June 4, 2013
Co-Head Coach Ralph Weekly
"Okay, that was a great fast-pitch softball game between two great teams who played their hearts out. The pitching performance out of both Keilani and Ellen was unbelievable. Both of them just pitched phenomenal games. I think there were only four hits total going into the ninth inning."
"We just have to congratulate Oklahoma in a situation like this. You've just got to congratulate them. I just told our kids that this is not over yet. In 2007 we won the opening game and lost the series, and we're still very much alive. We're facing a very, very good opponent, but we're ready to move on to tomorrow."
Q. Ellen, I've just never seen you pitch as well as you did tonight. You were just unbelievable. So how is it going to be mentally to have to come back and maybe throw again tomorrow? I know Ivy's available, but how do you get over this quickly and still be strong tomorrow?
Ellen Renfroe: Karen and Ralph talked to us in our postgame meeting how you just have to move on. Things are going to happen. You're going to get knocked down. It's just one of those sayings and in our pre game videos that we've seen. You can get knocked down, but it's about how you react and how you bounce back. So we're going to come out fighting again tomorrow.
Q. Raven, Madison, what is the emotion right now going from when you hit that home run to where it is now?
Madison Shipman: Obviously nobody likes to lose, so it's a rough loss. It was a long game. It was a battle between both teams, and like we've been doing all season, we try to learn from our losses and try to grow from it. It's a quick turnaround, so you can't dwell on it. We're just going to come out ready tomorrow.
Raven Chavanne: Just flush it. It's in the past. There is no sense on dwelling on the loss or at bats, stuff on defense, it's over and done with. Just learn from it, watch some film and learn from some mistakes. But tomorrow's a brand new day and anything can happen.
Q. Ellen, how do you feel physically? You had a large, pretty high pitch count. How you feeling?
Ellen Renfroe: I think more than anything it's just emotionally. There is no break in the Oklahoma lineup. Every single pitch, it's all you've got. If you don't give everything, then it's going to get hit out, something bad is going to happen.
So I think more than anything it's just emotionally draining. Physically, we've trained for this all year. Our coaches have done a good job of getting us in shape for this. And we all know mentally that we're strong enough to get through however many innings we played. How many was it? Twelve innings? I lost count. I think more than anything it's just getting ready mentally to, like we were saying, flush it and come back ready tomorrow.
Q. Raven and Ralph, what did you see tonight as a lefty against Keilani, and what do you have to do a little better in Game 2?
Raven Chavanne: I think just not getting behind in the count. I felt like when our lefties attacked early we made solid contact, myself included. Then when we got behind we struggled a little bit, and that was on me as the leadoff batter. So it's going up there with the new mindset tomorrow, look at some things on film with slapping. Like I said, there is no sense on dwelling on it. We've just got to go out there with a new game plan. She's a great pitcher, so nothing against her, but we've got to do better as a whole.
COACH WEEKLY: We had a plan against her as lefties because, as you know, it's harder for lefties to hit against her than it is righties. And we pretty much stuck to the plan. She just was probably the best I've seen her tonight too. I was with her last summer with the USA softball, and I've seen her a lot. One thing she was doing was really hitting the inside pitch, and from where I saw it.
Again, I guess when you get to this level your players are all going to be pretty good. They have an amazing lineup, and I think we have a pretty darn good lineup too. I don't know why it happened. I'm not sure. I made the decision, and I'm sure I would be asked about that, and I haven't yet why I didn't go to Ivy in the last inning, and I sent her down to get a few more pitches. But the fact of the matter is I really felt good about Ellen. And Ellen said, `Coach, I feel good.' And it was a pretty tough situation to put Ivy into right there. Then, bang bang it was over. Just two great hits by two great athletes. I love my kids, and I just told them that in the locker room. `I love you guys, and I know you fought so hard for so long. We would have loved to have had that.' But, again, there are a lot of times that the opening game has been lost and the series has not been lost. We're going to come back and fight as hard as we can tomorrow night.
Q. Maybe you just answered this, Ralph, when you said bang bang. It was just a sudden 1, 2 that won the game. But was there any consideration of walking Chamberlain with a base open?
COACH WEEKLY: We had walked I think three or four people, and we did consider it, obviously. When she came up, we did consider it. We felt like we could get her out, but obviously we were wrong. We felt like where we had been going most of the night, and it hadn't been the same way every time, but she's just a great player. No question, just a great player. If there was, it's my fault we didn't walk her.
Q. I was just wondering, for any of you, have you seen a greater 1, 2 punch throughout your season than the Turang Chamberlain combination?
Raven Chavanne: Obviously, having players as talented as Turang in the number nine spot, you don't see that that often. Then having someone who is probably second or first in the NCAA in home runs as your leadoff batter, you don't see that often. So, yeah, it's a great 1, 2 punch, but you've got to go after them tomorrow and see what happens.
Ellen Renfroe: I mean, Oklahoma's here for a reason, because they have such a great lineup, so got to give credit to them for battling tonight. I don't know if I've seen a better 1, 2 punch than them. Lauren Chamberlain is the best for a reason.
Madison Shipman: I agree. I don't think I've ever seen a better 1-2 punch other than them either. No, they're both great. Like Ellen said earlier, you don't get a break throughout their lineup. It's like once you get past one, it's like, `Okay, here comes another one.'
Q. As hitters, what is the positive of reaching Keilani later in the game? And particularly you, Madison, to carry with you into tomorrow's preparation, if you do see her again?
Madison Shipman: Yeah, we obviously didn't start off too great, but we kept trying to learn and make adjustments and make adjustments. That gives us confidence going into tomorrow's game that we can hit her. That helps us out a lot especially since we were struggling a little bit in the beginning but brought it back in the end.
Q. Ralph, is there an advantage you have in that you have two really good pitchers? I know you're facing a great pitcher and National Player of the Year who maybe could pitch every day, but is there any advantage to having two good pitchers?
COACH WEEKLY: No, Mike, I don't think there is, because they have two pitchers that were finalists in the top 50 in the country. So they've got a really good number two too. I think Ivy is very good, and I think it's Michelle, I think, and she's very good too. So I don't think there is an advantage there.
I think for us, the key for us -- and we'll spend all night if we have to -- is to figure out how to do better at the plate. I think that is the key for us. I'm sure Patty is doing the same thing because for a while, a long while, both teams struggled a little bit at the plate. So I think the key tomorrow will be offense. I think whoever finds the offense is going to be the most successful.
Head Coach Patty Gasso
"I don't even know what to say, except I think that was the greatest game I've ever been a part of. I think both teams just battled and both pitchers were exceptional, defense, exceptional. Pitchers were owning it. You know, Tennessee put some things together, but the resiliency of this team and the fight, and them following instructions of just find your way on, don't try to be the big hero. Just find your way on, find your way on, and here we go again from your 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, back to Lauren. It was phenomenal how we ended up tying that game with just some clutch hits, and it all came in one inning, so sometimes that's all you need."
"I really don't even know what to say. That was one of the most amazing comebacks I've ever seen. I can't imagine. I mean, it's nervous on the field, I can't imagine how people felt watching it. But this is a team on a mission, and, man, I've never seen anything like it."