June 6, 2005

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June 2-8, 2005
Don E. Porter ASA Hall of Fame Stadium
Oklahoma City, Okla.


Game 13: Michigan 3, Tennessee 2

General comment:
"That was a classic fastpitch game. Michigan is an awesome team. They are awesome all the way around. Great defense, great pitching and great hitting. I was really proud of our kids today. Both teams had short nights, so that didn't work in the advantage for either team. I think both teams kind of fluttered in and out of times, but they gave it their best shot. I'm just proud of our team and wishing Michigan and UCLA good luck in the finals."

On the team's status before the game:
"I saw our team ready. I think that most coaches at this level from the start, we talk about being flexible. We play a lot of early season tournaments where there is rain and schedule changes. Like I said before, I think the NCAA, the ASA and whoever ran this did an incredible job. I think this has been a great experience for us. We do not want to put the reason for losing on anything but a great Michigan team. That's where we want to leave it. I don't think it bothered us that much and they had the equal problem."

On UT pitcher Monica Abbott:
"She is a warrior, there is no doubt about it. She did a fantastic job. We would never hurt her, we told her this morning before the game that we would not hurt her. She wanted the ball and she wanted to go into the game. She has not had any arm problems all year long. If you have a Monica Abbott and she wants the ball and her arm is strong, you give her the ball. That's how the coaching staff and I feel - we monitor her very closely and she is the greatest pitcher that I've ever coached."



On her pitch count over the weekend:
"My arm just keeps going and going and going. I only got about six hours of sleep last night. It's always difficult to come out and pitch on a short amount of time in the heat. You just have to go out there and be mentally strong and play with a lot of heart. I felt like we did that, it just didn't go our way."

On postseason hitting:
"I know that I have kind of had an up and down season hitting. Me, Ralph (Weekly) and Karen (Weekly) made an adjustment to my swing before I came here and that helped a lot on focusing on the ball. I knew that I was going to leave it all out on the field and give everything I could for my team."

On playing on little rest:
"I actually felt more pumped up. I was ready to go when we got back to the hotel (early) this morning. It didn't affect me at all."

On pinch-hitting:
"I think everybody on our team has a role and we all know what our role is. Right now, mine is pinch-hitting. I know that my team and my coaches have a lot of confidence in me, so it easy for me to come off the bench and have a lot of confidence in myself. Karen (Weekly) comes over during the game and tells the bench what to do, so I pick up tips from my teammates and from Karen, and by the time I get in there I'm ready to go."

General comment:
"It was a great two games with Tennessee. They are a great team and great all the way through the lineup. They can run, they can hit and they have Monica Abbott. I really hadn't seen them this year and they are just as sound as they come. After an emotional loss last night, I told our kids this morning that the most important thing was to get rid of your emotion. You have to get rid of your emotion and just do what you do. We knew it'd be a tough game and Jennie Ritter really had to gut it out. She had to go deep in the well and I thought she did a great job with it."

On how it feels to advance to the championship series:
"I'm happy. I'm thrilled for us and I know people talk about the historic moment of it all. Right now we don't care about that - we can talk about that some other day. I'm just really proud of our kids. You can't win a national championship unless you really believe you can, and this team believes it can. They have worked for it every day that they have been on the field whether they have been ahead or behind. We've had a lot of come-from-behind situations because they believe and trust even when things get a little hairy for them. Now we have a chance."

On playing UCLA in the championship series:
"It's a dream come true for me. Every coach in America dreams of a chance to play in the national championship and I've had that dream. Often UCLA is the opponent in my dream. They are a great program and it's a great opportunity for us. We're not just honored. These kids believe they can win it and they're going to play to win it."

On coming back after last night's late finish:
"Being tired wasn't an option. It didn't matter how late we got in because we knew we had to come out and play today. We were ready."

On her RBI single:
"I wanted to get a hit today because I had been unsuccessful last night because I was trying too hard. I wanted to see the ball and concentrated more on it."

On having success against UT's Monica Abbott:
"I was just seeing the ball really well and trying to stick to the game plan that had been laid out for us. I think everyone stuck to the game plan today. (Jennie) Ritter was pitching a great game and we wanted to get her some runs."



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