Sunday, June 5, 2016
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Florida State 8, UCLA 4
Lonni Alameda, Jessica Warren, Alex Powers, Jessica Burroughs
THE MODERATOR: We'll get started. Coach, general comments about the game and then open it up for questions.
LONNI ALAMEDA: Yeah, I just, first of all, just want to congratulate UCLA on an amazing season. That's a pretty storied program and they're a class act, so always enjoy playing a true competitor in UCLA.
Very proud of our team today. Obviously, excited about the win. But I think as a coaching staff I'm more proud of the process that they took today, pitch by pitch. And to have come-from-behind rallies there is huge. That's just belief.
And then we talked about, yesterday, difference of us being able to come out and believe in our culture and the character of our program and it really showed today.
So, obviously, some good people to my right that really made an impact. But it's a true team effort and just so proud of our program and being able to get a victory today.
THE MODERATOR: We will open it up for questions. State your name, your affiliation, and who the question is directed at, please.
Q. Talk about the decision to start Meghan King in the circle. And then watching Jessica Burroughs come in, settle the team down, and lead this team to a win, how huge was that?
LONNI ALAMEDA: It's huge. All season long we have been a one-two punch. I don't know many other pitching staffs are as tight as ours.
Meghan and Jess have been there for each other through thick and thin. The team knows how to play behind both of them. When one's not being successful, the other one picks them up.
So, give a credit for a lot of ground balls for us. She elevated a little bit in the zone which is something that we had to come in and make a change. And then Jess came in there. She threw well against them at UCLA. So, strategically, I thought we would be looking for a little bit more of what Jess threw against them, so we thought we could get a little more for dropped balls with Meghan. But she came in and did a great job for us.
Q. Describe the scene in your dugout after that first inning grand slam and what took place to get you guys back on the right track after that?
LONNI ALAMEDA: Yeah, well, we had very good game plans offensively and we have been good with that all season whether up or down. So if you're going to give up runs, you want to give them up early and let your hitters go to work and stop the bleeding.
Honestly, the more impressive part was when I went out there to talk to Megan on the infield and entire infield was like we're fine, we'll swing the bat, we'll be OK. So there was instant confidence that it didn't matter what just happened, they would be able to get back in there and start swinging. I think that goes back to the culture and what they believe and that was pretty big.
Q. How important was it for you guys to give yourselves a chance this time and not commit all the errors? And just what was the mindset after having a game like that and then being able to come through and play a pretty clean game today?
LONNI ALAMEDA: Yeah, yesterday was really uncharacteristic of us. I think what happened is it just — usually the wheels start falling off the bus, you can kind of get it going again on the right track, and we couldn't. We couldn't figure it out. As a coaching staff you've just got let the kids figure it out, and they got frustrated with it and it just rolled.
But what a greater stage to learn about yourselves and about your team and be able to turn that around. So we had a good little pow wow yesterday morning and laughed about it and then what else can you do? It was totally uncharacteristic of us. And so you could just see in each other's eyes that it's just not going to happen again and it didn't and they did great.
Q. For Alex and for Jessica. Another game you guys both had home runs. Are you guys kind of the best one-two punch here at the Women's College World Series right now?
ALEX POWERS: Maybe we're a dynamic duo, I don't know. We're very comfortable, and we have a lot of confidence in each other. And I think that Jess and I do pretty good job of eyeing each other up and saying, we can get this started for the team right now.
And we know we were down four, but still one swing of the bat at a time can change the game. I think that's what it was, just knowing that each pitch was really important to our success and knowing that we weren't going to sit there and fold, that we were going to keep competing.
JESSICA BURROUGHS: I think we did a good job of getting some good at-bats and getting a plan together and just sticking to the plan leading up to that and things just seemed to go our way, so.
Q. Jessica, can you talk about your mindset, you come in to pitch, you guys are down, bases are loaded. The game had a chance to really get out of hand, and you settled the team down.
JESSICA BURROUGHS: I think the whole thing is in any game me and Meg can both go at any time, and I knew if I came out it would be a big situation. But just stayed calm and know that get the job done, there's no need to come in and rush things, to take a breath, spin it, and let's get back in the dugout and just scratch out some runs.
To be able to pick up Meg was huge, and she will do the same for me at any time. And just to let her know that she's got to learn from that really quickly, and we're going to need her the rest of the time. And the team did great fighting back in that game. The energy, we never gave up, and I think it was huge.
Q. Coach, the bats struggled a little bit through the early part of the post-season. Is this kind of what you wanted to see from your offense, I think, it was 10 plus hits and two homers from your two best bats?
LONNI ALAMEDA: Yeah, we have been pretty consistent all season long swinging it. A 60-game marathon of softball, you're going to have some lulls.
