Oregon Softball: Recent Player Departures Cause for Concern?

Jordan Ingram Editorials 5 Comments

Nothing hurts more than losing in the postseason, especially when you are eliminated by the school’s former coach. But as the Oregon Ducks softball team accepts the season’s finality, Ducks head coach Melyssa Lombardi will also have to reckon with the departure of three players to the transfer portal.

Infielders Alyssa Brito, Mya Felder and Jazzy Contreras all announced their decision to leave Eugene and enter the portal shortly after the Ducks’ (40-17) loss to the Texas Longhorns in a late-night NCAA Regional thriller on May 23 in Austin, Texas.

This was after the NCAA snubbed the Ducks by withholding a top-16 seed (and with it, home-field advantage for the regional opener) despite Oregon finishing the Coaches’ Poll ranked 10th.

Brutal.

To be fair, the NCCA decision not to award the Ducks a home-field opener was completely out of Lombardi’s control and was shockingly disrespectful to those players who had one heckuva season. Heartbreaking? Yes. Worth changing teams? I really can’t say, but I’d guess many of us were surprised by Brito, Felder and Contreras heading for the exits.

There were so many high hopes for the Ducks under Lombardi this year and in a lot of ways, a ton of great things came together. Great hitting, solid pitching and smart game-planning really put the Ducks ahead of the pack.

So why is Oregon losing players after posting a successful regular season and a playoff appearance (albeit a short-lived one)? It’s either a cause for concern or a sign of the times — a new normal within the college transfer portal.

Is this just a normal drop-off following a disappointing finish to an exciting season? Or is there something larger at play here? Is there something Lombardi needs to change or do better to keep players longer and win more games in the postseason?

Jordan Ingram 
San Diego, California
Top Photo by Kevin Cline

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Canonphotog

With the new transfer rules college sports have free agency now. This along with the name and likeness rule the student athlete holds all the power. Entitlement will rule and subsequently ruin amateur athletics. Players do not want to compete, they want to start when they arrive on campus. If they do not they just hop from school to school until they get what they want.

MaeWest

This is something of a housecleaning and will be good for all concerned. The entering class and the returning core is solid, and hopefully Coach will be able to entice a good bat. Best wishes to those who departed.

All kinds of rumors on other sites, such as players not getting the playing time wanted. In one example it simply might be a case of the head coach and player both used to getting their way, and we know who will win that struggle.

I suspect that there will also be some friction between how things are done on the West Coast versus how there were done at Oklahoma, but Lombardi has proven she will find “her” players.

What she did in the portal two years ago was astounding, and I’d like to think she will find replacements. I do believe the original starting shortstop who was out this year will be back.

I don’t like the “new-normal,” but…

ICamel

Concerned? Nope, it’s the “new normal”.

We are discussing young adults. They often change their minds on a whim.

The success Melyssa Lombardi has had early on in her head coaching career is enough evidence for me. Especially rebuilding in short order the train wreck left by White.

Notalot

Sure, transfers are a concern, but these you mentioned are now in the rear view mirror. I don’t like transfers out, but you can bet that Coach Lombardi is getting her 2022 Ducks in order.

Coach Lombardi had a big hole to climb out from last year and fielded a top team this year. I’m anxious to see her pull some rabbits out of the hat again.

SCO Ducks!