June 4, 2006

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Game 13: Arizona 6, Tennessee 0


On the game:

"I would like to thank the NCAA, the SEC, the Amateur Softball Association, and everybody in Oklahoma City for allowing us to be here and for putting on a class tournament. Secondly, I told our kids after the game that I was extremely proud of them. I didn't want to dwell on today's game. What I wanted to dwell on was their conference tournament, their regional championship, their super regional championship. Also, the fact that they won the first elimination game that qualifies them to finish third. I don't know what happened today. I know that our kids were really trying and it seemed like everything we did kind of backfired on us. Then, I'll add to that a ton of credit to the University of Arizona. They came out like the Arizona school of old. In the first inning we made a couple of errors that really dug a hole for us. They are obviously extremely well coached with their staff and they're a great team, and all the credit goes to them."

On whether experience was a factor that helped Arizona win:

"We have beaten them the last couple of times here, and I thought that was a great achievement because I have so much respect for them. They are the New York Yankees of this sport. It's hard to keep them down. They just have so many weapons, especially up in the top of the order. They just came out and executed perfectly. We helped them. We made some errors that were really uncharacteristic of us. Another thing is that there is not a team here that is not a good team. If you don't come ready to play every second, then you're going to get in trouble. We always tell our kids first pitch, first batter, first inning. Obviously, that was huge."




On her thoughts about the game:

"I think that they were more aggressive at bat. They were looking for more pitches than they were the first game."


On her thoughts knowing this was her last game:

"A lot of credit goes to the University of Arizona. I just thought that a lot went better than it did against Michigan. It's the World Series. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Ultimately, I knew it was my last college experience. I wanted to go out there and take my cuts."


On what being a Lady Vol has meant to her:

"You want me to cry don't you? I just enjoyed being a Lady Vol and being a part of the tradition. I want to thank everyone that has helped me and pushed me. I'll never forget the experiences I've had. As far as I'm concerned, I will be a Lady Vol the rest of my life. Hopefully, we'll be successful and keep pushing and be here next year."


Opening comment:

"This team's come a long way the last month and a half. I remember sitting around the circle and I asked them, 'How many of you think we can win a national championship?' Not a hand went up and that really alarmed me. We went on a venture from then on to convince them that this could happen. We did what we had to do today to give ourselves an opportunity and that's all you can ask for. I asked them today after the first game to come out here and spill their guts and leave everything on the field. There is no doubt we came out with some fire and some energy. We played the game very well today. (Alicia) Hollowell was magnificent. Our offense did a great job getting some runs on the board and it was huge. It was just a great performance. It wasn't our best game yet but hopefully we can add to it."

On the preparation of 'unlikely heroes' on the team:

"I think the big thing is just trying to keep their heads clear and their heads screwed on. It really doesn't matter what you do when it's this time of the year. It's being prepared to do something when your next at bat occurs. This team has done a very good job of having a good approach - a much better approach than we did for six months of playing this darn game. I think it's paid off. I think some kids walk up to the plate and if they do have some failure, they re-evaluate why they did. Instead of sitting around pouting about it, they're making plans and getting ready for their next at bat. I think it's truly paid off. I've been around this game for a long time and the College World Series. That's what you're going to see all the time - you're going to see different heroes. Whether they're a lead-off hitter, a fourth hitter or a ninth hitter, you can't put your guard down. That's what makes this game so special this time of the year. Whether you're a freshman or whether you're a senior."


On how she approached the second game today against Tennessee:

"I basically just tried to mix my pitches more. There were a couple of times in the first game when I didn't do a very good job of doing that. I just wanted to keep them as off balance as possible."


On winning the "if necessary" game two weekends in a row:

"I think it shows that we can come out with a lot of energy, go through a game like that and hopefully we won't do that again. But I think that we feed off each other and we fire each other up. We realize that when we come out that second game that we didn't come out pumped up for the first game and ready to go."

On if facing Tennessee for the second time today helped their performance:

"It always helps the second time you see a pitcher. You know what to expect and what she is going to throw. You can go out there with a different approach than you did the first game."


On her mindset after making the final out of today's first game against Tennessee:

"Right after I got thrown out, it kind of lit a fire under me. Even as I was going through the high fives at the end of the game, I knew that we were going to come out on fire and keep on them the whole game. I think a game like that is good because you know you can stay with a team and you know you can beat them. We just needed to make our adjustments."



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