Baylor Post Game 8 Press Conference

2017 Women's College World Series

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Baylor Post Game 8 Press Conference

2017 Women's College World Series

Saturday June 3, 2017
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oregon – 7, Baylor – 4

Baylor interview with Glenn Moore, Sydney Christensen, Kelsee Selman, Gia Rodoni, Kyla Walker, and Lindsey Cargill.

GLENN MOORE: Well, let me first open by saying how proud I am of the fight this team has, and anybody that followed us throughout the postseason knows this team doesn't quit. They're a gritty bunch with a lot of talent.

But we dug ourselves in a hole once again, and you just can't do that this time of year and expect to keep coming out of it. It's going to bite you eventually, and we didn't play clean ball this tournament. But we had our moments, and we kept fighting.

You know, I'm just — at the beginning of the year, not many people thought we had — I think we were voted to finish fourth in the Big 12, so this team overcame a lot, and they became a dang good team, very respected by everybody across the country, and it was because of hard work and paying the price and getting to this point. But it's great to be in the World Series. It's the first time for us not to win a game in the World Series, so that's difficult to deal with, but we're here and a lot of people aren't. Very proud of this bunch.

Q. Glenn, bottom of the seventh, bases loaded, you probably liked the lineup you had coming up. What did you think about that?

GLENN MOORE: Well, you can't draw it up any better than that if you put yourself in the position we were in, but we fought back and gave ourselves a chance to win it, and I kept seeing — with this team, I've seen it so many times, I just kept believing that a ball was about to leave the park and we were going to have a walk-off, but it didn't happen. I can't remember her name, came in — (Miranda) Elish came in and devastated us with that changeup and beat some good hitters.

Q. Lindsey, I know it's emotional right now, but can you even find the words to sum up your years at Baylor and what it means to you?
LINDSEY CARGILL: I can say that this program has taught me a lot for the future. It's very emotional right now because I am so proud of every single team that I've played on during my four years, and this year has been awesome just with this team, and I've learned a lot from Coach Moore and the coaching staff, and I'm just excited to see what the future has for them, and that's it.

Q. Kyla, can you talk about the way — obviously y'all are almost passing the bat there in the seventh, and even in I guess it was the fifth when y'all got it going. Talk about both of those rallies and how y'all had it going.

KYLA WALKER: Ever since Arizona throughout the Super Regionals we've tried to stay more calm and collected. I think we stayed calm today. Even though we went down, we were still in this game. We believe in each other that — we went down in like the third, fourth inning so we still had so many at-bats that we could turn around, and even at Arizona we were down but we still had three more at-bats so we could turn it around, and we did, so I still believed that we could.

Q. Coach, how important has Lindsey Cargill been to this program?

GLENN MOORE: She's a bar setter. You're only as strong as your weakest link they say, but everybody is trying to live up to her standards. She never showed up for a practice that she didn't give 100 percent when nobody was looking. She's unbelievably passionate about this game. But Lindsey is bigger than just softball, too. She came to school, and I didn't know how she'd do academically, quite honestly, and she ended up graduating early, about to get her masters, Academic All-American, so I'm proud of that kid for more reasons than just softball, but she certainly left this program, as you would love to do, in better shape than she found it, and it was in pretty good shape when she found it.

Q. Gia, did you ever feel like you got into much of a groove today, and was the rain tough to deal with, also?

GIA RODONI: I didn't feel like the rain bothered me much. We had to deal with it when we played Northwestern State, so I've dealt with it before. It was just a good offense I was going against, and I knew it would be tough, and they just got the better of me today.

Q. Sydney, they had no-hit you for four innings. You hadn't even had an at-bat. Talk about getting on, and I guess that kind of started to maybe — Taylor getting on before you, but kind of getting that rally going with a big hit.

SYDNEY CHRISTENSEN: Yeah, Taylor got hit, and I just wanted to fight for my seniors. Really close with all four of them, and I didn't want it to be their last game, and I really didn't think of it being a no-hitter until I got the hit, and all I was up there for, I was up there for my seniors, and I wanted to fight for them.

Q. Kelsee, how disappointed are you in the season coming to an end as well as not being able to play LSU?

KELSEE SELMAN: I mean, I'm really disappointed. Of course I didn't want the season to end. I mean, of course I want a national championship. I mean, I really wanted to play LSU. I really wanted to pitch against them. But God has bigger plans. Yeah, it's really disappointing and sad.

Q. Kelsee, you managed to keep Oregon pretty much at bay once you came in, but then in the seventh was there a certain pitch that (Mia) Camuso got a hold of or one you didn't throw like you wanted?

KELSEE SELMAN: No, she had really good at-bats. I think that was her third at-bat off of me. I think it was. I just think that she battled really hard. She's a tough out. I mean, I threw a rise ball to her and I threw like three in a row but I had a 3-2 count so I was just trying to get her to pop up somewhere, and it didn't turn out the way I wanted it, but she's a good hitter, so I was just trying my best to get her out, and to trust my defense, but it's hard when the falls hit like that.

Q. Lindsey, I know you already talked about it, but was Kentucky in your mind that y'all kept coming back?

LINDSEY CARGILL: Yeah. I thought about that, yeah, of course, but I knew that this team could fight, and always when I think back to Kentucky — and I reminded them actually, like hey, we've done this before, we can do it, and I thought we could do it because we're fighters up there. Our whole team, yeah.

Q. Coach, can you just reflect back on your four seniors? You talked about Lindsey a little bit, but can you reflect back on everything they've done?

GLENN MOORE: You know, we graduated a class that was the most productive in school history last year, so they had to take the reins, and from that and all those accolades, and they did a great job of kind of taking this team when it was in a rebuilding type year. I hate to use that. But it was a lot of unknowns. These games are won in the fall. They're won over the summer, and it's about leadership and how they can guide a team to get better. There's a lot of talented teams out there, and the teams with the best leadership are the ones that are committed to working the hardest in the offseason. They're going to gain the advantage if they're fairly equally talented, and I think we surpassed a lot of teams that were maybe even more talented than us because of them.

