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.
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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