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2012 NCAA Softball Championship

Gainesville Regional

Florida 6, FGCU 2

Coach and Player Quotes

May 19, 2012

 

 

Game Recap

Florida used four homeruns, two from Kelsey Horton and one each from Lauren Haeger and Samantha Holle, to help secure a 6-2 win over Florida Gulf Coast in game five of the Gainesville Regional.

 

The Gators advance to face USF in the Regional Championship round, while the Eagles have been eliminated and finish their season with a 38-24 overall record.  

 

Florida Head Coach Tim Walton

Opening Statement: “Congratulations to both UCF and Florida Gulf Coast on a great season. Obviously, Florida Gulf Coast with their first post-season, represented both their state and university very well. I couldn’t be more proud of our team. It was a team effort today we had a lot of heroes, we had a lot of nice plays defensively, did a really good job offensively, had some productive outs where we were able to execute some things, and obviously we had a lot of home runs. It was nice to see us get out there and play some softball. It looked like we were having fun – a lot of high fives, a lot of smiles, a lot of big plays and a lot of good hits. Like I said, I couldn’t be more proud of our effort here today.”

 

On the mindset of the team: “I thought that they did a good job. You could tell that they were ready to play. They came out early and were getting on base and doing good things. Even with some mistakes – running a couple of outs here or there, but they were ready to play. I think we were a lot more confident than yesterday. It also looked like we were playing a little more comfortable at well.”

 

On the day at the plate: “There’s no telling why today was better than yesterday. I think the one thing that you look at if I’m not mistaken is that I think that we had a lead in all those games today. The lead changes the swings; I don’t care what you do and how you do it. If you have a lead, it’s a lot easier to swing the bat.”

 

On Samanta Holle: “Samantha makes good plays. We had the one miscue on the throw, but other than that she’s been playing well, making good plays, going to get balls and just doing a nice job. We’re happy with what she’s been doing. I’m definitely comfortable in the dugout with what she’s doing.”

 

On adjusting throughout the weekend’s games: “You just pray that nobody gets hurt and hope that we can keep on playing. I make my lineups the way I do so that I can keep my bench a little bit deeper than it actually is. It allows me to be a little more flexible with Ensley Gammel or Katie Medina if I need to. Again, we just need to play and hope it works out. We have Alyssa Bache if we need it.

 

“It’s a softball game, I’m not stressed about it; we just need to play the game. We have 12 bodies out there, hopefully they can have an opportunity to contribute to our wins.”

 

On approaching USF: “We were in the same situation today so we don’t approach it any different. If I were going to rate all the teams in this region I think I would give the advantage to USF. Offensively, I think that they have a pretty good dynamic there. If I were to rate the four teams here I think that USF probably gets a little edge pitching wise – defensively, I would probably give us the edge. We just need to go about it the same way, the same way that we went today. Obviously, USF has had a really good year; they’re a good team. We just have to go out there and play ball. I’m not going to approach it any different, we need to go out there and play ball – that’s the goal.”

 

On facing adversity: “We just need to focus. We have 12 players that want to play ball, and continue to play ball – that’s our focus. We’re not worrying about the uncontrollable things, we’re just going to remain focused.”

 

On getting the big lead in the first game: “I’m talking about a lot of young players playing positions that they have never played before. When you get a big lead, you don’t have to worry about them thinking about what we’re going to do tomorrow. I think it was very key to get a lead. Again, you saw some of those swings loosen up again and got some power out of the bottom of the line-up. It’s definitely huge.”

 

On Michelle Moultrie: “I’m so glad that she had a great day today, especially going four-for-four with a great throw. It’s good. It’s one of those things that when you look back and realize that you had a great home-stretch – she didn’t have a hit at the SEC Tournament I don’t think, and that wears on you a little bit when you’re that good and so competitive. She had all of her game going today, and did a lot of nice little things.”

 

Florida Junior Catcher Kelsey Horton

On changing the momentum of the game with her two hits and a throw-out: “I just made good adjustments to their pitcher –It was the third time that we have seen her this season so I just felt good in the box today. As far as the throw-out I was just anticipating all day because I knew that Florida Gulf Coast would want to run today.”