POSTGAME NOTES
Game 8: Oregon 7, Baylor 4

  • No. 3 seed Oregon held off No. 15 seed Baylor as the Ducks topped the Lady Bears 7-4 on Saturday in an elimination game. The Ducks jumped out to a 5-0 lead before holding off a late charge by Baylor.
  • Oregon advances to play in an elimination game on Saturday night in Session 5. First pitch will be 30 minutes after the conclusion of the UCLA-Washington game. Baylor finishes its season with a 45-16 record.
  • The Ducks improved to 5-9 all-time at the WCWS, while Baylor fell to 5-8. Saturday’s game was the first meeting between Oregon and Baylor at the Women’s College World Series.
  • Oregon struck first as Sammie Puentes scored on a wild pitch from Baylor starter Gia Rodoni to put the Ducks on the board. Jenna Lilley followed with a one-out double to plate Lauren Lindavall and extend Oregon’s lead to 2-0.
  • The Ducks added a pair of runs in the top of the third inning with a Mia Camuso two-out double, pushing Oregon’s lead to 4-0. After a leadoff single from Alexis Mack to begin the fifth, the Ducks added another run as Shannon Rhodes’ two-out single to left put Oregon up 5-0.
  • Baylor rallied four runs to cut Oregon’s lead down to one run. Taylor Ellis scored the Lady Bears’ first run of the game, scoring on an error by Oregon’s Lilley. After a RBI groundout from Lindsey Cargilll made it 5-2, Baylor’s Kyla Walker and Shelby Friudenberg recorded RBI singles to trim the deficit down to one.
  • With the bases loaded in the top of the seventh, the Ducks added two insurance runs as Camuso recorded her second double of the game to drive in Mack and Nikki Udria.
  • Camuso tied her career high with four RBIs, finishing 2-for-4 with two doubles. Lilley was 2-for-4 at the plate with a double and a triple. Udria finished with two hits and two runs scored for the Ducks, while Mack scored three times and added two hits.
  • Miranda Elish (12-0) threw 5.0 innings in her 16th start of the year. The freshman allowed four runs on three hits, while walking two and striking out two. After Maggie Baliant, who worked one inning in relief, left the game with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh, the Ducks turned to Megan Kleist to close the game. Kleist retired three Baylor’s 2-3-4 hitters in order to earn her second save of the season. 
  • Rodoni (18-4) lasted 2.2 innings in the circle for Baylor and gave up four runs on six hits in her shortest outing since March 5 versus UCLA. Kelsee Selman threw 4.1 innings in relief, allowing three runs (two earned) and five hits, while striking out two.
  • Walker led the Lady Bears at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate, scoring a run and finishing with one RBI. Walker finishes the season with Baylor’s single-season record for base hits (88).
  • Saturday’s loss marked the first time Baylor finished 0-2 at the WCWS during its four appearances in Oklahoma City.
  • Attendance for Session 4 was 8,696. The Baylor-Oregon game was delayed for one hour and 13 minutes due to heavy rain. The game was stopped at 2:39 p.m. CT and resumed at 3:52 p.m. CT.
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Oregon Post Game 8 Press Conference

2017 Women's College World Series

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Oregon Post Game 8 Press Conference

2017 Women's College World Series

Saturday June 3, 2017
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oregon – 7, Baylor – 4

Oregon interview with Mike White, Maggie Balint, Jenna Lilley, Miranda Elish, and Mia Camuso.

MIKE WHITE: First of all, want to say congratulations to Baylor on a good season. We've played Arizona, and playing Arizona in Arizona is no easy feat, and to come away from that with a serious win was a tremendous feat, especially after having lost their ace pitcher last year in (Heather) Stearns, to come back and have the season they had, it's very impressive, so congratulations to Coach Moore and his staff and team on their season.

Even today they played with intensity. They were down four or five runs and just came right back, and obviously had the pressure on it last inning, and a hit — anything else comes in, they'll score some more runs until you put pressure on. But as it was, Megan Kleist did a fantastic job coming in under a lot of pressure, and doing a great job for us, so we're very fortunate to be moving on. Looking forward to playing LSU tonight. Thank you.

Q. Coach, can you just talk about what you were telling your team in the seventh when the bases were loaded, Megan (Kleist) had just come in, what was going through your mind and what were you telling them?

MIKE WHITE: I think I was saying some Hail Marys — no, just kidding. I think it was just, hey, we've got to calm it down, we've just got to make sure we get one pitch at a time, just break it right down like we always do. It's a tough environment. They know what's at stake, and they know that a big hit — they had the kids up that killed Arizona, (Shelby) Friudenberg and (Shelby) McGlaun, I think, and those kids really made some noise in Arizona, so it was a tough part of the order coming up. But as usual, when our backs are to the wall we tend to perform our best, and that's what Megan Kleist did in this situation.

Q. Miranda, you started the game a little slow. Coach comes out to talk to you and obviously he's sending relief pitchers into the bullpen. What's going through your mind at that time?

MIRANDA ELISH: That I just need to trust my defense behind me and we're just playing in Jane Sanders Stadium again. I needed to keep my heart rate between 60 and 80 and that's what Coach White came out and said. I needed to trust my defense behind me. It's a new environment. Now that I think all the freshmen know it, now I think we're settled in, and we're just ready to keep rolling.

Q. Jenna and Mia, clutch hitting had kind of gotten away from you guys. You had some opportunities in the first game on Thursday. That wasn't the case today. Was anything in particular different or just a different day and you were able to square up some hits?

JENNA LILLEY: I think that Coach talks a lot about having intent and purpose with every pitch from the first pitch, and I thought overall from the get-go that we had intent and purpose with every pitch, especially on offense today. I think that was the main mental difference. I think we kind of have like a team theme of just pass the bat, so I think get them on, get them over, get them in. Keep it simple.

MIA CAMUSO: I would agree with Jenna on that. It was just a different day, and we were more focused on every pitch, and every pitch is a new pitch, and that's about it.

Q. Megan (Kleist) hasn't been great in relief coming out of the bullpen the last few times. What was your confidence level and her confidence level? Did you say anything that you felt got the most out of her?

MIKE WHITE: Well, Megan has had some periods throughout this year where she hasn't pitched the best and I've continued to throw her back out there, and man, she's just resilient. She bounces right back. So that was my theory coming in. It's like, okay, this kid has got the best stuff, she's got three pitches we can throw up there if we need the three pitches. It's going to be hard for them to sit on one thing, and she did it. She came out and she had good velocity, ball was moving, and great changeup. Holy cow, that really saved our bacon.

Q. Maggie, when you come into the game that late and you've had this long rain delay and a lot of sitting around, is it difficult to get your mind into the game and get your body loose and get ready for it? And did you guys do anything entertaining during the rain delay?

MAGGIE BALINT: You know, it's kind of — we keep on saying in the dugout, it's like Eugene came with us to Oklahoma because it always rains in Eugene. I joke around all the time that we never have a delay — like we never cancel a game but we've had delays in Eugene, so I think having the delays in Eugene, we kind of get used to that as a team, and I think it's more beneficial to our team than it is to other teams because other teams don't get rain delays like we do.

When we went in the locker room — I guess you could say musical chairs, we had music playing, and the chairs didn't move, but there was a locker room, so if you got out you sat in your seat after the music was playing, so we did that for a little bit, and then we came back out.

MIKE WHITE: You can see why I stay out of there.

Q. Coach talked this morning about attacking pitches. Did that resonate with you at all?

MIA CAMUSO: Yeah, for sure. I felt like I was attacking every pitch that was coming. If it's not a ball, just take it, but every pitch has intent and purpose.

Q. What do you do now to prepare for tonight?

MIKE WHITE: Well, I think that we're going to lower the intensity level just a little bit. They're still pretty amped up and I'm still amped up, and we've just got to chill a little bit, sit back and regroup and retool ourselves for the next game so to speak, and we're going to come against a very good team. That's the thing about the SEC is they see a lot of good pitching and a lot of good teams just like we do, so it's going to be a battle. It's going to be a drag-out, and hopefully we can come out on top and get through to tomorrow.

