Oregon Post Game 10 Press Conference
2017 Women's College World Series
Saturday June 3, 2017
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oregon – 4, LSU – 1
Oregon interview with Mike White, Megan Kleist, Jenna Lilley, and Gwen Svekis.
MIKE WHITE: Yeah, well, it's great to be back up here tonight, another win under our belt. Congratulations to LSU on a fine season. I mean, we followed them throughout the season, and it's remarkable what they've done the last several years fighting off adversity and from the brink of elimination in a number of tournaments, it's just an incredible feat for them to do that. It inspires all of us, and it's kind of what motivates us, as well. We fight when our backs are against the wall, and that's what they did.
It just tells you how good a job Megan Kleist did tonight for us, pitched extremely well, good defense by Jenna Lilley and several others out there. You know, with Gwen (Svekis) getting that big-time hit in the first inning, I think that helps for sure, then they bounced back, got a big home run, and Megan shook that off and was able to carry us through the rest of the game and just did a fantastic job, probably one of the best games she's thrown this year. It's great to see her getting stronger. We're going to need her to be strong tomorrow against a very good Oklahoma team.
Q. Megan, talk about your mindset coming into this game after picking up the save earlier in the day; just what were you trying to do against this LSU offense?
MEGAN KLEIST: I was just really trying to vibe off of how we ended the last game, just kind of carrying that energy. I don't really show a lot of emotion out there, but with Jenna (Lilley) to my right, it's hard not to. Really just kind of attacking and just doing what I did the first game coming in, and that's what I did, and it worked out nice.
Q. Coach, could you just put into perspective the challenge that's before you, facing the defending national champions, you're in Oklahoma and you've got to win twice?
MIKE WHITE: Yeah, well, I think we've just got to take it one game at a time. Obviously I'm not sure who we're going to pitch tomorrow, but I do have three good pitchers to choose from. And we'll use all three in the first game. It's about winning that next game. We can't look forward and say we need to save someone for this or if this happens. We can't do that. We've just got to go out and try to play the ball we're capable of.
Right now I think we're playing pretty well, and hitting is contagious, and I feel that's what's happening right now. Everyone's picking each other up. I think we got a number of two-out hits today in big situations when some other players didn't produce, and I think that's the mark of a good team, a team that's got each other's backs, and that was the same with the pitching staff today. All three pitchers in their first game had a challenge against Baylor, and Megan (Kleist) came in and picked up her teammates, and then did a great job tonight.
Q. Megan, all three of you have had the opportunity to pitch here, but going into tomorrow, you guys haven't been in this situation before in Oklahoma. Just talk about how you are going to prepare for tomorrow.
MEGAN KLEIST: I mean, I don't really think I'm going to do much different than I've done for the previous games. The crowd is going to be bigger. It's going to be louder. You can vibe off their energy. Just kind of take it to them and attack each batter and we have in the past.
Q. Gwen, can you talk about the home run and how big of a momentum shift was that for the entire team?
GWEN SVEKIS: It was really exciting, first of all, because on this stage, it's just 10,000 people watching. It's what you dream of from the time you're a little girl. But I thought it was very exciting for us because we've been playing very well in the seventh inning, so in the past couple games, we're trying to simulate the energy of being in the seventh inning. You know, we went into that inning thinking, okay, our backs are up against the wall, what are we going to do, we need to get a run in this situation, so the home run definitely got us the energy to keep us rolling with that momentum.
Q. Jenna, can you talk about just the emotions that the team goes through in a day like this where you're going through Baylor and have to go through a long game, then come back and this nightcap? What are the emotions of the team right now?
JENNA LILLEY: Definitely high. We've been playing every inning today like it's the seventh inning, and like our season is on the line, we all know that, so we play like it, and we play to the best of that. But playing every single pitch with everything you've got and not letting down, not giving in to anything, any pitch, and I'm talking to the girls in the dugout every single pitch, I'm talking to Megan (Kleist) every single pitch, do not give in.
Q. Gwen, people here talk about the three-headed monster that's known as Florida, but I think you guys also have a three-headed monster, and you have that perspective almost every game, so can you talk about how special your pitchers are?
GWEN SVEKIS: I'm first of all, very fortunate to get to catch these three, and they're very young and I get to watch them grow and work on what they need to work on, and they've gotten so good at knowing what they need to get better at and attacking those problems and really going forward in their games, and I'm so proud of Megan (Kleist). I thought this was one of her best games I've ever caught, and I'm very fortunate to catch all three of them. I have full confidence that if any one of them is in the circle, we're going to be fine, we're going to get outs, we're going to do what we need to do, and if they make a mistake, they know that our offense will have their back; we'll find a way to get it done. Florida has got three great pitchers, but I'd like to see ours match up against theirs.
Game 10: Oregon 4, LSU 1
- No. 3 seed Oregon won its second consecutive elimination game by knocking off No. 13 seed LSU 4-1 on Saturday. The Ducks improved to 54-7, while the Tigers finish their season with a 48-22 overall record.
- Oregon will play Oklahoma at 2:30 p.m. CT on Sunday in the WCWS semifinals. The Ducks and Sooners last met in the 2014 WCWS, with Oregon winning 4-2.
- Oregon is now 6-9 in its five appearances and will playing in the WCWS semifinals for the second time in program history. LSU, in its third straight appearance in Oklahoma City, fell to 11-12 all-time at the WCWS.
- Oregon grabbed the lead in the bottom of the first as Gwen Svekis belted a two-run blast to put the Ducks up 2-0. The home run was the first for Oregon during the NCAA Tournament (eight games). The Ducks had scored 47 runs in the postseason without hitting a home run before Svekis’ two-run shot.
- LSU answered in the top of the second with a leadoff home run from Shemiah Sanchez, her second home run of the season. The home run was the first for Sanchez since Feb. 23 against Bethune-Cookman (50 games).
- Shannon Rhodes extended Oregon’s lead to 3-1 in the third with a RBI single to right field, scoring Alexis Mack.
- Mia Camuso drove in her fifth run of the WCWS with a single to left field, scoring Nikki Udria to push Oregon’s advantage to 4-1 in the sixth. Camuso ranks second on the team with 47 RBIs this season for the Ducks.
- Alexis Mack led the Ducks with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate. The sophomore is 6-for-11 (.545) in three games at the WCWS with five runs scored.
- Oregon’s Megan Kleist (21-4) recorded nine strikeouts in the complete-game performance. Kleist’s nine strikeouts were the most by the sophomore in a postseason game during her career and just two shy of tying her career high. Kleist allowed one run on five hits in her 20th complete game of the year.
- LSU’s Allie Walljasper (18-6) got the start for the Tigers and allowed three runs on six hits in 2.2 innings pitched. Carly Hoover surrendered one run in 3.1 innings of relief work.
- Bailey Landry set the LSU single-season record for hits with a leadoff infield single to start the top of the fourth inning, passing former Tiger Ashlee Ducote (1999).
- Sanchez was 2-for-3 to lead the Tigers at the plate, while Sahvanna Jaquish and Amber Serrett also provided LSU hits in the loss.
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