 

On coming back from yesterday’s games: “I went home last night, got a good night sleep and came back ready to play this morning – I felt like everyone of my teammates felt the same way today. We were ready to play today.”

 

Florida Junior Infielder Samantha Holle

On getting her first homerun: “Lauren [Haeger] was trying to get ahead mainly with first strikes, so I was trying to get ahead with the first strike.

 

“I was both excited and a little surprised. I didn’t know it was going to be a homerun at first, I ran as fast as I could have from home to first and after that I could jog. It was just excitement.”

 

On making the change to third base: “It helps to have a great shortstop behind me. She makes me feel more comfortable. I’m just going with the basics – catching the ball well and throwing it. I’m not trying to think too much.”

 

On Team Unity: “I think after what happened, it definitely brought our team together a little more. We had to come together to help each other out with our emotions, keeping us confident and knowing that we have each other’s backs.”

 

Florida Freshman Right Handed Pitcher Lauren Haeger

On handling stress: “My stress does not have to do with the team. I had issues of my own that I need to work out. It is something that Coach is handling – we’re just out here to play softball.”

 

On bouncing back after yesterday’s performance: “Yesterday was a hard day for all of us, and I have some personal things going on too, so I think today was really good that we all came out. We were all really excited to play, especially for Michelle Moultrie. We didn’t want to see her season end like that, so we were all just really happy to be out there to play – it was all fun. We knew we could beat both the teams today. I think they just took it yesterday.”

 

On getting the homeruns: “I just went out there knowing that if I swing the bat, good things would happen. I was just looking for good pitches, and I swung at those good pitches.”

 

On USF: “They’re a good team, they’re really solid hitters and they have a good pitching staff so I think we’re going to have to go out and play hard like we did today. We are going to need to make sure that we swing at good pitches. Hannah (Rogers), Alyssa (Bache) and myself do a great job in the circle, so it will be a team effort.”

 

On pitching: “I felt good. There were a couple of things with some of my pitches, but Hannah (Rogers) came in and did a great job to back me up, as I did with her in the first game.”

 

Florida Gulf Coast Head Coach David Deiros

Opening Statement: “First of all, congratulations to the University of Florida and to the University of South Florida for making it to the Regional Finals tomorrow. They both played real well, the University of Florida persevered to make it to Sunday after going into the loser’s bracket right away. I want to congratulate my team. I couldn’t be any prouder of them. If early in the season you would have told me that we would be Atlantic Sun Champions and we’d be in Regionals, beat the University of Florida and had a chance to go on to the Regional Finals, I would have thought you were crazy because we weren’t playing well early but that’s a testament to how well our kids turned things around and I couldn’t be any prouder of them.”

 

On what this run will mean for next year: “It’s been bittersweet for me. It’s been five years since our team has been allowed to play in post season. It may be somewhat irrelevant in the world of Division I but we were a pretty good Division II ball club. We finished up our last year in Division II as the No. 10 team in the country. When we made the transition to Division I the question was always going to be how good are you going to be? How good does being really good at Division II mean at Division I? This leaves a bittersweet taste in my mouth because we have accomplished a lot but we also see that we have a ways to go to catch up to the Florida’s of the world and we have our work cut out for us and I hope by having a look at it first hand my players can even take it a step further.”

 

Florida Gulf Coast Freshman Pitcher Shelby Morgan

On if she was trying to get ahead early in the count: “No not at all. I just wanted to go out there and throw my pitches and locate the best I could.”

 

On if the pitches were located on the home runs: “On two of them, yes, but on the last one, not so much. She just got a piece of the bat on it.”

 

On the difference between yesterday and today: “It’s hard with them seeing me one day and then again the very next day and I might not have had the best location today.”

 

Florida Gulf Coast Sophomore Catcher Chelsea Zgrabik

On what this run will mean for next year: “Definitely getting back to the Regional is going to be our main concern.  Like we said, at the beginning of the season if you would have asked us, we would have never thought we would be here. We started picking it up at the end of the season and at the Atlantic Sun Tournament. We thought that we were going to have a struggle but we had a walk off win against JU for the third time and then swept Kennesaw in the finals like eight to nothing, so that was awesome. We were pumped up to come here. To beat Florida on the first day and we struggled a little bit today but we’re definitely going to try to come back next year.”

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