POSTGAME NOTES
Game 8: Oregon 7, Baylor 4

  • No. 3 seed Oregon held off No. 15 seed Baylor as the Ducks topped the Lady Bears 7-4 on Saturday in an elimination game. The Ducks jumped out to a 5-0 lead before holding off a late charge by Baylor.
  • Oregon advances to play in an elimination game on Saturday night in Session 5. First pitch will be 30 minutes after the conclusion of the UCLA-Washington game. Baylor finishes its season with a 45-16 record.
  • The Ducks improved to 5-9 all-time at the WCWS, while Baylor fell to 5-8. Saturday’s game was the first meeting between Oregon and Baylor at the Women’s College World Series.
  • Oregon struck first as Sammie Puentes scored on a wild pitch from Baylor starter Gia Rodoni to put the Ducks on the board. Jenna Lilley followed with a one-out double to plate Lauren Lindavall and extend Oregon’s lead to 2-0.
  • The Ducks added a pair of runs in the top of the third inning with a Mia Camuso two-out double, pushing Oregon’s lead to 4-0. After a leadoff single from Alexis Mack to begin the fifth, the Ducks added another run as Shannon Rhodes’ two-out single to left put Oregon up 5-0.
  • Baylor rallied four runs to cut Oregon’s lead down to one run. Taylor Ellis scored the Lady Bears’ first run of the game, scoring on an error by Oregon’s Lilley. After a RBI groundout from Lindsey Cargilll made it 5-2, Baylor’s Kyla Walker and Shelby Friudenberg recorded RBI singles to trim the deficit down to one.
  • With the bases loaded in the top of the seventh, the Ducks added two insurance runs as Camuso recorded her second double of the game to drive in Mack and Nikki Udria.
  • Camuso tied her career high with four RBIs, finishing 2-for-4 with two doubles. Lilley was 2-for-4 at the plate with a double and a triple. Udria finished with two hits and two runs scored for the Ducks, while Mack scored three times and added two hits.
  • Miranda Elish (12-0) threw 5.0 innings in her 16th start of the year. The freshman allowed four runs on three hits, while walking two and striking out two. After Maggie Baliant, who worked one inning in relief, left the game with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh, the Ducks turned to Megan Kleist to close the game. Kleist retired three Baylor’s 2-3-4 hitters in order to earn her second save of the season. 
  • Rodoni (18-4) lasted 2.2 innings in the circle for Baylor and gave up four runs on six hits in her shortest outing since March 5 versus UCLA. Kelsee Selman threw 4.1 innings in relief, allowing three runs (two earned) and five hits, while striking out two.
  • Walker led the Lady Bears at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate, scoring a run and finishing with one RBI. Walker finishes the season with Baylor’s single-season record for base hits (88).
  • Saturday’s loss marked the first time Baylor finished 0-2 at the WCWS during its four appearances in Oklahoma City.
  • Attendance for Session 4 was 8,696. The Baylor-Oregon game was delayed for one hour and 13 minutes due to heavy rain. The game was stopped at 2:39 p.m. CT and resumed at 3:52 p.m. CT.
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Texas A&M Post Game 7 Press Conference

2017 Women's College World Series

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Texas A&M Post Game 7 Press Conference

2017 Women's College World Series

Saturday June 3, 2017
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
UCLA – 8, Texas A&M – 2

Texas A&M interview with Jo Evans, Celena Massey, Sarah Hudek, Riley Sartain, and Ashley Walters.

JO EVANS: Early on we got a little bit behind in the count, and UCLA took advantage of that, and then I thought Trinity Harrington did a great job of settling in, giving us some really good innings, throwing some ground balls. I thought our defense played well today. I thought our infield in particular looked very good, made plays when we were able to get plays, and then offensively the important thing is to be able to hang in there long enough. I thought we had some good at-bats early even though we hadn't scored a run, and then to see Riley get up there — actually the at-bat before Riley (Sartain) was Ashley Walters, who just smoked a line drive up the middle of the field and their second baseman made a terrific play. At that point, tip your hat to that defensive play. And then Riley comes up and hits a home run. At that point we started to feel a little better about ourselves at the plate and striking the ball well.

Going into that last inning we felt like we had a chance to win this thing, and we just couldn't keep it close. Yeah, I'm disappointed in the ground ball to Riley taking a bad hop right there. I guess this is my chance to say I'm an advocate for dragging the field in the late innings. We do it in the SEC. You've got two minutes and 45 seconds. It takes them exactly 48 seconds to do it, so that's my little plug. I didn't come here to say that, just accidently came out of my mouth (laughter), but it would have been fun for Riley to have a ground ball that didn't pop up and get her.

But UCLA did a really great job to just keep coming. They're offensively just a powerhouse. They hit through their lineup. They hit with a lot of power, and you know, they showed why they continue to come back to the College World Series year in and year out. I have a ton of respect for Sharron Backus, Sue Enquist and now Kelly Inouye-Perez, just winning ballgames every season and being at the College World Series.

Q. It seemed like after you turned a double play you had a chance for some emotion. Can you talk about what you said to your team at that point after you turned that double play?

JO EVANS: Well, I was fired up that our kids can play defense. I've been watching that all year long, and I was really proud of them to get us off the field in some tough situations. Really just saying, hey, we're in this, let's go. We have the right people up right now, and let's keep attacking the ball in the zone.

Q. Celena, you gave us all goosebumps with your home run; just talk about that, talk about the emotion that you felt and the reaction of your teammates.

CELENA MASSEY: You know, I've been playing the past four years here, and my team, I would step up for them any day. I just had to get it done for them. Honestly, I didn't know what the bat was going to be like, and I just went up there hacking, and after that, I saw them jumping, and I was like, holy-moley, it's out. I just got so excited with them. I wouldn't want to get more excited with anyone else besides this team. Like I love this team so much, and their emotion is amazing. They're a great team.

Q. Ashley, two big momentum plays at the plate; what happened on the first one? Did you feel like you got the tag on the first one? And then the second one, kind of walk through what happened there and what took you down there on that one.

ASHLEY WALTERS: Yeah, the first one, the throw came from Tori (Vidales), and I just knew where my feet were. I thought I had the tag, but at that point in the play, you can't change what happens, so we just had to move forward with it, move on to the next at-bat, stuff like that. Just focus on getting outs, and the last play, the throw kind of took my arm that way, but I ended up throwing it to Riley (Sartain) to get the double play somehow, but I'm glad we got out of that inning quickly.

Q. Coach, another question about Celena, that moment. What was going through your mind when that bat hit the ball?

JO EVANS: I was out of my mind. I actually after the game apologized to Kirk (Walker) and Kelly (Inouye-Perez) for acting so ridiculous when we got a home run and the score was 8-1. I just wanted to make sure they knew I wasn't trying to show anybody up or anything. But in that moment when you've got a kid you love and respect and they go up and do that, I was just fired up. I was going crazy over there.

Just really proud of C (Celena Massey) and Reagan (Boenker). We just have two seniors, and they've been just the consummate team players. They're not kids that get in the lineup every single day. So when you see that happen — to me, I'm like, this is what it's all about, you know.

Q. Was that your plan, to have your two seniors to get at the plate in that seventh inning?

JO EVANS: I really was just in the moment of the game, and I was mad at myself actually when UCLA kind of put the nail in the coffin, they went up 8-1, and that next kid came up, and in the middle of the at-bat, I'm like, man, I blew it, I should have C (Celena Massey) behind the plate right now because I just wanted her to play in the College World Series, and so I was upset at myself, like why didn't I think of that a bit sooner. And going into the last inning, this is an explosive ballclub, and you've got Riley Sartain coming up. At that point my plan was if Riley gets on, we're going to make a run at this thing, and if Riley doesn't get on, those two kids are going to be — they're going to play in the College World Series, so that's kind of what it came down to, and of course I had to run it by Coach Glasco because I don't want him thinking I'm not there to win games, but to me it's about those kids, so that's how it went down, but I didn't have some master plan in my mind, just that's how it played out.

Q. Celena, over your four years how do you figure out and learn and accept what your role is going to be? It might not be 200 at-bats per year, but kind of accepting what it's going to be?

