2015 WCWS Game 10 “Quotes and Notes”
LSU 5, Alabama 3
An Interview With: COACH BETH TORINA, KELLSI KLOSS, LANDRY BAILEY, ALLY WALLJASPER
THE MODERATOR: We have LSU head coach Beth Torina, student-athlete Landry Bailey, student-athlete Kellsi Kloss and student-athlete Ally Walljasper. Coach, comments about the game.
COACH TORINA: First, congratulations to Alabama on a great season. I think they just run a class program from top to bottom. It's always tough competing against them but it's also fun competing against them, too, when you truly respect your opponent. Couple of seniors ended their careers tonight over there that had great careers that we think so highly of. And we congratulate them on all they've accomplished. I thought our team came out really strong in the beginning of the game. I thought they were ready to play even with the delay from the extra-inning game before. I thought they came out ready. I thought they came out prepared. Got a good performance on the mound from Ally Walljasper, kept us in it the whole way. And I thought our offense hit balls hard throughout the game. I was happy with the performance my team had tonight.
Q. Beth, when you have a game that starts this late, do you have to tell your girls anything going in, or change your preparation to make sure they're ready when it does get this late?
COACH TORINA: I think these guys are used to these hours. I think they're young and they keep some later hours than I do. I think I'm the one that needed to get a pep talk before this game to stay up late. But they're so excited to be here. They're so excited to be part of this tournament. They're so excited to continue to try and achieve the goals that they set out at the beginning of this year — which is to win a national championship — that you could tell them they could play at any hour of the day and they would be fired up to be there and they would play their hearts out. Because they're wanting to win.
Q. Kellsi, you kind of had a little bloop shot at the beginning of the game and you ended up coming all the way around to score. Could you walk me through that play from your perspective, I guess?
KELLSI KLOSS: Sydney Littlejohn was throwing a lot away from righties, and I think I just got a little bit out in front of the pitch and I lifted it a little bit. I saw it was going to drop right away which is good. I knew I had an RBI. And then, I don't know, I think there were some miscues in the infield, and I read my coach well enough and I ended up getting home somehow. It was just a matter of reading the defense and reading what they were doing with the ball. It wasn't anything too special, I don't think.
Q. Ally, I think there were at least three innings where the first batter, maybe the first two batters got on once, and right after that you sat them down one, two, three. Could you talk to your approach to bounce back so quickly after the lead-off batter got on in those innings?
ALLY WALLJASPER: I was just trying to throw quality pitches the whole time and keep my team in it, and basically I just had to trust the process and throw quality pitches.
Q. Coach, you talked about Bailey coming through in clutch spots and she did it again tonight, the two-out hit. Could you talk about how that opened the score up for you?
COACH TORINA: Yeah, she was born with the clutch gene, I'm convinced of that. She just seems to come through for us when the pressure is on. The bigger the moment, the bigger she shines. She's just been so strong for us here, all season truly, but in the postseason she's been amazing. It's been 100 percent of because of how much she wants to win and how much she cares about this team, about her university. And I think she has so much respect for this university that she just wants to do anything she can. If that means she has to get a hit she gets a hit. She's definitely been clutch and she's been huge for us in the postseason.
Q. Coach, because of how late it is tonight, and relatively quick turnaround for the 2:30 game tomorrow — 1:30. Time zone is messing me up. How much of a challenge does that present to you guys and do you think it's helpful or would you that you haven't played Michigan yet or would you have liked to have gotten a look at them? What's your thoughts?
COACH TORINA: We've been here before. We had rain in the regional. We played really late, Friday night, had an 11:00 a.m. start the next day. So we have been here, we've been here recently. It happened to us a couple times at the regional at our place. They dealt with the adversity really well there, and I think they will do it again here. It's tough to have the short turnaround, but like I said, if you told them to play at whatever hour of the day or night they would show up and give you everything they had, they're excited to be here. As far as playing Michigan I think we understand what a quality program. They have they're a great team. I know their on a huge roll right now, a huge win streak. It would be great to know more about them than to have the short turnaround but we'll give it our best shot and do what we can.
Q. Kellsi, with Ally and Carley as freshmen, does that change your approach a little bit when you're managing them in the circle, in such, on such a big stage?
KELLSI KLOSS: I mean, this is their first time here, but it's also most of our first time here. So, no, they conduct themselves really, really overly just mature for their age. You can't even tell they're freshmen, I say that all the time. You truly can't tell they're freshmen because they just conduct themselves so mature. Like I say all the time they're both a pleasure to catch, and they make me forget they're freshmen. So, no, they always hold themselves very high.
