May 24, 2014
NCAA Super Regional – Game 1
Florida 9, Washington 0 (five innings)
University of Florida head coach
How do you keep the team focused on the next game and not look ahead?
“Before the day started, they were two wins away [from advancing] so you don’t change the urge. You keep them focused on what we are trying to do, which is have good at-bats, play good defense, play together well and pitch well. It starts in the circle. If Hannah [Rodgers], Delanie [Gourley] and Lauren [Haeger] pitch as well as we did today, then we’ve got a great shot to win. I’m not going to challenge them to stay focused. Just going to let them play. They know how to do it. They are almost professional in some ways. In some ways – not all the ways. I think they get it.”
Talk about Bailey Castro being successful in that squeeze play:
“I texted one of our assistant coaches last night to say ‘do not let me forget about the squeeze. Especially when the bases are loaded.’ I have watched so many teams with bases loaded in Super Regional, College World Series and regional play all of a sudden think they are going to hit a grand slam. We got a little bit fortunate as Bailey put it in a great spot. The pitcher made a really nice play with the backhand flip but it went a little high. I’ve been here so many times with bases loaded and nobody out and not score. I wasn’t going to get stuck with someone sitting on third base.”
Hannah Rodgers walked two batters in the first and got out of it. Can you talk about the importance of that as so many road teams have scored early in Super Regional play this year?
“I thought that was the key. We’ve been in situations where the other team scores two or three runs in the first inning and it’s hard to come back from. Especially in a game of this kind of magnitude. So I think ultimately it was huge. She made some good pitches. And she was making good pitches before. She had full count on the one and the two-hole hitters, but I really thought her pitches were sharp. It wasn’t like she was way out of the zone. She was being aggressive and I commend her for that and pitching through that and still getting outs.”
The team seemed aggressive in their at-bats today:
“We were as aggressive as we’ve ever been today. If you go back and watch film, we were swinging at first pitch right away in a lot of situations. It goes back to the saying that I have our players work on in August - ‘Be aggressive at the pitch you are looking for, be aggressive at strikes and take balls.’ We didn’t swing at a whole lot of bad pitches today. We walked seven times and struck out once but we still got some first-pitch hits. It is hard to go in depth at what our philosophy is as some think we take too many pitches. We don’t. We take pitches we don’t think we can hit well.”
What is it like to get a big rally hit from the eight-nine hole position?
Kathlyn Medina, junior SS
“It feels great. Being in the nine hole and watching everyone in front of me getting on base, the momentum just builds up. When I was up there, I felt good, I felt energetic and confident. It doesn’t really affect us as much when everyone is going up and getting hits.
Aubree Munro, sophomore C
“I was seeing the ball well today. As eight-nine hole kind of hitters, typically we talk a lot about turning the lineup over. Doing little things like getting bunts down and things like that. We both kind of went to the slap today to keep it simple and put the ball in play.”
How patient is the team in waiting for the right pitch?
“We talk a lot about being selective, but still being aggressive. We had a lot of people swinging at first pitch strikes too so just knowing your count and the pitcher’s tempo and their rhythm. If they have been walking a lot of people later in an inning, you can be more selective.”
Can you talk about the double that got things started with the first run?
“I went to a slap. It’s been feeling good lately – it helps me stay a little bit shorter and see the ball better. I felt good in the box today – confident and seeing the ball well.”
Head Coach Heather Tarr, Washington
“Basically, we feel like we didn’t play our best game and Florida took advantage of all of our mistakes. It’s too bad that we couldn’t give them a better game today, but one game is one game in these three-game series, and the opportunity to play again will be tomorrow. We’ve got to pull our heads up and not let that define us because we’re definitely a lot better team than we showed today.”
On not capitalizing on the two walks in the first inning:
“Good pitchers are going to find a way to get out of trouble; she’s (Hannah Rogers) obviously not used to walking people. She made some good pitches to our good hitters. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal; Ali (Aguilar) had some opportunities with some swings and she went for it. Other than that, you want to score early against good pitching, that’s always the case. Unfortunately we couldn’t do it, but that’s just one inning we had runners on, there were other innings too.”
On the team’s approach toward Hannah Rogers or what they could have done differently:
“I can’t really speak to that yet. I’ll probably have to go back and see some video and see where some of the pitches were that maybe we should have attacked a little bit better. Tip our hat to her (Rogers), she’s a great pitcher.”
Kaitlin Inglesby, P, Washington
On what affected the pitching today:
“I think I speak for Bry (Bryana Walker) and myself when I say we didn’t throw the way we know how to throw at all today, which was pretty disappointing. I feel like we beat ourselves – seven walks, walks equal runs. I think that when we show up and know how to play like we have been, we’re capable of anything. So that was probably the most disappointing thing, was not showing up and doing what we’re capable of doing, because I don’t think anybody saw that happening.”
On having to sweep the double-header tomorrow to advance:
“Well the best part about it is that it can’t be worse than today. We know what we’re capable of and we got that one out of the way. Tomorrow is a new day and it’s a race to two, not to one.”
On if the heat and humidity was a factor:
“Yeah it’s hot, but it’s hot for Florida too. I feel like we were prepared in that aspect; it’s hot, we’re hydrated. We’re just playing softball; we’re trying not to think about that stuff. It doesn’t get any easier and it doesn’t get any harder. We’re just doing what we do – we’re going to pitch, they’re going to pitch, we’re going to hit, they’re going to hit.”
Bryana Walker, P, Washington
On her pitching today:
“Like Kaitlin (Inglesby) said, walks score runs; I couldn’t find the strike zone to save my life and I had a hard time. Like Kaitlin said, it’s disappointing, but it’s just one game; you have to win two.”
On if the heat and humidity was a factor:
“I don’t think it was a factor for us. We’re known since Sunday we were coming to Florida, so we’ve been preparing for it all week. Both of us (Kaitlin and Bryana), yeah we play in Seattle now, but we both grew up playing in California, we’ve played in heat before, this isn’t the first time we’ve played in the sun. It definitely wasn’t a factor.”