CELENA MASSEY: I'd guess I'd say to stay selfless for your teammates no matter what. You all have got to take the leadership role and show the underclassmen what it's like to be part of the program, and you've got to have them take on the role, as well, and just do the best you can for your team.

Q. Riley and Sarah, Coach mentioned there's only two seniors. If you could talk about what you take from — I know it's early to reflect, but what you take from this World Series appearance and as far as Texas A & M next season.

RILEY SARTAIN: You know, I think this year was a really great year for us. We're always sad to see a big part of our program go, and we definitely wouldn't be here without Reagan (Boenker) and Celena (Massey), and I can't thank them enough for not only who they are to our ballclub but who they are off the field to all of the players and all my teammates, and I think you can expect to see us here next year. I think that we're only getting years of experience under our belt. We're getting bigger, stronger, faster in the offseason. As sad as I am to see them go, I'm also excited for the future to see what this program has for us.

SARAH HUDEK: I mean, pretty much based off that, what Reagan and C have done for this program, not many people may see on the surface, but they mean so much more than what everyone sees out here because we see the C and the Reagan that are in the clubhouse and the ones that are the most selfless people I've ever met, and to be able to have the opportunity to have them as teammates is something that's going to make as well as everybody else on my team College World Series obviously wasn't the outcome we wanted but just getting that experience and we're not losing any starters, and I mean, just the experience is just going to kind of get us more comfortable when we come back next year.

Q. Sarah, this is your first year playing college softball. You just completed your first season, so you were playing baseball one year ago and now you find yourself here. What's it like for you to not only find yourself at the College World Series but also to have such great success in your first season playing softball?

SARAH HUDEK: Yeah, I can say I'm pretty lucky that I ended up at such a great program that's not only just great on the field but great people, and Coach Evans' really harps for us to leave a legacy, and C (Celena Massey) and Reagan (Boenker) have left their legacy, and just to see that and to see the alumni that come back and in the stands this World Series, just it's awesome to see that. A & M is a family, and I wouldn't want to be part of any other family.

Q. Ashley, can you talk about the rest of the team's perspective when she hit that home run because you guys came screaming out of the dugout?

ASHLEY WALTERS: Yeah, I mean, both of them probably knew when they were going up to bat that it could be their last at-bat of their career, and we were all pulling so hard for them. Like Coach Evans says, it didn't matter the outcome, we were going to be happy for them no matter what. But when we saw that ball go over the fence, you'd better know we were going to be the first ones out to that home plate to be cheering louder than she was around the bases. It was just so awesome for them. We were talking about it earlier, she's going to have kids and tell them about this and they're not going to believe her, they're going to be like, you're lying, you didn't hit a home run in your last at-bat in the College World Series. Like that's just unbelievable. I'm so happy for them.

POSTGAME NOTES
Game 7: UCLA 8, Texas A&M 2

  • In the first elimination game of Session 4, No. 5 seed UCLA earned an 8-2 victory on Saturday over No. 9 seed Texas A&M. The Bruins improve to 48-14, while the Aggies finished their season with a record of 47-13.
  • UCLA advances to face Washington in an elimination game on Saturday at 6 p.m. CT. The Huskies won the season series against the Bruins on March 31-April 2, taking two of three games in Seattle.
  • In its 27th WCWS appearance, UCLA improved to 96-34 at the event. The win snapped a five-game losing skid at the WCWS for the Bruins. Texas A&M fell to 21-15 all-time at the WCWS.
  • The matchup marked the eighth meeting between Texas A&M and UCLA at the WCWS, but the first since 1987. The series is tied 4-4 at the event.
  • UCLA second baseman Kylee Perez put the Bruins on the board with a solo blast to center field in the top of the first. Perez’s home run was her third of the season and her second in the last eight games.
  • The Bruins tacked on two more runs in the top of the second as Delaney Spaulding’s single to right field plated Rachel Garcia and Zoe Shaw. After Texas A&M cut the UCLA lead down to 3-1 in the fourth, Spaulding drove in her second run of the day with a double to left center in the seventh. The senior recorded three RBIs, added a run scored and was 2-for-3 with a double.
  • A Perez single and a double from Brianna Tautalafua extended UCLA’s lead to 6-1 in its final at-bat. Perez was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs, while Tautalafua was also 3-for-4 with a double and a RBI.
  • Garcia helped her cause in the circle by drilling a two-out, two-run homer to left center in the seventh to push UCLA’s advantage to 8-1. She finished 1-for-2 at the plate with two runs and two RBIs. In the circle, Garcia improved to 23-8 this season, allowing one run and striking out two in 6.0 innings of work. Selina Ta’amilo pitched the final inning for the Bruins. 
  • Texas A&M scored its first run of the game in the fourth as third baseman Riley Sartain recorded her 13th home run of the season with a solo blast to left field.
  • Sarah Hudek led the Aggies at the plate, finishing 2-for-2 with a double.
  • Pinch-hitter Celena Massey drilled a two-run home run in just her fifth at-bat of the season for the Aggies. It marked her first home run of the season and her first since 2015.
  • Trinity Harrington (14-4) was tagged with the loss for the Aggies, pitching 6.1 innings and surrendering six runs (five earned). The junior gave up nine hits, while walking three and striking out two.
  • The Bruins improved to 19-2 when scoring in the first inning and are 35-0 when leading after five innings this season.
  • UCLA assistant coach Lisa Fernandez was ejected in the top of the sixth inning for arguing a call at home plate.
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UCLA Post Game 7 Press Conference

2017 Women's College World Series

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UCLA Post Game 7 Press Conference

2017 Women's College World Series

Saturday June 3, 2017
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
UCLA – 8, Texas A&M – 2

UCLA interview with Kelly Inouye-Perez, Rachel Garcia, Gabrielle Maurice, and Kylee Perez.

KELLY INOUYE-PEREZ: Yeah, absolutely. First I really want to be able to just say how much respect I have for that Texas A&M program and Jo Evans. Also the pitcher (Trinity) Harrington and what she has overcome to be able to get her team here is just unbelievable. So hats off to Texas A&M. Once again, I have a lot of respect for them, know they're a quality team, and I knew it was going to be a battle.

For today, very proud of my team. I think the way that we came out was the plan, to be able to have the ability to be in control and put ourselves in a position to play UCLA softball, and you got to see that. It was outstanding for — I just shared with the team for Kylee Perez to be able to show great leadership and have Delaney's (Spaulding) back and throw that first punch and be able to get on the board, it kind of set the tone that we're here to play. But a lot of great things. We executed great ball. Pitchers pitched, played great defense, we moved runners, we clutched up, we just played UCLA softball, and I'm very proud because like I said, we're nowhere near being done with our season and we just put ourselves in a position to be able to get after the next game.

Q. This sport is really all about momentum, and it looked like the momentum really went to your favor after the play at home; do you have any comment about that?

KELLY INOUYE-PEREZ: I definitely agree. You can have big debates about what momentum is, but I think you got to see is there's a really strong belief of having each other's backs, and I think that is something that is very, very powerful. We're in a battle, and anytime somebody potentially is put in a position to get hurt or in any position that may put themselves in the need to be able to have their team be able to have their back, this team steps up. So you got to see a very strong, convicted Bruin program.

Yeah, we can be a little frustrated about some of the emotion of it. What you saw with myself and Coach (Lisa) Fernandez is I'm not going to tolerate allowing the players to put themselves in position to possibly getting hurt. That is ultimately the job of the officials. We all simply had each other's backs.