So, what has been impressive is even in those lulls we won ball games. So you're going to have to rely on pitching at times, you rely on hitting at times, and you got to have trust in each other, and we did. So even though maybe they didn't have the hits on the board, we got the win, so we scratched it out and it gives you confidence in that part of it.
Q. One hit away from the cycle. Is that something that was on your mind when you were going up to bat today?
ALEX POWERS: Not really. I was just trying to put the ball in play and put it somewhere hard where they weren't. So just like with home runs, stuff like that, you don't really try and go out there and hit a home run as much as get your barrel out and hit a ball hard somewhere. The rest just kind of falls into place. If you do it, cool, if not, my team still wins, so that's what's important.
THE MODERATOR: All right. Thank you.
Kelly Inouye-Perez, Kylee Perez, Johanna Grauer, Mysha Sataraka
THE MODERATOR: We'll get started with an opening statement from coach.
KELLY INOUYE-PEREZ: First like to start by saying that was a very offensive Florida State team. Jessica Burroughs is tough. But I'm very proud of how the team came out. You got to see a little bit of everything of what we're about today. Great fight, we string things together, we had the ability to do some damage, it was exciting how we came out. That is UCLA softball.
Then you also got to see us defensively, we did some good things, we rolled up that double play and got ourselves out of some situations and we weren't able to get out of some other situations and it proved to be too much of a deficit for us to come back. So we leave this season earlier or end this season earlier than I would like, but I'm very proud of this team and very proud of my players. I told the seniors that, unfortunately, to end it this early is disappointing, but to end it on the College World Series stage is quite an accomplishment for what we have done in the second half of the season. So, very proud of the team, very proud of their fight, we got things we got to tighten up, for the future, but I'm really excited about the experience gained and I celebrate the seniors' careers.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. What was kind going on in the pitching, you weren't able to find a rhythm today.
JOHANNA GRAUER: Mysha does a really good job of keeping us locked on, so I actually felt like we had a pretty good rhythm her and I going along, she kept me locked on. Defense kept me locked on and there was a few moments, like I know first, me and Kylee looked at each other and we're like, we're playing with our best friends at the Women's College World Series right now, really cool opportunity. So it wasn't so much lack of rhythm, they were just hats off to Florida State. They did good offensively today.
Q. When you get off to a 4-0 lead, your best hitter hits a grand slam to start things off, what's going through your mind as a head coach and what are you thinking about kind of going through the rest of the came?
KELLY INOUYE-PEREZ: I'm proud that the first inning started different than game one. We came out with a purpose, were able to play our game, able to execute how we attack as an offense finding a way to get people on, moving them over, creating that. And then coming up with the big hit. Some very exciting things there. That was probably the most impressive part of it is we came out and played our game. That's, so I was very pleased with that.
Q. With the home run, can you go through what you saw and obviously the emotion of your running the bases?
MYSHA SATARAKA: Yeah, I just knew that credit to the first guys for getting on, that's what starts it. If no one was on, that home run would have been a one-run home run. So all credit to them. I'm just trying to see the ball, just get a good cut on it and that's what I did, just kept it simple and just seeing my teammates at home plate was awesome.
Q. You mentioned the second half of the season being strong. What did you see improve in the second half of the season that gives you hope going forward?
KELLY INOUYE-PEREZ: All parts of the game. Offense, defense, our pitching. All parts of the game got us there. So we had some new people in the lineup, we had four freshmen in the lineup at one point. We had a younger pitching staff this year and Paige (Halstead) wasn't in the lineup. Brianna (Tautalafua) wasn't in the lineup. There was several people that weren't in the lineup early in the season.
So we got stronger, we got better, we learned how to work together as a team both offensively and defensively and we fully committed to understanding that it may be tough, but we're not going to quit fighting. And as a result, we flipped from dropping, I think we had, I don't know how many in a row, including Florida State, we went through a series there where we just weren't playing with great confidence and then got into the Pac-12 and not only played with great confidence, had some great come-from-behind wins, just put all parts of our game together. And got to the point where, for Regionals and Super Regionals, we played our best ball to the end. It's disappointing to get here and in the be able to execute as well as we have, but getting here and beating every opponent leading up to the World Series, I'm very proud of them. We executed as good as it gets. And that's something that you can be very proud of to get a top eight here at the World Series.
Q. When it comes to Jessica Burroughs, she came in and really put the breaks on what was a great offensive start. What did she do so well that can shut down a team that came out firing?
MYSHA SATARAKA: All credit to her. She is a great pitcher. We faced her earlier in the year. But I think you always look back on yourself and we had going into the game a team plan and I just don't think we executed as well as we could have. So, credit to her, but I think it's on us as well.