Q. Beth, basically I think SEC teams eliminated other SEC teams. How tough is this league going to be going forward to win and compete in? COACH
TORINA: I think it is without question the toughest league in the country. I think it's just an honor to be part of it and exciting to be part of it. And I think that's why we continue to grow, because we have such great support. We have such great facilities. But it's the place to be. I mean, it's the place where these kids want to come play. We continue to get the best players and best recruits because it's truly the place to be right now in the country. I think as long as we have that we'll continue to recruit these great kids these great athletes and just continue to grow.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
An Interview with: COACH PATRICK MURPHY, HAYLIE MCCLENEY, MARISA RUNYON, DANAE HAYS
THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Alabama head coach Patrick Murphy, student-athlete Haylie McCleney, student-athlete Marisa Runyon and student- athlete Danae Hays. Coach, general comments about the game.
COACH MURPHY: I thought it was a typical LSU- Alabama game. Just a really good game until the very end. Congrats to them. I know they'll do well tomorrow. It's kind of exciting I think, what, three of the last four and five of the last six are SEC schools, which is awesome for our conference. And I know it's going to be a great ending, I think, for the SEC.
Q. You kind of got, I believe, on the start you wanted but you had a defense miscue that put you behind. How disappointing is that, is that jitters, what do you think happened there?
COACH MURPHY: I don't know, it shouldn't have been because we hadn't done that for a long time. It was a little too much throwing the ball around that we haven't done that since probably February. So I'm not sure what caused it or — I know they have a lot of team speed. But just unfortunate that it happened at the wrong time.
Q. Similar situation tonight, get some base runners on and couldn't finish it off most of the time?
COACH MURPHY: You're right. I always ask them to at least get the tying run at the plate, at the very end. And we had the winning run. And so they showed a lot of fight, a lot of grit still. But we had a couple of innings where we'd get the lead-off on and then the offense stalled, and it's just like a football team that goes 60 yards and all of a sudden goes 0 for 4 and has to punt. It's unfortunate. It's one of the things we worked on the last two weeks was passing it down. And in the last inning I really thought Jadyn (Spencer) was going to hit a grand slam or (Marisa) Runyon hit a home run to go ahead. But, you know, it didn't happen.
Q. Ladies, after the week that this has been from Super Regionals to now, can you just talk about how tough of an exit it is for you especially I'm sure you expected to go a little bit farther?
HAYLIE MCCLENEY: I mean, it's obviously disappointing anytime you lose the last game. You always want to be the one to win it in the end. I'm just so proud of this team.
MARISA RUNYON: I think the hardest thing is that not only especially the senior class, are they great ball players, they're great people. They're the true definition of an Alabama softball player. That's what we want. It's going to be a hard class to follow up. And not everybody thought we were going to be here, and what it came down to is our one heartbeat as a team and our motto that we've talked about for so long. And we all have each other's back, one through 18, and it was just a fun team to be a part of.
DANAE HAYS: You know, I don't think a lot of people really even expected us to make it past Super Regionals. So for us to have played three games at the World Series, I think it exceeded a lot of people's expectations, and I think this is definitely a season we can be very proud of.
Q. Marisa, when you come up to the plate at the end, did it bring back any kind of thoughts last week to the grand slam? I know it wasn't bases loaded, but did you have any thoughts that you could be a hero again?
MARISA RUNYON: It's a tough situation to be in. You just want to pass the ball down the lineup. You don't necessarily think about being the hero, you just want to pass it down to the next person in the lineup. And unfortunately I didn't do it. But our goal every last inning is to get the tying run at the plate, and we did do that. I'm proud of every single person on the team, because we did do that and we met our goal there. And unfortunately it didn't fall our way.
Q. What do you think happened for the offense? Is it just facing better pitching the last couple of weeks as opposed to the regional and maybe you had some struggles with the SEC tournament, didn't seem like you were putting hits together like you had at earlier points in the season?
MARISA RUNYON: When you come here, it's eight of the best teams. And every single pitcher here is good. And unfortunately I still think we didn't peak at the right time. And we didn't get the clutch hits every single time like we needed to. And good teams we played against, and when you come here it's like you can flip a coin, and whoever is going to win, flip a coin. And whoever shows up that day is going to be the winner at the end of the day. And unfortunately it didn't go our way, but still so proud of the team.
HAYLIE MCCLENEY: Yeah, along with what (Marisa) Runyon said, you're going to play the eight best teams here. And we ran into three really good teams. We ran into the 2 seed, the 5 seed. It's so hard to play the 3 seed in Michigan, to face all those tough pitchers that we faced. But Murph (Patrick Murphy) always said, it's pitching, defense and timely hitting, those are the three keys to winning a championship. And it was unfortunate that we didn't have a lot of timely hits. But you can't say that this team didn't fight. You cannot say that because we left it all out there on the field, you saw that in the last inning. So you can't make adjustments. And we did what we could. We did all we knew how to do. We tried our best. We gave it our all. It just didn't fall our way, and it wasn't meant to be.
