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TENNESSEE SOFTBALL VS. MICHIGAN - GAME 1 - POST GAME QUOTES
Kristi Durant

Kristi Durant

May 27, 2006

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Head Coach Karen Weekly:

Opening statement

"It was a great win. It was a tough battle. Nothing is finished yet. Michigan will come out with a fight tomorrow. We will, too, if we want to get to Oklahoma City. There are 16 teams who are still alive, and they all play hard for seven innings. Nothing is over yet. I'm proud of the way that we battled offensively. India (Chiles) was fantastic."

On the success of Tennessee's speed game

"It was huge. That's been the trademark of our team the past few weeks. That's why we're still here. Today, our offense didn't back down. We made adjustments and didn't get down. (Michigan pitcher Jennie) Ritter is a good pitcher. She gets her strikeouts. Our resiliency was huge."

On whether the speed game can frustrate other teams

"It can be frustrating. I've coached other teams that didn't have it (speed), and I learned that you have to have it. One bobble in the field, and a runner is safe. Things start rolling. We executed that (the speed game) well today."

On comparing the way the team is playing now to a couple of months ago

"We hit a bump in the road earlier in the season. Some teams have that. We came out fast but then we hit a slump in mid- to late March. It didn't affect us. I'd be afraid if a team was playing perfect all season long because then you'd worry about hitting the wall in postseason. Right now, we're hitting on all cylinders."

Pitcher Monica Abbott:

On whether the heat was a factor

"I'm used to playing in the Tennessee heat. It was hot out there today, but it was hot out there for everyone."

On her changeup

"The changeup is a pitch that I've worked hard on because I've been inconsistent. I've worked on developing it because it's a pitch that a lot of pitchers have had success with."

 

 

On starting the game with a hit batter

"I didn't want to start out by hitting a batter. I wasn't mad, but it made me refocus. I knew what they were coming up with in their lineup. I just had to let that one go. I wasn't mad about it at all. It was a questionable call, and if it's a questionable call, they'll usually give the batter the base. I'm used to it."

Left Fielder India Chiles:

On the postseason

"It's always good to work in the postseason. It wasn't easy."

On following Sarah Fekete

"I like it. She's someone to look after. That keeps me on my toes. She has helped me a lot."

Designated Player Kristi Durant:

On when she got her last RBI

"It was in early April. It was great to be out there. I just wanted to contribute to my team. I was contributing from the bench (while injured), but I want to be able to blend both (on and off the field) in the postseason."

On Michigan pitcher Jennie Ritter

"She has the ability to put pitches where she wants them. It isn't a certain pitch. She is able to keep hitters off-balance."


Head Coach Carol Hutchings

Opening statement

"I thought it was a great ball game. I thought the tougher team won today. We need to be attacking from the mound. We need to try to take her (Monica Abbott) out of the game. We're still in this tournament, and we're going to play to win."

On Tennessee's speed

"Their speed is definitely one of their greatest assets."

On if there was an advantage for Michigan having faced Monica Abbott before (in last year's WCWS)

"I really can't say other than Abbott made some great adjustments. Great pitchers step up and make great adjustments. She brought a changeup, which we haven't seen and was a nice addition to her repertoire. Great pitchers step up and make the adjustments they need to make and she did a great job."

On Michigan's schedule preparing itself to play in these games

"We play one of the top-10 schedules in the country, based on RPI, and we do the best we can to prepare our team, and I think they are prepared."

On Tennessee possibly being a step up from the competition Michigan has been playing

"If it is a step up, because if you saw Oklahoma last week, they are on par; I think Tennessee is a notch up on Oklahoma, but it is what it is."

On if being on the brink of elimination will bring Michigan's best play like it did last year

"It better or we will be eliminated."

Third Baseman Grace Leutele

On the speed of India Chiles and if she is the fastest she has seen

"Tennessee has a lot of really quick ladies on its team. I don't really measure any of the ladies we play against to see who is the fastest, so I can't really say, but she is definitely really quick and they are all pretty quick, very fast."

Pitcher Jennie Ritter

On if she was pitching well in today's game

"As far as hitting my spots, I don't think I was. That was probably the biggest difference is that I did not hit my spots. That is obviously my fault and I'll do what I can to fix it for tomorrow. As far as the heat, you do what you can in the weather you get. We have played in snow before so you cannot say that weather is something that has affected us."

First Baseman Samantha Findlay

On if she hit a mistake pitch from Monica Abbott for her home run

"I don't think it was a mistake. I just go in and see the ball and try and hit it. If she puts it there, I am going to hit it."

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