

Ms. Knight is reported to be a very good athlete. She can make the switch when OU decides what that switch will be.

Boomer Sooner!


Thanks!

AustinTXSooner
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 Posted: Wed Jan 8th, 2020 07:44 pm

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OUBeliever56 wrote:
The main difference between SS and 2B is the covering of 1B on bunts which is no small thing. Catching the ball and finding the bag at the same time can take some practice.
Having primarily played both SS and 2B in baseball I would categorize the main difference as that 2B has more time (i.e. can bobble the ball and still make the play). Also the SS must have a strong arm and a quick release. 2B are typically converted SS, so a lot of them have good arms, but it's not required.

The pivot at 2B is also radically different. You tend to be moving away from 1B instead of towards it.

Old Sooner
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 Posted: Thu Jan 9th, 2020 09:10 am

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Height for a 1B player is a real plus, accompanied by long arms. If a ball is thrown up high, she can catch it, if a ball is thrown 4 feet on either side of the base, she can catch it. Shorter players - not so much. Shay was tall and was terrific at 1B.

OUBeliever56
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 Posted: Thu Jan 9th, 2020 12:18 pm

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AustinTXSooner wrote:
OUBeliever56 wrote:
The main difference between SS and 2B is the covering of 1B on bunts which is no small thing. Catching the ball and finding the bag at the same time can take some practice.
Having primarily played both SS and 2B in baseball I would categorize the main difference as that 2B has more time (i.e. can bobble the ball and still make the play). Also the SS must have a strong arm and a quick release. 2B are typically converted SS, so a lot of them have good arms, but it's not required.

The pivot at 2B is also radically different. You tend to be moving away from 1B instead of towards it.


'AustoinTXSooner'
Thanks for your additional information about SS and 2B. I agree with all you added about playing 2B vs SS in baseball. The 90-foot basepaths in baseball vs the 60-foot basepaths in softball makes a great deal of difference. Softball, especially D1 college softball is a much quicker game than any level of baseball.

My thoughts about softball are that at 60-foot basepaths and the speed of the typical D1 softball player changes several things. It is hard to bobble any grounder and still be able to make the play at 1B from 2B, SS or 3B. With a slapper or a left-handed batter bunting you have to make a good play without bobbling the ball to get them out.

To play SS at a D1 school at a high level the arm has to be strong for softball. If Ms. Knight played SS at a 6A school, her arm is good enough to play 2B in D1.

Yes, The double play pivot is a little different for 2B versus SS, but with the arm it takes to play SS in softball, the typical pivot used at 2B for softball is no problem for a player moving to 2B as long as she has a quick release.

In my baseball career, I actually had more trouble playing 2B than playing SS for some reason. I just always felt like I was on the wrong side of the diamond. The ball bounced differently to me or to my mind. I was just uncomfortable playing 2B.

As a softball coach, to figure out the infield, the first thing I did was try to find a SS. Quickness, good hands and a strong arm. The best one played SS, the next best one played 3B, the next best one played 2B.

As mentioned by 'Old Sooner', the height of Ms. Knight covering 1B after she gets there from 2B could be an advantage. For the last four years, Ms. Clifton was a great target at 1B on bunts for the throws. Ms. Knight might be the same in the future.

Boomer Sooner!

Last edited on Thu Jan 9th, 2020 12:21 pm by OUBeliever56

cclift38
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 Posted: Thu Jan 9th, 2020 02:16 pm

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Paige Knight used to pitch. She's also played some 3rd base in travel ball. I'm curious to see her play because she's a bit of an unknown. She was ranked at high as low 20's in hot 100 then dropped completely out. But sometimes the Oklahoma girls are a bit underrated. The California girls get more coverage.

If you notice Patty gets a lot of short stop types. They are usually good athletes. Cover a lot of ground with good arm strength. So they can usually transfer to other positions. Romero, Clifton, Knighten, and Arnold were all short stops in travel ball.

BlackwellSooner
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 Posted: Sat Jan 11th, 2020 09:53 pm

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OUBeliever56 wrote: Congratulations to Ms. Knight. At the very least she will add quality depth to the OU softball team starting next fall. Knight is taller than I had thought and must have good glove skills to play shortstop at the 6A level.

Maybe at OU, she can transition to 2B, 3B, 1B or OF to gain chances for playing time. She will definitely have to hit to earn her way to playing time. Her stats looked good so maybe she can do that as well.

Any player at OU can play softball well. Hopefully she can be an in-state girl that can contribute to the team in a big way.

Boomer Sooner!How tall is she?  I looked around, couldn't see anywhere that specified her height...
Agree that it just makes sense that a tall player that has long arms would be a plus at first base.And just my own opinion, but 3rd base seems to me to the toughest of all of the infield positions, due to the hot smashes that come at them all the time... ya gotta have great reflexes to play the hot corner, seems to me...

OUBeliever56
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 Posted: Sun Jan 12th, 2020 12:39 am

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BlackwellSooner said,
"How tall is she? I looked around, couldn't see anywhere that specified her height...

Agree that it just makes sense that a tall player that has long arms would be a plus at first base. And just my own opinion, but 3rd base seems to me to the toughest of all of the infield positions, due to the hot smashes that come at them all the time... ya gotta have great reflexes to play the hot corner, seems to me..."
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It is tough to find statistics on a softball player at times. What I can say about her height is this. In several pictures of the five 2021 signees for Oklahoma that I saw, Knight was the 2nd tallest of the five players. Nicole May (RHP) who is 5'11" or 6'0" was the tallest. I would say that knight is maybe 5'10" and probably 5'9" and at least 5'8". That is taller than any infielder the Sooners now have except for Kinzie Hansen (C/1B) who is probably 5'11" or 6'0".

As far as the toughest infield position to play, that always has to be SS, but 3B is not very far behind in my opinion.

Boomer Sooner!

Last edited on Sun Jan 12th, 2020 01:15 pm by OUBeliever56


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