Believe it or not, our fielding . . .

. . . has steadily improved, especially during the SEC season.

We entered the year with what I thought would be a “good” fielding team. Shaddy was our one glaring weakness last season - his first at second base - but he came along nicely the last month or so of the regular season, into post-season play. Obviously, you never know exactly what to expect out of newcomers, but with the experienced team we had coming back, I expected “solid” fielding.

However, for the first six weeks or so, we had a combination of the spectacular and the puzzling. The good news was that we probably showed more “range”, overall, on defense than any team I can remember - considering all positions on the field (i.e., we’ve had some individuals with better range, but not as a collective team). At the same time, we had the propensity to make mistakes in bunches and/or at the most critical of times, literally changing the outcomes of probable wins to 1 run losses. IIRC, about a month or so ago, our fielding percentage was around. .968, .969.

In college ball, I separate team fielding percentage into four categories: Below .970 is poor/unacceptable; between .970 and .975 is “solid”; between .975 and .980 is very good, and .980 and above is “elite”.

As I type this, we sit at .974 for the season. And, in SEC play only, we are at a very strong .978. We still seem to make whatever errors we do make at unfortunate moments. However, all in all, we are definitely trending in the right direction. And, the range I referenced above has come into play many times. Most noticeable has been Fletcher, who seems to make a spectacular play in about every other game any more. But Martin and Biggers get to balls that 80-90 percent of other college players don’t, and those plays help our pitchers and are a big reason we lead the SEC in turning double plays. Shaddy has continued to improve on defense as well.

It helps to have a first baseman that can field the position and bail out the other infielders on some throws.
Stats of 2b, 3b and ss depend a great deal on the ability of the first baseman

It also helps to just make the routine play. The hogs recently have made highlight plays. Especially Fletcher in center.
The wild pitches and past balls have stopped for the most part.
They have also turned the double play when they have needed too! Since the Ole Miss series the defense has picked up! Defense is what cost that series.

yes very proud of our improvement…just have to get our bats going with RISP and we will be hard to handle!