And then the best part about it is it's one thing to have each other's backs, and there's the other way to go, and that's just playing great softball, and that's what I think you got to see. This team is very, very focused. They're very, very determined, but they're playing together as one, and yeah, that kind of sparked a little bit of a fire, but I'm just most proud that they pulled themselves together and slowed the momentum down. They did just the opposite; they pulled the team together, and if you would have seen in the dugout, they took a deep breath and they're like, nope, we're not going to let this get out of hand, so we controlled the momentum, and I think that's very powerful.

Q. Kylee, your home run there early on in the game, how big was that for you and your team to really get that first run?

KYLEE PEREZ: You know, I think that we're always trying to do our best to get the ball rolling right from the bat. And D (Delaney Spaulding) does a great job of getting us going, and I know if D doesn't, then it's my turn to step up, so I think that just being able to step up for my team and get something going was important and kind of gave us the confidence to — just to get the ball rolling, like we said.

Q. Rachel, not a lot of strikeouts. Could you take us through the game plan and how you were able to execute it against their hitters?

RACHEL GARCIA: I definitely think that started off with my strength pitches, and then once we get through the lineup a couple times, I think just working in those off speeds just to keep them off balance, keep them on their toes.

Q. Gabrielle, what kind of happened from your perspective on that tag play at home?

GABRIELLE MAURICE: You know, Texas A&M is a great program, talented pitcher, really great catcher. It's a tough play to make and judge. We're just here to play ball and have some fun with it.

Q. You mentioned the players not putting themselves into position to get hurt. With the argument for obstruction —

KELLY INOUYE-PEREZ: Well, the rule is stated that if the runner has to alter her path to the plate, then obstruction is definitely an option, is a judgment call. Gaby (Maurice)clearly altered her path to the plate. Gaby clearly had to go back door and literally pounded her head trying to get around the catcher to get to the plate. So I'm obviously not very clear about how that call is being made.

The rule came into play to avoid the collision, to avoid that type of play, and I think because it's gotten heightened, the judgment has been something that can be — you know, it can go either way. I'm just going to say it like that. My biggest thing is my concern for my player, and she had to clearly alter her path, and the umpire said she didn't, and that's what I was arguing about. She said she didn't have to alter her path, but she clearly saw she had no path to the bag. She had to jump over the catcher, try to reach the plate, almost did, and put herself at great risk to be hurt, and that's ultimately what we don't want to see is great athletes doing whatever they can and that's where I believe the umpires have to come into play. I haven't replayed the tape, but once again, I will defend my athlete because she's doing everything she can to score a run for her team, and the fact that she had to go to that extreme with no call was disappointing.

Q. You've been to this tournament several times; it seems like there's been more calls at the plate in the short amount of time that we've been here.

KELLY INOUYE-PEREZ: I have been to the tournament, super fortunate for that, and I can tell you it's the game. We see it. I will say that it feels even bigger on this stage, and you want the best to be here to be able to represent and neutralize it. But it is part of the game. You know, everything — the stakes are higher here, so you want them to make those calls. But when it comes to avoiding injury, I think that's where I really am going to make sure that I let them know how I feel.

Q. Rachel, how different is your first World Series pitching ahead, when your team is ahead as opposed to behind?

RACHEL GARCIA: I definitely think it takes a lot of stress off me, knowing that if we come out with the first run, just knowing that we're going to after that get some more, and just being confident in our team.

Q. Coach, about Lisa Fernandez, as far as the ramifications of her being ejected from the game, will she be back in the following game?

KELLY INOUYE-PEREZ: You know what, I haven't even gone any further. Yes, I believe that she will be back in the game. I'm going to be honest with you; that's a first. That's a first. And I have no regrets because what Lisa did — and if you knew how much she had Gaby's back, I'm glad that it only got to be an ejection. But Lisa, she has great respect for the game. Lisa is an icon in our sport. Lisa is the epitome of a role model when it comes to understanding her responsibility.

We don't necessarily condone — that's not who we are, yet once again, it's an opportunity to fight for our players. I can't tell you exactly. I need to figure that out because it's not something that I really want at this point, but once again, that's one thing you're learning about our program is we will definitely have each other's backs.

POSTGAME NOTES
Game 7: UCLA 8, Texas A&M 2

  • In the first elimination game of Session 4, No. 5 seed UCLA earned an 8-2 victory on Saturday over No. 9 seed Texas A&M. The Bruins improve to 48-14, while the Aggies finished their season with a record of 47-13.
  • UCLA advances to face Washington in an elimination game on Saturday at 6 p.m. CT. The Huskies won the season series against the Bruins on March 31-April 2, taking two of three games in Seattle.
  • In its 27th WCWS appearance, UCLA improved to 96-34 at the event. The win snapped a five-game losing skid at the WCWS for the Bruins. Texas A&M fell to 21-15 all-time at the WCWS.
  • The matchup marked the eighth meeting between Texas A&M and UCLA at the WCWS, but the first since 1987. The series is tied 4-4 at the event.
  • UCLA second baseman Kylee Perez put the Bruins on the board with a solo blast to center field in the top of the first. Perez’s home run was her third of the season and her second in the last eight games.
  • The Bruins tacked on two more runs in the top of the second as Delaney Spaulding’s single to right field plated Rachel Garcia and Zoe Shaw. After Texas A&M cut the UCLA lead down to 3-1 in the fourth, Spaulding drove in her second run of the day with a double to left center in the seventh. The senior recorded three RBIs, added a run scored and was 2-for-3 with a double.
  • A Perez single and a double from Brianna Tautalafua extended UCLA’s lead to 6-1 in its final at-bat. Perez was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs, while Tautalafua was also 3-for-4 with a double and a RBI.
  • Garcia helped her cause in the circle by drilling a two-out, two-run homer to left center in the seventh to push UCLA’s advantage to 8-1. She finished 1-for-2 at the plate with two runs and two RBIs. In the circle, Garcia improved to 23-8 this season, allowing one run and striking out two in 6.0 innings of work. Selina Ta’amilo pitched the final inning for the Bruins. 
  • Texas A&M scored its first run of the game in the fourth as third baseman Riley Sartain recorded her 13th home run of the season with a solo blast to left field.
  • Sarah Hudek led the Aggies at the plate, finishing 2-for-2 with a double.
  • Pinch-hitter Celena Massey drilled a two-run home run in just her fifth at-bat of the season for the Aggies. It marked her first home run of the season and her first since 2015.
  • Trinity Harrington (14-4) was tagged with the loss for the Aggies, pitching 6.1 innings and surrendering six runs (five earned). The junior gave up nine hits, while walking three and striking out two.
  • The Bruins improved to 19-2 when scoring in the first inning and are 35-0 when leading after five innings this season.
  • UCLA assistant coach Lisa Fernandez was ejected in the top of the sixth inning for arguing a call at home plate.
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Oklahoma Post Game 6 Press Conference

2017 Women's College World Series

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Oklahoma Post Game 6 Press Conference

2017 Women's College World Series

Friday June 2, 2017
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma – 3, Washington – 1

Oklahoma interview with Patty Gasso, Paige Parker, Lea Wodach, Sydney Romero, Fale Aviu, and Caleigh Clifton.