DANAE HAYS: Like what both of them said. When you finally get here, you're playing against seven other teams that all have amazing pitchers. And if they don't have amazing pitchers, they have 1 through 9 that are just stacked. So you're playing the best of the best. And there's just, the margin for error is just very small. And if we're not getting the hits done, then we have to play great defense. And tonight that just — I felt like we had a good defense. We just had that one miscue. And we just weren't hitting the ball that well. But along with what Hailey (McCleney) said, we definitely left everything out there on that field. And I know when we go home tonight we'll lay our head down, we can be proud of that.
Q. Patrick, looking at what you have coming back next year, what you have coming in next year, what holes are you looking to fill, what concerns you the most, what gives you the most comfort, and please also address Peyton's status?
COACH MURPHY: Peyton Grantham tore her ACL in the fall. She'll be ready to go. And (Marisa) Runyon might never have had the year she had if Peyton had been healthy. I mean, it's a weird blessing sort of thing. And I know Peyton wishes that she would have been out there every day. But she'll be ready to go in the fall. We have six young ladies coming in, two from Texas, two from Alabama, our first Arkansas, our first Mississippi young lady. And there's two pitchers in the group, a lefty and righty, both players of the year in their state at one point. The two kids from Texas both throw right and hit left. Both are fast. They're more hitters than slappers. So we're looking forward to having a couple more lefties to join Haylie (McCleney) and (Marisa) Runyon. But the two pitchers are going to help. I know Leslie ended her career on an awesome note tonight. I thought she was terrific. We've got to replace Chaunsey (Bell) obviously. Danae (Hays) is a big spot, the shortstop. We have to have somebody that's very consistent like her. I think she ended her senior year at under 10 errors at shortstop, which is awesome. I know it's been 10 minutes, but it's going to be a fun year next year. I'm looking forward to Haylie being a senior and her three other classmates. I know they're going to show great leadership and we'll do amazing things again. The other thing I wanted to say before, just thanks to everybody, OU, the All Sports Association, everybody here at ASA, USA Softball have been terrific. The event gets bigger and better and it's because of the media, too, because you guys pay attention to us. I think I heard it was the largest crowd of this session ever. That's awesome. But that's because you write stories in the paper and cover us as radio and TV people and people getting interested in the sport. So I thank you for that, because I mean from 2000 to 2015, it's been unbelievable. And usually these chairs are filled. But I know it's past somebody's bedtime, but I thank you for being here because it's been awesome — there's no such thing as a bad day at the World Series. There's no such thing as a bad day at the World Series. And I firmly believe that. So thank you very much.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
In the 10th game of the 2015 Women’s College World Series, No. 5 seed LSU defeated No. 6 seed Alabama, 5-3. The Tigers moved to 52-13 overall this season, while the loss ended the Crimson Tide’s season. Alabama finished the year with a record of 48-15.
LSU advanced to face No. 3 seed Michigan at 2:30 p.m. CT on Sunday. In order to advance to the championship series, the Tigers will have to register two wins against the Wolverines.
In its fourth WCWS appearance (2001, ’04, ’12, ’15), LSU improved to 8-7 overall. Alabama is now 17-19 all-time (1-2 this year) in 10 WCWS appearances (2000, ’03, ’05, ’06, ’08, ’09, ’11, ’12, ’14, ’15).
Alabama struck first in the contest, scoring on an RBI single from sophomore Marisa Runyon in the first inning. The RBI gave her 80 this season, an Alabama single-season record. Runyon finished the game 2 for 4 at the plate.
The Tigers responded with three runs in the bottom of the first inning, starting with an RBI single from sophomore Sahvanna Jaquish. Junior Kelsi Kloss then hit an RBI double to left field to put LSU ahead 2-1 before scoring on a throwing error, giving it the 3-1 advantage.
LSU sophomore Bailey Landry sent a two-RBI single to right field in the second inning. Landry went 2 for 3 in the contest.
All nine of LSU’s RBIs at the 2015 WCWS have come with two outs.
LSU freshman pitcher Allie Walljasper moved to 16-5 on the season with the win. In 6.0 innings of work, she gave up three runs on six hits and walked one batter. Freshman Carley Hoover posted her fifth save of the season, pitching an inning for the Tigers.
Alabama sophomore pitcher Sydney Littlejohn fell to 16-2 this year with the loss. Littlejohn surrendered five runs on five hits, walked two batters and struck out one. Senior Leslie Jury also pitched 3.0 innings for the Crimson Tide, giving up two hits and a walk and recording four strikeouts.
Alabama mounted a rally in the bottom of the seventh inning, loading the bases with one out. The Crimson Tide managed to score two runs – one on an RBI sacrifice fly to right field from senior Jadyn Spencer and one from freshman Kayla Rettig on a wild pitch – but could not erase the deficit.
In the fourth inning, Alabama senior catcher Chaunsey Bell tallied her third throw out in three games at this year’s WCWS. Prior to the WCWS, Bell had thrown out three runners all season.
The attendance for Session 5 was 9,515, a session best and the third most all-time at the WCWS.
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