2012 NCAA Softball Championship
USF 1, UCF 0
Coach and Player Quotes
May 18, 2012
In game one of the 2012 NCAA Softball Championship Gainesville Regional, the USF Bulls defeated the UCF Knights, 1-0.
The Bulls scored the only run of the game in the bottom of the third inning on a sac fly by Janine Richardson.
advances to play the winner between Florida and Florida Gulf Coast tomorrow at
1 p.m. ET. UCF will square off against the loser of that contest at 3:30 p.m.
UCF Head Coach Renee Luers-Gillispie
“It was just a great game. We came in thinking that this was just an opportunity to see South Florida since we hadn’t played them before now. Mackenzie Audus had a great game behind her belt – especially with this being her first regional appearance.
“We knew what we were going to be expecting when we came into this game – we knew it was going to be a great game, and that we would have to play our very best coming into this.”
On coming back from behind tomorrow: “I think in this regional it’s just tough – even in the second round tomorrow. Someone is going to have to lose tomorrow. We’re going to take this one game at a time right now.
“We know the 3:30 game is the most important. Having the opportunity to play both teams (Florida and Florida Gulf Coast) this past season is a great advantage for us. For us it’s a matter of focusing on that 3:30 game and just taking it as it comes.”
On the snow-ball play by Jessica Mouse: “Mouse made a great catch on that play. Like the girls said, you have to tip your hat off to her – that was the game-winning hit right there. If that had passed over her head it was two-runs for us, but she caught it and it was the game-winning play for them.”
On Mackenzie Audus’ performance: “For her to just be in this environment; it was a great opportunity for her to get used to that. She struggled a little bit with the two runs – walking the one and hitting the next batter – but she was able to recover when she could have just put her head down. When she holds them hitless for five innings and then comes back up – it’s hard. You can’t look at that as the end of the game. She settled in though – she started focusing in a little more on hitting her spots. I thought she came back out after that third inning – she fought back and did a great job of fighting for us. Our offense coming in, and Ashley stepping up was a great help for us in that situation too.”
UCF Senior Short Stop Natalie Land
On bouncing back mentally in the game: “You can’t hit the ball better than Hailey can hit the ball. It kind of put us down for a little bit, but we knew we had another inning left to go and that we would have to bounce back.”
UCF Freshman Pitcher Mackenzie Audas
On Jessica Mouse’s catch: “It was a great catch, but at that point you have to tip your hat to her and move on.”
On her first NCAA Regional appearance: “I was a little nervous, but it just took me a little while to get my groove. I had to bounce back. I had a great defense behind me and that helped a lot.”
USF Head Coach Ken Eriksen
“It was a pretty good game to watch. We’ve fought the battle all year long about pitching, defense and timely offense. What you saw from us out there today is how we play the game. We’re not going to wow you with everybody in the batting lineup hitting home runs, but we’re going to give pretty competitive pitching and competitive situations. We’re going to give competitive defense and all I have to say is, thank God for [Jessica] Mouse.”
On the win: “If you can get 21 outs faster than the other team, you have a great chance to win. If you can score more than the other team you have a great chance to win. It’s not a hard game. You have to make crucial decisions in crucial situations. I thought our coaching staff did a great job preparing our team for those situations. In the NCAA Regionals, I can tell you, the first inning is the last inning.”
USF Senior 3B Jessica Mouse
On her defensive play with bases loaded: “In those situations, you’re just trying to get good pitches from Sara [Nevins], and she did a great job. As a defender, all you want to do is make those great plays and get that momentum for the dugout. I think we did a great job today and kudos to Sara for throwing another great game for us.”
On starting Regionals with a win: “You want to stay in the winners’ bracket as long as you can. It’s upper-80s to 90 degrees out there, so the less innings our pitchers have to throw, will obviously benefit them. We just need to work one game at a time and like I said, staying in the winners’ bracket is key.”
USF Sophomore LHP Sara Nevins
On the defense: “We were doing well no matter what, but those big plays are what matter the most. Anything can happen, so I’m glad to have her [Jessica Mouse] there for those big plays.”
On facing left-handed batters: “I love facing lefties. Mainly, I had to keep the ball off the plate and when you get them reaching onto the plate, then jam the batter inside. “