PATTY GASSO: We were ready for a battle, and that's what we got. I thought our team played extremely well. All facets were working. I think a lot of people questioned our defense yesterday, which everybody can question it, but we don't, because we know it's been a staple of this program this entire season, and the defense showed it tonight, so I was really proud of them.

Offense was attacking, and the pitching staff was phenomenal. To me, it was a complete game. It would have been hard to beat us tonight with the way we played. But like I say, Washington pushes us to be that good. You have to be that good, and for the Paiges, to keep them to three hits was a pretty stellar performance because they're a very volatile offense.

Q. You've talked all year about your defense and how this team may be different than some others. You win in so many different ways. We kind of saw that today. You did have the long ball from Syd (Romero), but defense and pitching and everything else that came together for you, would you say that's kind of how you've played all year?

PATTY GASSO: I wouldn't say all year, but — well, the defense has definitely been something that we've counted on all season. Our offense was a little hot and cold, but they're hot right now. Pitching staff for the most part was hot, but really got hot mid to late season. To see it all come together means we're in the Final Four right now. I'm really proud. I know they're really excited, especially the defense, because they have a lot of pride. They work extremely hard every day with me a lot, which probably isn't so fun, but it pays off, and they know it, and I was really proud to see them make great plays tonight.

Q. Paige, what was it like seeing that defense behind you tonight?

PAIGE PARKER: It was amazing. Our defense was absolutely clutch tonight with some really huge plays, and I have so much confidence in them behind me, and they were fantastic tonight.

Q. Fale, you had kind of a crazy second inning there. How were you able to score there and dodge the tag?

FALE AVIU: I work on it in practice every day, so me and Lea, she always gets mad at me, and even today they all got mad, but I mean, it worked out today, so just trying to score.

Q. Coach, obviously it's big to win the first one, but how important was it to get the second win today and get that extra day off?

PATTY GASSO: Oh, huge. Every game gets bigger and bigger, but for us to be able to get a breath tomorrow is extremely important for this team, and we worked for it.

I think going into Sunday, everybody else is going to beat each other up, and then we get into Sunday, and we'll be rested and ready for whoever comes our way. But somebody is going to have to beat us twice, and we know that, so we're going to be getting after it.

Q. Paige, did you feel like your spin was working a little bit better today than yesterday?

PAIGE PARKER: I felt really good today. You know, just coming into the game, I just wanted to execute the game plan, and Lea was very encouraging throughout the whole game just for me to really trust my spin and trust my defense behind me, and it was a really great game plan that Coach Lombardi had, so it was just about a lot of trust today.

Q. What went into the decision to start Paige today? I know she hadn't pitched back-to-back games much this year, but only threw 68 pitches in the first game.

PATTY GASSO: Well, up until right now, there's no better pitcher in postseason, as proven last year. Paige thrives in this situation, in this setting. This was a big game. She's a hot pitcher right now. We knew that we had everybody — everybody was hot and ready to come in, Mariah (Lopez), Paige Lowary, but Paige Parker was handling her business and did a great job doing it, so it was really a no-brainer at this point.

Q. What did you see on the homer, and if you don't mind, you're such a good defensive player, and yesterday was such a weird night for you there. For you to come back and play the way defensively, did you talk about it overnight or as you always say forget about the last game and come and play?

SYDNEY ROMERO: I mean, it happens. I'm not going to be perfect all the time. I knew I had to step up my game a lot more and I needed to help my team in any way I could, and I felt like I did that today. But that pitch was up and in, and I was looking for it.

Q. Did you know it was going out the second you hit it?

SYDNEY ROMERO: Yeah.

Q. I know it might be hard to recognize, but do you feel any differently emotional and mentally this year than you were at this point last year?

PAIGE PARKER: I think so, a little bit. The experience that I had last year in the World Series was really helpful coming into this year, just being able to kind of settle in a little bit easier this year, and you know, knowing that I have fantastic pitchers in this staff along with me is just an incredible feeling, to know that we all have each other's backs.

Q. Lea, Fale said that you guys get frustrated when you practice tagging in practice. What does she do that makes her so tough to tag in those situations?

LEA WODACH: I feel like with Fale (Aviu), you just never know what you're going to get. She's going to go one way, she's going to go the other. She just always keeps us on our toes, and I think it prepares us for big-game situations. We always joke about it, laugh about it, get mad at each other about it. We go at it in practice but it makes it better, and for her to be able to do that in a big-time game like this is huge, so that gave us a lot of momentum, and it pays off on the big stage.

Q. Lea, can you walk us through that diving catch behind home plate from your point of view?

LEA WODACH: Yeah, so I just saw the ball off the bat, and I know when Paige (Parker) is throwing a game like that you've got to do whatever it takes. Anything that you go to help her out. Anything that I can take advantage of, I just saw that it was going to be close at the wall, and so I went for it, and things kind of worked out in my favor. But yeah, whenever Paige is throwing a game like that, you kind of have to make those extra plays, make those diving catches because you know she's doing whatever it takes and you want to do it for her, too.

Q. Caleigh, talk about the offensive approach tonight. The Washington pitcher, so good, she's pitched for so long in quality games, that approach tonight to get three runs on the board.

CALEIGH CLIFTON: Yeah, it's huge. She's a really good pitcher. She's outstanding. I think it was good for us to get three runs off of her and to score early, like Fale doing that was huge. We'll take whatever we can get. I was proud of our team for finding ways to score runs whatever it took.

Q. Patty, I know this has some meaning for you guys. Have you ever done the high five with the threes before when you were running?

PATTY GASSO: Yeah, we did it today.

Q. I was just wondering if that had happened any game prior to, but just to have that moment where you're on the same wavelength right there.

PATTY GASSO: It actually happened before, so…

Q. Patty, we've seen pitchers who have won titles and pitched a lot of innings in the process and not be able to hit those same high notes the next season. How or why has Paige (Parker) been able to avoid that?

PATTY GASSO: That's a tough question because if I say something, it would maybe make these others that you mention feel like — they're incredible competitors. I think Paige has so much confidence in her team, and there's a camaraderie here that we hope you can feel and see on the field that she'll give everything she has for her team. And it's very selfless. It's not looking for glory. It's not looking for attention. It's a very selfless style that is day in and day out, as is the rest of the team.

It's almost not hard for her. She doesn't want to disappoint, but at the same time, that doesn't lay on her shoulders. I think she just goes out and is a good leader in a competitive spirit that feeds into the rest of the team.

What I love about Paige Parker is she's never for the glory. She will always give her teammates the glory and not accept it herself, and I think that's why she's — partly it's just the person that she is, and it's good. Good person, tremendous athlete.

Q. Patty, obviously you don't ever want to get complacent with a lead, and Paige (Parker) was pitching really well tonight, but it felt like for probably the first five innings Washington just had a number of plays where they were really close to getting something going. Did you guys feel any pressure from them?

PATTY GASSO: All night, absolutely. All night. You hold your breath against those guys because you watch them on video, and they're just so dynamic. They've got speed. They've got power. They're slappers, handle the bat well, but they also can stand in and hit it through a gap. I don't think any of us exhaled or felt comfortable at all, not until the game was over. It felt — the word these guys were using was, we've got to keep grinding, keep grinding, because we knew that they're capable of coming back in one swing.

