LSU Post Game 2 Press Conference
2017 Women's College World Series
Thursday, June 1 2017
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
LSU – 2, UCLA – 1
LSU interview with Beth Torina, Allie Walljasper, Constance Quinn, Sahvanna Jaquish.
BETH TORINA: UCLA is a great team. I would imagine they'd continue for quite some time in this tournament. I think they're really talented. There's not a spot in their lineup that's not scary. I think they played a great game. I loved my team's fight. I love how they continued to punch. I thought unbelievable tone we set there with Emily Griggs and Sahvanna (Jaquish) right there with back-to-back doubles. I think that was a huge part of the game right there, and then Allie Walljasper did what Allie Walljasper does, and that's give us a chance to win every ballgame she's ever a part of.
Q. Beth, it looked like you were going to attack, attack, attack, like you said the other day. That was the plan against (Rachel) Garcia, obviously.
BETH TORINA: Yeah, you know, she's really talented. I think obviously she's a freshman, so maybe we got away with a couple pitches early, just being on the big stage and were able to attack her there early. But I think our kids did a good job of buying into the plan. I think there were some moments where we could have even improved in that, but I think they did a good job of buying into the plan, and I think even when things didn't go our way, they were able to step up and still have an answer back. I think Constance (Quinn) especially, things maybe didn't go her way early, but still was gritty enough to come back, fight, have a huge at-bat at the plate and then scores the winning run.
Q. Constance, the play at the plate that you made, was Amber telling you to throw it home or did you just have that that feeling?
CONSTANCE QUINN: Well, I knew she was going regardless, and so when I went to the ball, regardless of the error, I just knew I had to pick it up and throw it, and everyone was just saying, four, four, four, and plus we work on that all the time in practice, not so much concentrating on the play and picking it up and looking for the next play.
Q. Constance, the other play at the plate where you were safe, first of all, how is your shoulder, and what did you see going into the plate? How much of the plate did you see as the throw was coming in?
CONSTANCE QUINN: Well, I'm fine, 100 percent. But when I was coming into home, I saw a little bit of an opening. I knew it was going to be a close play the way the coach was hauling me around third, but I knew it was going to be either an obstruction play or a called out. It was that close. But at that point you have to go in hard and hope for the best.
Q. Allie, you pitched a complete game with zero strikeouts. How important was it for your defense to play big behind you?
ALLIE WALLJASPER: My defense always has my back no matter what. I'm more of a pitch-to-contact pitcher, so they always know what to expect. I just had great defense behind me the entire time, and I'm very thankful for them.
Q. Beth, what do you think when you see Florida do what they do to Texas A&M and you know that you're going to be playing them next? I know you had your game that you were focusing on, but did that open your eyes a little bit when you see them kind of run Texas A&M off the field?
BETH TORINA: I didn't watch too much of the game. Obviously we were preparing. All I know is the score for the most part. But one thing, our players, we have a great pitching staff. I'm really confident in them. I'm really confident in their ability to shut down any offense. Doesn't matter what the name is behind it. I think we faced one of the best ones in the tournament today. Really confident in our pitching staff, and I feel like when you have them in your back pocket, there's not a lot of things that are scary to you.
Q. I was able to catch up with Les Miles in the stands here today. He's here supporting you guys. What kind of relationship did you forge over his years there and just your reaction to him coming and supporting you guys?
BETH TORINA: Well, his youngest daughter is a softball player, so I know the family really well through that. I have worked with her since she was I think 9 years old pitching. So I'm very close to their family. Awesome to have him here and support it. He's just a class act, a huge LSU fan, a supporter of the sport, and it's a real honor to have him and his family here today.
Q. Sahvanna, the first back-to-back doubles, what did that do for the team in the dugout, and how much juice did it give you guys?
SAHVANNA JAQUISH: Well, I think it gave us a lot of juice, as you put it. But Emily Griggs has just been on fire lately, and I wanted to follow up with something that we did to get our team going, so I was happy to find it in the gap and get to second base.
Q. Sahvanna, do you feel like you guys are on a roll right now, maybe you're peaking at the right time?
SAHVANNA JAQUISH: Yeah, I think that everything kind of clicked at the SEC Tournament. You know, we were on a roll then, and our offense and our defense and our pitching, all three of the things that you have to have to win the game were just on point. So I think that that was our rolling point, and we're not looking back, we're focusing on the next pitch.