Q. I know it's fresh, but to the three players, when you look back at the season, what do your remember or what are you most proud of?
JOHANNA GRAUER: I think we're most proud of not having a great start to the season and pulling it together toward the end and getting here. We came up with the phrase “Never Satisfied” and, again, we didn't start the season great, but then we all started buying into that and the season improved.
MYSHA SATARAKA: I would say our team's fight. Our team lost and won in all types of ways. Come from behind, down five, mercy rules. I just think the way that we went about the season, there's so many opportunities for us to fall and just give up kind of and I think we never did and that's how we ended up back here when a lot of people doubted us.
KYLEE PEREZ: I agree with both of them. In the beginning, things were a little rough for us, we had injuries, we had just a whole bunch of stuff going on on the team and our fight, like Mysha said, was something that this team really took on this year. Whether it was WIFD, one of our sayings, or “Never Satisfied.” We were just real fighters throughout the entire season.
THE MODERATOR: All right. Thank you.
Game 7: Florida State 8, UCLA 4
- In Game 7 of the 2016 Women’s College World Series, No. 8 seed Florida State defeated No. 12 seed UCLA, 8-4, in the first game of Session 4. The Seminoles improved to 54-9 this season, while UCLA dropped to 40-16-1.
- With the win, Florida State advances to take on the loser of Michigan-Oklahoma in an elimination game on Sunday at noon on ESPN. The loss eliminates UCLA from the 2016 Women’s College World Series.
- Florida State is 7-17 all-time in its nine WCWS appearances. UCLA fell to 91-33 in its 26 appearances at the WCWS. The Seminoles improved to 2-2 all-time against the Bruins at the WCWS (first victory since 2002, 2-1 win in nine innings).
- Florida State junior first baseman Alex Powers finished 4-for-4 at the plate with a solo home run, two runs scored and a RBI. Sophomore center fielder Morgan Klaeveman set a career-high with four RBI after a 2-for-4 performance. Klaevemann also tallied her 51st stolen base of the season in the victory.
- UCLA senior third baseman Mysha Sataraka hit a first-inning grand slam to put the Bruins in the lead, 4-0. Sataraka hit both of UCLA’s home runs and recorded all seven RBI in its two games at the 2016 WCWS. The grand slam was Sataraka’s first of the season and the 11th all-time at the WCWS.
- FSU’s Powers recorded her second home run of the WCWS with a solo blast to right field in the top of the second inning to put Florida State on the board. The junior first baseman is fourth in FSU single-season history with 16 home runs this year.
- In the top of the third inning, FSU’s Jessica Warren cut the deficit down to 4-3 with a solo home run to centerfield, her second at the WCWS. Warren’s 20 home runs rank as the second-most by an FSU player in a single season in the program’s history. She is also second all-time with 39 career homers.
- Florida State’s Powers and Warren have homered in both games at the 2016 WCWS for the Seminoles. The pair has homered in the same game on five occasions this season.
- A RBI fielder’s choice by Florida State’s Cali Harrod scored Powers to tie the game at 4-4 in the top of the third inning. The Seminoles took the lead at 5-4 as Sydney Broderick scored from first base on the play as Harrod was tagged out attempting to advance to second base.
- Klaevemann extended the Seminoles’ lead to 7-4 with a two-out RBI single up the middle in the top of the fifth inning. Klaevemann drove in Florida State’s final run of the game with an infield single in the top of the seventh to put FSU up 8-4.
- UCLA’s Paige McDuffee entered out of the bullpen in the top of the second and took the loss, falling to 6-2. She allowed three runs on three hits with one walk in one inning of work. Sophomore Johanna Grauer started the game for UCLA but was lifted after just 0.2 innings of work. She re-entered the game in the top of the third and gave up five runs (four earned) on eight hits with four walks and two strikeouts in six innings in the circle.
- Jessica Burroughs earned the win for the Seminoles to improve to 28-5. She allowed no runs on two hits with two strikeouts in a career-high 6.1 innings of work in relief. Florida State starting pitcher Meghan King lasted just 0.2 innings, giving up four runs on five hits with one walk.
- Florida State’s seven runs against UCLA set a program record for most runs scored in a WCWS game by the Seminoles.
- In the top of the fifth, Florida State picked up its 150th stolen base of the season as Harrod swiped second base. The freshman shortstop has 26 stolen bases this year.
- Florida State’s three stolen bases in Saturday’s game marked the most in a WCWS game since 2012, when Tennessee swiped three against Oregon.
- UCLA second baseman Kylee Perez led the Bruins at the plate with a 2-for-4 performance and a run scored. Perez is 10-for-20 in five career games at the WCWS. Satarka finished 1-for-4 with a grand slam and one run scored.
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