POSTGAME NOTES
Game 6: Oklahoma 3, Washington 1

  • No. 10-seed Oklahoma improved to 2-0 at the 2017 WCWS with a 3-1 victory on Friday night against No. 6 Washington. Friday’s meeting was the fourth between the Sooners and the Huskies at the WCWS, with Oklahoma leading the series, 3-1.
  • With the win, the Sooners advance to play on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. CT. Washington will take on the winner of the UCLA-Texas A&M contest in an elimination game at 6 p.m. CT Saturday.
  • Oklahoma, who has started 2-0 at the WCWS for the fifth time in program history, improved to 24-15 all-time at the event, while Washington dropped to 23-20. The Sooners are now tied with Florida for fourth with 24 WCWS victories.
  • The Sooners struck first as a sacrifice bunt from Lea Wodach plated Fale Aviu to give Oklahoma a 1-0 advantage in the second inning. Later in the game, Aviu laced a single to right-center field to score Kelsey Arnold and give the Sooners a 2-0 lead in the top of the fifth. The junior finished 1-for-3 with a RBI and run scored.
  • Oklahoma added a key insurance as Sydney Romero sent a leadoff solo shot over the left field fence to extend the Sooners’ advantage to 3-0 in the sixth inning. The sophomore has hit three home runs in eight career WCWS games.
  • Ali Aguilar put Washington on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning with a solo home run to right field to make the score 3-1 in favor of the Sooners. The homer was Aguilar’s 13th of the season, tying for the team lead. 
  • The attendance for the evening was 9,658, marking a Session 3 record and the second-largest session attendance in WCWS history. The largest of 9,698 was set on June 1, 2013 in Session 4. 
  • OU’s Caleigh Clifton was hit by a pitch in the top of the seventh inning, extending her single-season school record to 26 HBPs.
  • Paige Parker (25-5) took the win in the circle for the Sooners, striking out six in 6.1 innings while allowing only one walk and one run. The win marks Parker’s 15th consecutive postseason victory. Over the last two years at the WCWS, Parker is 7-0 in seven starts with a 1.75 ERA, striking out 33 in 48.1 innings pitched.
  • Junior pitcher Paige Lowary earned her ninth save of the season, coming in for relief with one out in the bottom of the seventh. The save ties the most any player has had in a career at Oklahoma.
  • Washington pitcher Taran Alvelo (32-8) tossed 6.0 innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on five hits while striking out one. Madi Schreyer came on in relief of Alvelo in the seventh inning, retiring the side in order.
  • Washington’s Kelly Burdick and Morgan Flores also provided base hits for the Huskies.
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Florida Post Game 5 Press Conference

2017 Women's College World Series

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Florida Post Game 5 Press Conference

2017 Women's College World Series

Friday, June 2 2017
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Florida – 7, LSU – 0

Florida interview with Tim Walton, Kelly Barnhill, Chelsea Herndon, Aleshia Ocasio, and Janell Wheaton.

TIM WALTON: Yeah, just really proud of our team today for coming out really ready to play. We made some really good, nice defensive plays. Kelly (Barnhill) made some good pitches, early made some good pitches, late made some good pitches, and then I can't say enough about the lineup, just really finally hitting stride, but I think more than anything, just gained a little bit of confidence and going up there and actually looks like we're trying to get some hits.

I talked to our team after the game just about it being a simple game, and I think at the end of the day, it is. You've got to catch the ball, you've got to throw the ball, you've got to hit the ball, but execution is the key, and I thought we executed really, really well tonight, did a lot of nice things that some go noticed, some good unnoticed. We've got all these guys up here that are going to take questions, but Theresa Swertfager is getting on the bus, laying down a down two-strike bunt, and nothing bigger than having a role player step up in a big role and contributing to this team.

I think Delanie Gourley said it the other night the best on stage at the opening event that this team, there is no pecking order, we've got a lot of great players on this team and a lot of great kids on this team, and I think they really are showing how much they care for each other by playing well on this stage.

Q. Coach, this was your 40th shutout this season; how special is this pitching staff?

TIM WALTON: School record, so yeah, it's really special. We've got a saying, Jennifer (Rocha) and I have had a saying for a long, long time. 2007 we went to a Super Regional finals, we had just a mediocre team, but we played hard, and I told her if she doesn't give up any runs we'll never lose, and that's kind of been our motto ever since. I know it sounds silly, but it's obvious. When our pitching staff shuts people out, we win, and really proud of not only their preparation, their work ethic, their confidence in not only themselves, their catcher, their defense, and our pitching coach, and they do a really good job of planning. Coach Rocha was driving with a couple iPads today with the phone and barely a little bit of breakfast, and then we changed our plans up with the weather today, so we went and did something a little different, and she said, all right, good, I've got a little more time to prepare. Just really proud of the way our team competes but proud of their preparation. I think that it goes a long ways.

Q. Chelsea, your hit got everything going. What happened at that at-bat? What did you see? And then Janell, could you respond to how that might have got the dugout going?

CHELSEA HERNDON: Yeah, I just tried to stay calm. In those big moments in the World Series, it comes in clutch whenever — you just have to stay calm. I just really wanted to get it done for my team. We all want to do everything for one another, and when I just saw a good pitch, I took a hack at it, and that's the main things, you really just have to stay calm and relaxed and just realize it's just a game. We go and prepare and do all this work and whenever the time comes and that moment is there, just live in the moment and just — and I just took a hack, and I'm grateful that I came through.

JANELL WHEATON: First couple innings we had runners in scoring position. Amanda (Lorenz) led off the game really well, and we just needed that one hit to get us going, and Chelsea is the one that got it done for us and she's the one that started the rally and got — like you said, hitting is contagious so Chelsea is the one that got it done for us today.

Q. Coach Walton, how do you feel about how your pitching staff is set up? She didn't have to throw a whole lot of pitches yesterday, got a day off. You've got other pitchers to throw.

TIM WALTON: Yeah, I think to be honest with you, it's the greatest position to be in in the College World Series is be on an off day on Saturday. It's a great spot to be in, just because you have an opportunity where somebody has to come through and beat you twice. It's a good spot. Again, if we've got to go until 1 in the morning on Sunday morning or into Monday morning with our pitching staff, I'm always confident in them, so having a day and a little bit of rest, we'll figure it out. But my radio guy asked me who we're going to go with in the circle, I always wait until the last minute to tell him, and he asked me today, who are you going to, (Kelly) Barnhill and (Delanie) Gourley, and I said the same thing yesterday. I anticipate that will be the way we'll go the rest of the way out.

Q. I know how much you pride yourself on defense. When Aleshia (Ocasio) went out there, sacrifices her body and does that for the team today, how much did that fire up you and the rest of the team?

TIM WALTON: Yeah, that was close. I was very happy for Aleshia making that play. We were in I call it a hat-off position where we're not going to catch any deep foul balls we can't throw the runner out at the plate with in that situation, and she goes. I'm not going to catch the ball, first of all, but I'm falling into the photography well, and she found her way somehow to balance herself and get ready to have the sense to get ready to throw the girl out at the plate. Heads up to her and her teammates. Amanda (Lorenz) was coming in from the outfield talking to her, as well. Very athletic play, especially in a new environment, really in a new position. It's probably only her sixth game playing there all year long. So give her a lot of credit. I thought she really made a tremendously athletic play.

Q. Chelsea, obviously you've had a rough start to your postseason; what goes into digging yourself out of that little bit of a slump that you went through, and what were your emotions like when you see that ball go down the right field line?