Q. I know this is going to come up in the UCLA press conference, so you're a catcher, you've been in that position. What do you try and do when you know it's going to be a bang-bang play? What's going through the catcher's mind as far as the setup and what qualifies obstruction from not obstruction?
SAHVANNA JAQUISH: Yeah, you know, it's a really teeter-tottery subject. You can go one way or the other. But it is up to the discretion of the umpire whether the catcher is blocking the plate or not. When I had my play at the plate, when Connie threw me the ball, I made sure that my foot was just enough over so that she had a lane to the back part of the plate. Obviously the umpire saw something different when the other catcher was in front of the plate, so it literally is the discretion of her. I'm glad it's not my job.
Q. Allie, have you always been a pitch-to-contact pitcher, or did you have to learn to do that and trust the fielders behind you?
ALLIE WALLJASPER: Just since I got to college. College is a whole ‘nother level than high school. So pretty much when I got to college, I was a pitch-to-contact pitcher.
Q. It's not necessarily about the game, but Jen Schroeder in the stands, UCLA, you took lessons from her since you were a little kid; talk about the relationship that you have with her, and obviously she's probably going to give you a little crap for today.
ALLIE WALLJASPER: Yeah, definitely. Actually I heard her before I saw her because she's so loud. But I saw her in the stands and I told her, sit down, sit down, like you're rooting for me. She's like, no, once a Bruin, always a Bruin. I wasn't giving her anything for cheering for her alma mater. We have like a lighthearted competition. She's a great coach, and I wish her the best.
Q. Beth, when you play a pitching staff like Florida that leads the nation in shutouts, is there a different approach at the plate, and having to play them, how much of a disadvantage is it that this will be the first time you're seeing them?
BETH TORINA: I don't know if it's a disadvantage or maybe it's an advantage. I think they don't know us, either, and I think we're all in the same boat there. Of course we respect their pitching staff and the season they've had. I think Jen Rocha might be the best coach in the whole country. She's phenomenal. I'm a big fan. You know, so I think we'll go out and attack them the same way we attack other people. I think Howard and Lindsay will come up with a great plan. I know they've already done a ton of research on every team that's in this tournament. I think they'll come out and have a great plan. The nice thing about them being an SEC opponent still is that even though we haven't played them, just in scouting we have seen them a ton, and I'm sure the same goes for them, just as we've watched our other opponents we have watched them play Florida, so we have seen them quite a bit.
Game 2: LSU 2, UCLA 1
- No. 13 seed LSU topped No. 5 seed UCLA, 2-1, in the second game of the 2017 Women’s College World Series.
- LSU advances to play Florida at 6 p.m. CT Friday in a winner’s bracket game. UCLA will play Texas A&M in an elimination game on Saturday at 11 a.m. CT.
- In its third consecutive and sixth overall appearance, LSU improved to 11-10 overall at the WCWS. UCLA, in its 27th all-time WCWS appearance, fell to 95-34 at the event.
- LSU junior Allie Walljasper earned the win in the circle, throwing her 25th complete game. The junior allowed just one earned run on eight hits without recording a strikeout. Walljasper improved to 18-5 this season.
- Sahvanna Jaquish gave LSU a 1-0 lead in the top of the first with a RBI double to center field, scoring Emily Griggs. Jaquish’s 268 career RBIs ranks 10th all-time in NCAA history. The senior catcher is two RBIs shy of setting the SEC record.
- UCLA tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the third as Bruin third baseman Brianna Tautalafua’s RBI groundout scored Zoe Shaw.
- LSU’s Amber Serrett’s go-ahead RBI single to right field put the Tigers back in front for good in the top of the fifth inning, scoring Constance Quinn from second. Quinn led LSU with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate.
- Rachel Garcia took the loss for the Bruins in the circle, throwing seven innings in her 13th complete game of the season. The junior allowed two runs on six hits, while striking out seven. Garcia fell to 22-8 on the season.
- UCLA senior Delaney Spaulding led the Bruins at the plate, finishing 2-for-4.
- The Tigers moved to 3-3 all-time in WCWS opening games, winning their first since defeating Auburn, 6-1, in 2015.
- LSU’s leadoff batter to begin an inning reached in four of its seven plate appearances during the game.
- The loss marked UCLA’s fifth consecutive WCWS loss dating back to 2015.
- Attendance for Thursday’s Session 1 was 8,428.
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