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2013 NCAA Softball Championship

Gainesville Regional

USF 2, Georgia Southern 1 (9 innings)

Coach and Player Quotes

May 18, 2013


Game Recap

The USF Bulls fought off elimination from the Gainesville Regional with a nine-inning thriller Saturday night, coming out on top of the Eagles, 2-1. After earning the start in the circle and then being relieved by Sara Nevins, senior Lindsey Richardson came on with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth and one out to keep the Bulls alive with a strikeout and groundout to force a ninth. USF’s Dani Wayt poked a one-out single through the left side, advanced to second on a wild pitch, stole third and then scored on a GSU throwing error for the game-winning run. Richardson struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Bulls a 1 p.m. Sunday date with No. 2 seed Florida. Florida will need one win to advance to NCAA Super Regionals.


USF Head Coach Ken Eriksen

Opening Statement

I think it goes without saying that the Georgia Southern kids played their butts off today. To come and win their first game in elimination today against Hampton and throw their great pitcher (Sarah Purvis), who’s done a great job for them for years, followed by coming out and battling us the way they did, they were relentless in that game. Obviously, it shows a great job in the NCAA Championships Committee – they did a nice job this year in getting those things matched up. We all know that Florida is one heck of a team. We’re just so lucky to be on the field with them tomorrow. Our young ladies came off a knock-out early punch today, they could have crawled in a hole and not responded in the second game, but Lindsey (Richardson) came out and gave us what we needed, then we went to our strategy of knocking on the lefties in crucial situations and that’s what we did with Sara (Nevins). Lindsey coming in tonight was very reminiscent of what she did last week in the finals of the BIG EAST. The traditional aspect of trying to go with one pitcher all the time is crazy nowadays when you have Mariano Rivera in the bullpen, you don’t waste the opportunity to use those types of things. We have two pitchers right now that have 200+ strikeouts and that’s rare in college softball. It’s the first time I think we’ve ever had that at South Florida. Lindsey’s first strikeout tonight was her 200th strikeout and the first time she’s ever reached that mark at South Florida. To have two pitchers of that caliber like Nevins and Richardson reach the 200-plateau is very special. A lot of hard work pays off.



On where USF can improve and tonight’s base running

“We were awful on the base paths tonight. We’ve had the team since August 25th and you talk about base running winning games or really hurting the game. Tonight was one of those nights where we were making base running mistake after base running mistake – balls were getting hit right at them and we’re thinking this might be one of those nights that’s just not our night. We had to keep pounding and persevering and not break. We bent a few times with a lot of their runners in scoring position. You don’t want to pitch to (Kourtney) Thomas because Thomas can win a game with one swing of the bat or put you down two or three. We avoided her and then I don’t think we made a very smart pitch selection to (Shelby) Morrill – she’s a great hitter, but you avoid losing a game with Thomas’ ability and then pitch to Morrill. In Sara’s defense, she’s a little tired and whatnot, but we have to play flawless softball against Florida, the No. 2 team in the country. There’s a reason they’re No. 2. They’re good, a great team. We’ve faced some really good teams this year and right now they are feeling it. We have to take a little bit of strategy, take a look at their lineup and pick out some opportunities to either attack or avoid some situations tomorrow. We also need to learn from today. They are a great team and we’re hoping to be in Game Two tomorrow to give us an opportunity then and beyond. We’re going to play it moment by moment.”


South Florida Senior P Lindsey Richardson

On what was going through mind walking out with the bases loaded

“I’m a senior, so I would be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking ‘this cannot be it.’ I mean it went through my head, but just for a second. I kind of make a deal with God that this is not how I’m going out. This is not going to be it for me. I was pretty confident in everybody behind me. I just did my job. After we got out of the inning my centerfielder came up to me and said ‘we just wanted you to throw it right down the middle because we didn’t care where it was going, we were going to catch it.’ Knowing that I have players like that behind me, I had nothing to worry about.”


On playing Florida tomorrow

“I think they probably had a relaxed day and we really didn’t, so there is a difference there, but coming out of a win like we just had is awesome. It makes me want to turn around and play another game right now. The adrenaline is up. We are so excited. That is an awesome win right there so I think that is going to carry over for us tomorrow. We are going to get back on the field. Last time we were on this field look what happened. We came back in the ninth inning and it was an awesome win. I think we are going to use that. It was only one extra game. We’ve played a lot, so I think we will be alright.”



South Florida Junior IF Dani Wayt

On her scoring play

“In my at-bat I had two strikes on me so I wasn’t going to watch the third one go by. Then I took advantage of the ball in the dirt. Coach saw the advantage of being able to get to third safely and then they overthrew it. I heard coach say ‘go’ and then I heard ‘hurry’.”


On her awareness of the throw approaching third

“I had no idea where it was honestly. I was just sliding in and I heard coach say go.”







Georgia Southern Head Coach Annie Smith

Opening statement

It’s a tough loss, but I couldn’t be more proud of my team. We have had a great season. We won back-to-back championships and we came here and went toe-to-toe with everybody. It sucks to lose that kind of game. Sarah Purvis pitched great. Brooke Red did a nice job. We had a lot of key hits and had the position to win. All you can ask for at the end of the day is to be in a position to win the game. That’s what we will try to work on. I wish we could have played another day though. It hurts. It hurts for the seniors and it hurts for everybody. We showed how good we are and continued to get this program on the map, which is our goal.


On the team’s defense

“Defense wins championships. I think we were fielding .970 coming into the regionals. That’s how you win it at this point. You have got to play defense and we have played solid defense. They made a lot of nice plays. We talked, we knew what to do, and we know how to move. I was really happy with what they did. We had a couple of double plays I think in that last game too. I was happy with that. We were in a position to win. We had the right people in the right spots.”


Georgia Southern Junior P Sarah Purvis

On the emotions from the perfect game to tonight’s loss

“I’m really disappointed that we lost. I can say I left it all on the field. After the perfect game, it was a new ballgame. My mindset is to win that ballgame. I thought we really had it. Our team gave it our all. I just really wanted that win. When I was a freshman, my first thing was I wanted to go to the Women College World Series. The past two years we have made the trip to Regionals and I just want to win it so bad. It’s just really disappointing.”


Georgia Southern Junior DP Shelby Morrill

On her performance and home run

“It felt good to be able to help my team out. We don’t get RBIs without runners on base when I am up. I wish we could have just pulled it out at the end.”











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