2012 NCAA Softball Championship
Florida Gulf Coast 2, Florida 1
Coach and Player Quotes
May 18, 2012
In game two of the 2012 NCAA Softball Championship Gainesville Regional, the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles defeated the Florida Gators, 2-1 behind a pair of solo home runs from Emily Lanier and Kirsten Bembnowski. The Gators scored their only run of the game in the bottom of the third inning on an RBI single from Lauren Haeger.
advances to play the USF tomorrow at 1 p.m., while UF will square off against UCF
at 3:30 p.m.
FGCU Head Coach David Deiros
“It was an impressive victory for our entire team. We did a nice job with our pitching and with our defense and we came up with some timely hitting in some big spots. We needed to make sure that we kept them fighting back and fighting desperate. I think in the last inning, they [Florida] were pressing a little bit and they swung at a lot of first pitches. They made it easier for us to play defense. This is a front-runners’ game. It’s hard to go ahead and play catch-up, so if you can put a team behind – any team behind – it just makes it that much more difficult for them to go ahead and catch up. I’m really proud of our kids for doing a good job today.”
On the win: “We’re jumping from the University of Florida, the No. 6 in the country, to the University of South Florida. USF is a very disciplined and a very well taught team. We have to come out and play well. This is the first NCAA tournament win for any FGCU program, but I don’t want to set this as our final piece. We’ve got more work to do and we’ve got some more firsts to put on our mantle piece and that’s what we’re going to try and accomplish.”
FGCU Sophomore 3B Kirsten Bembnowski
On playing in front of the large crowd: “We have never played in front of a crowd that big before, so we had butterflies, but they were good butterflies. We were excited about it and we wanted to show everyone what we could do and what we were working for the last five years, because we haven’t been able to make it to the postseason. We were excited to play; we wanted to play; we wanted to be out here. This is the first opportunity to be out here and we took advantage of it.”
On her home run: “On the first pitch, I swung out of my shoes. I knew I needed to make contact. As soon as I hit it, I thought ‘thank goodness,’ because it put us ahead. I would have never thought we would have been ahead of the Gators, against the Florida Gators. It was an amazing feeling.”
FGCU Sophomore 1B Emily Lanier
On playing in front of the large crowd: “We played as a team and we didn’t let the crowd affect us.”
On her home run: “I was kind of banking on an inside pitch because I’ve been on that outside pitch for a couple of games, but just barely missing it. I was just happy to make contact. I was just trying to hit the ball as hard as I can.”
University of Florida Head Coach Tim Walton
“Congratulations to Florida Gulf Coast – it’s a great win for their program and their program’s history. They did a good job, had some good defensive plays and got the hits when they needed to. You have to give them credit; they played well.
“We have to address our player personnel situation. The three girls that weren’t on the field tonight are no longer with us – we’re handling that right now internally.
I thought our kids did a good job of coming out and battling some adversity and really going out and competing. Obviously we didn’t come out on the win side of the column, but I thought our girls came out and competed hard and fought through it. I have said this from day one – the team that gets the most hits is going to score and get the W. Obviously, we weren’t able to execute that tonight. They hit the homeruns, and I thought that was the difference in the ball game. I thought both pitchers did a nice job, and both defenses did a nice job.”
On the roster changes: “I’m handling that internally. As you go through the end of the season, you have to address where you’re at, but as of right now, they’re off the team. This is something that I have handled as well as I could have handled.”
On if not having Sami Fagan, Kasey Fagan and Cheyenne Coyle affected the team: “I would be crazy to say that it didn’t affect the team. A team is a team – you work hard in the beginning of the year, in the beginning of the season, the first part of August to the end of August and in the fall – I think that losing any teammate is a distraction. Losing Brittany Schutte was a distraction. Anytime you work that hard with so many different people for that long of a time, obviously you have a special fondness to them. You appreciate them and know that they have done a lot – any type of departure of any member of this team that no longer appears on the lineup is a distraction.”
On the approach in the seventh inning: “It was three pitches, three outs. I don’t feel the greatest, but I don’t fault for effort – I think they went out there trying to get on base – maybe there were three strikes, I’m not sure. Typically in that situation we might have Michelle Moultrie, or have that person take that one and have at least four pitches. Michelle is one of those people that can change the ball game with one swing so I let her swing away, and obviously, she rolled over that ground ball.”
On the team’s mindset heading into tomorrow’s game: “We just need to go have fun and play ball. That’s what we came out to do today. We need to go play ball – it is what it is. We need to come out here tomorrow and have fun. At the end of the day it’s a game – we need to have, and play ball. We have worked hard all week, we had a good week on defense and with pitching – we just need to go out there and have fun.”
On keeping the team’s confidence: “This time of year it’s all about that. Obviously I bunted with one out – that’s one way to try and get a run in if you can. We have a nice two-out hit from Lauren Haeger. I think it’s all about personnel sometimes. You have to have the right personnel at the right time and in certain situations – if you don’t, hopefully they compete off each other and have a great bat ahead of them.
“Confidence is something internally that you have, and I think confidence is something that you either have or don’t’ have and if you don’t have it you hope that you develop it throughout your career.”
On Morgan Campen: “She did a good job last time we faced her, and it was 0-0 for a long time. We were chasing one run for a couple innings. She’s a good mix with slow speed and good corners – she did a good job. A couple of the hits that we got were outside pitches that we pulled. She did a good job - she had a nice spin and a different presence from what we have seen here in the last month for sure with some of the great pitching that we have seen in the SEC.”
On pitching tomorrow’s game: “I’m not sure yet – who will play what positions – and that might have a little bit of a hinge of what we can do pitching-wise, but we’re going to go with the best pitcher. We’ll see who had the best matchup last time with UCF. If we go with Lauren, or go back to Hannah is something that we’ll decide tonight.”
On getting Brittany Schutte back for tonight’s game: “Having Brittany back playing softball again is one of the biggest bright spots of this team, this season. To have an All-American come back – come back from injury and rehab and the surgeries and the amount of pain that she experienced. To come out there on that field to try and win us a ball game – there were no struggles tonight – everything is positive about that. She went out and made a great play to right field looking to throw somebody out at first base. Brittany Schutte is a ball player. I’m just proud that she was able to get back on the field and get back to doing the things that she loves. Hopefully she’ll have a better day tomorrow, but if not, she knows that she can go into this summer knowing that she got back on the horse again and was able to give the Gators a chance to win. She gave us her all. I was really happy to have her back out there today. It really means a lot to have her back out there tonight – it brings a smile to my face for sure.”
Sophomore Right-Handed Pitcher Hannah Rogers
On the impact of FGCU’s two home runs: “The two home runs were pitches that they were able to hit well. They came out wanting to beat us, and we came out ready to win too with the defense that we had. I thought that both teams fought. We played our best, and they played their best too. Not having the girls did not affect us tonight.”
On getting Brittany Schutte back for tonight’s game: “She’s just a great ball player. Even though she’s been out for a while she hit a hard line-drive to third; she game out ready to play.”