Washington Post Game 3 Press Conference
2017 Women's College World Series
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Washington – 3, Oregon – 1
Washington interview with Heather Tarr, Taran Alvelo, Sis Bates, Kirstyn Thomas.
HEATHER TARR: Just another tough game by our team. Just super proud of our ability to stay in the moment and do what we do, pitch well, play our butts off on defense, and find a way to score a couple runs. Big key that we scored first. Sis's (Bates) RBI there, we tried to push another run across. Ali (Aguilar) kind of got to me before I knew she was there, but it was the right decision to try to score there with one out, when Ali got thrown out at the plate. But another big thing on defense was our ability to shut down their run game; throwing out two of their runners in one inning was huge. Bottom of the seventh infield defense was clutch for us for Taran (Alvelo). You know, unfortunately a couple runners got on, one with that double and another one with a hit by pitch. But the defense had her back, and I'm just really proud of our team. It's tough to win that first game, tough to play in this environment for a bunch of kids that haven't done it before but have only dreamed about it their whole lives, but now it's not a dream, it's reality, and we're ready for the next game.
Q. Coach, what was the learning curve for Taran to go 150 innings last year as a freshman and now 240 and counting and being on this sort of stage?
HEATHER TARR: Oh, man. Well, Taran is a pitcher that has special stuff inside of her, and it's just a matter of time that she needs to figure out how to apply it to this game and how to adjust to the game. But in terms of her freshman year, freshman year was a good year. Definitely a learning year. I was trying to figure out how to throw strikes when she needs to and how to not when she doesn't need to. But really it's a matter of being in shape mentally, physically, working on your mental game. But she's put the work in, and now she's able to kind of really take off with it and really work the process but have the stuff to be able to stay pitch to pitch.
Q. Sis, that last inning you were involved in a couple of huge defensive plays; talk about the difficulty hanging on to the ball on a play like that and then making the diving stop.
SIS BATES: Yeah, our team is really big on like three outs only, so only giving them three outs. We really take pride in that. And we just like worked together as a team and just like up the middle, like working with Ali and talking to her pitch by pitch, just talking to each other and keeping each other grounded in the game.
Q. Taran, how did you handle your emotions in that seventh inning because you had that confrontation with (Jenna) Lilley and then they had that high slide into short. What was that like trying to manage that while trying to close out a World Series game?
TARAN ALVELO: Yeah, I think at any point in the season, emotions are high for both teams, and it was really big for me to look at my teammates, and like I know Ali, she looked at me at one point, and she's like, you got this, I got you, let's do it, so I was like, okay, let's do it. I was able to take the deep breath and execute what I needed to after those first few pitches. The inning kind of got away from me, but I was able to bring it back in and do what I needed to do for my teammates.
Q. Taran, how were you trying to pitch Jenna, somebody you know pretty well? Were you surprised by her reaction?
TARAN ALVELO: You know, she's a great hitter, and she's going to battle no matter what. So I just had to try to just — I was just trying to throw like around the zone and do what I needed to do. A few got away from me, and that happens. But no hard feelings. I feel like it's part of the game. You've got to move on from it.
Q. Taran, in the last couple innings you had a couple situations where they had people on base that could potentially score and you were able to consistently work your way out of that. Can you talk about your mindset in those situations?
TARAN ALVELO: Yeah, we kind of had the same, like so what next pitch, so yeah, there's runners on and runners in scoring position, but all that matters in that moment is that pitch that I'm about to throw. So I know if I can execute the next one, then those runners aren't going to pose a threat to our team if we can just execute in the moment.
Game 3: Washington 3, Oregon 1
- In the third game of the 2017 Women’s College World Series, No. 6 seed Washington beat Pac 12 foe and No. 3 seed Oregon, 3-1. The Huskies improved to 49-12, while the Ducks fell to 52-7.
- Washington will advance to play the winner of the Oklahoma-Baylor Friday at 8:30 p.m. CT. Oregon play against the loser of Oklahoma-Baylor in an elimination game on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. CT.
- In their 12th all-time appearance at the WCWS, the Huskies improved to 23-19. The Ducks fell to 4-9 in their fifth all-time appearance at the WCWS.
- Washington second baseman Sis Bates drove in the Huskies’ first run of the game with an RBI triple to right field, scoring Kirstyn Thomas. Bates leads the Pac 12 with six triples and is just one three-bagger shy of tying the Washington single-season record (7, Becky Simpson, 2002).
- The Huskies added two insurance runs in the top of the seventh on a two-run blast to center field by Thomas, her eighth home run of the season. Thomas led the Huskies at the plate, finishing 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs.
- Oregon scratched a run in the bottom of the seventh with Madi Bishop’s RBI groundout scored pinch runner Haley Cruse to cut the deficit down to 3-1, but the Ducks could not rally.
- Washington starting pitcher Taran Alvelo improved to 33-7 in the circle, recording her 28th complete game of the season. The sophomore allowed five hits, while striking out three and walking three.
- Oregon pitcher Megan Kleist took the loss, falling to 20-4. The sophomore gave up three earned runs in seven innings, striking out two and walking four. The three earned runs allowed by Kleist were the most in an appearance since surrendering three to Arizona on April 23.
- Five Oregon players recorded at least one in hit in the loss. The Ducks’ one run marked their lowest run total in a single game during the postseason.
- The loss snapped a 15-game winning streak for Oregon that dated back to April 23 against Arizona.
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