CHELSEA HERNDON: Yeah, I try not to really think about all the other at-bats and getting into a slump. I try to take every pitch by pitch. Getting that contact felt amazing, and seeing my team's reaction once I reached second base, I just — that's who I want to do it for. I want to do for the team. We work so hard, and big moments like that, it's so awesome when you're successful in the College World Series on the biggest stage, so that was — it just meant a lot to me to finally get that clutch hit for my team.

Q. Coach, I don't know if you're going to be able to escape an SEC team again, seems like that's all you're playing. If you could just comment on this run of SEC teams you're playing, and also, was it to your advantage that you hadn't faced A & M and LSU yet do you think?

TIM WALTON: That's a lot of questions. I think I told our athletic director and Commissioner Sankey that I'd like to see them move back the athletic director and head coaches' meetings that they have in Destin every year because there's so many teams at the College World Series every year. I'll be honest with you, I told my radio guy the same thing, gosh, I'm sick and tired of playing the SEC teams. It's tough. And again, everybody in our league prepares so hard for each other for a three-game series that it does create a different matchup when you get to this point.

I think the only advantage really is that they hadn't seen Kelly Barnhill, and I think other than that, preparation is pretty equal for both opponents. But they hadn't seen Kelly Barnhill, and they probably went in with a game plan of Kelly Barnhill from last year, and she's not that pitcher, so I think that's the advantage that I've seen so far.

Q. Aleshia, Coach talked about how you played third base probably for the sixth time. Talk about your adjustment to playing that position. I know most of this year you were in right field. What has gone into preparing for that position, especially today and making those great plays?

ALESHIA OCASIO: Well, you know, every day I come to practice, and I'm running around. I'm practicing in right field. I'm taking some ground balls in the circle and I'm also practicing at third base. Whenever Coach puts me that day is where I'm going to dedicate myself 100 percent, and I made those plays for Kelly, I made those plays for the team, and just so happens that he put me at third today and yesterday, and I did whatever I could to get some outs.

Q. Did you play at those positions growing up, or has this been new this year?

ALESHIA OCASIO: You know, growing up I was an infielder, so it wasn't entirely new to me, but from freshman year to now I did have to get better in the infield, and now I'm confident. It just worked out that way.

Q. Kelly, your second start in the World Series; does it feel any different, emotions any different than just being out there yesterday and especially I believe they had the four lead-off runners on in four innings, defense did well behind you, but was anything different?

KELLY BARNHILL: No, I don't really think I went about it any differently. Didn't have quite as many butterflies as yesterday with the first start in the arena with so many people out there, but I just really tried to go out there and just play pitch by pitch. Had a little bit of trouble finding the zone, as you mentioned, with the lead-off batters getting on, but we settled in, my defense did amazing, Aleshia's plays were mindblowing, that catch in the photography well was amazing, and our offense just went out there and got it done again, and so it's so exciting to be in the dugout, and I'm on my feet cheering, bouncing up and down. It's just so much fun in there with everything that's going on out there.

Q. Tim, with the roles that Aleshia Ocasio) has played for you this season, how soon after you walked off the field against Georgia in the super regional did you know that that was going to be the role that you were going to ask her to play this year?

TIM WALTON: Well, I think she asked me to play the role to be honest with you. I think at the end-of-the-year meeting we talked about her role, and I talked to her at the end of the season last year and just made it perfectly clear that her one pitch didn't cost us the game. It just so happened to be the last play of the game, but we had a lot of opportunities to do things in that series that we just didn't get done. She wanted to hit more, and I told her I'd get her double at-bats. I said, hey, you're going to double up your bats next year, don't worry about that, and I think two days later she sent me a text message that said, hey, I only had 41 at-bats; I hope I get more than 80. I told her that to be honest with her, I told her that defense is the key, I wanted her to take fly balls in the outfield, right and left, take ground balls at second and third, and then also do some work over at first base.

About three quarters of the way through the summer she had a little pitching lesson. She sent me her picture with her in her catcher's gear and said, I can catch, too, if you need it. Those are all true stories. She said that. But she was the one that really reached to me and said I want to play more, I want to be more of an everyday player, and she probably would have been more of an everyday player if our pitching staff hadn't really taken — Kelly (Barnhill) and Delanie (Gourley) have gone from here to here. They're so much better this year than they were last year, and it afforded us the opportunity to put her in multiple positions. She hasn't gotten any worse pitching-wise they've just really gotten a lot better, and it helps the team by her playing different positions.

Q. Is there a 2017 version of the funnel cakes from three years ago?

TIM WALTON: Well, we had a funnel cake the other night, and it's funny, I went up to Amanda (Lorenz), I think it was the third inning, I said, hey, Amanda, if we win this game we're going to get funnel cakes, and she looked at me with a straight face and said, Coach, I don't need any more motivation, I've waited my whole life to get to the College World Series. But we took pictures. I think some people FaceTimed out to Bailey Castro and got some funnel cakes. Whatever it takes to win. Whatever it takes to motivate our athletes, if it's funnel cakes, if it's — what else you guys need, just let me know, we'll take care of it. They're doing a good job. The preparation we put in has been outstanding, and I'm just excited to allow these kids an opportunity to hang out with their families a couple more days here at the College World Series and get to enjoy this moment.

POSTGAME NOTES
Game 5: Florida 7, LSU 0

  • No. 1 seed Florida improved to 2-0 at the 2017 WCWS College World Series with a 7-0 victory on Friday over LSU. Friday’s meeting was the second contest between Florida and LSU at the WCWS. The team also met in 2015 with the Gators winning 4-0.
  • With the victory, Florida advances to play on Sunday at noon CT. LSU will take on the winner of Saturday’s Oregon-Baylor contest in an elimination game at 8:30 p.m. CT Saturday
  • Florida improved to 24-12 all-time at the WCWS, while LSU dropped to 11-11.
  • The Gators recorded their 40th shutout of the season, setting a program record. The previous school record was set in 2009. Florida leads the country in shutouts this season and its total is the most by a Division I team since 2007 (41, Arizona).
  • Florida is the first team to record back-to-back shutouts to open the WCWS since 2014, when the Gators defeated Baylor, 11-0 (5 innings), and Oregon, 4-0.
  • Florida right fielder Amanda Herndon gave the Gators a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning with a two-out double, plating Aleshia Ocasio and Alex Voss. The hit was her first of the postseason.
  • Florida’s Janell Wheaton sent a solo shot over the left-center field fence, picking up her first career home run in the NCAA Tournament. Wheaton added her second RBI of the night with a sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh.
  • Florida’s Amanda Lorenz recorded three hits and picked up an RBI with a one-out single in the sixth inning to extend the Gators’ lead to 4-0. It was Lorenz’s second three-hit game of the season (also had three hits versus Missouri on March 11).
  • One batter later, Kayli Kvistad belted her eighth home run of the season to put the Gators up 6-0.
  • Kelly Barnhill recorded her 26th victory of the year by tossing her 13th shutout. The sophomore scattered two hits and struck out seven in the complete-game effort.
  • LSU’s Bailey Landry tied the school single-season record with 91 hits with a single in the sixth inning. Landry also holds LSU’s record for career hits with 292.
  • Carly Hoover suffered the loss for the Tigers, dropping to 15-8. Hoover pitched 4.0 innings, allowing four hits and two earned runs. Allie Walljasper tossed 2.1 innings, surrendering four earned runs and four hits out of the bullpen.
  • LSU’s Savanna Jaquish added a single in the bottom of the first inning for LSU’s other hit in the game.
  • The Tigers’ two hits were tied for their fewest in a WCWS game in program history.
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