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NCAA Super Regional

May 25, 2014

Head Coach Tim Walton

Opening Statement:

“First I just want to say thanks to our fans and the grounds crew and all the people that stuck around all day long. We really appreciate the support and the fans and the work that was done to put on a first class experience for our players, hats off to them. Congratulations to Washington on a great season, obviously a very talented team. I had a gut feeling this was going to go to a three game series based on the nature of stuff I saw on film. Give credit to our kids I thought the really easily could have hung their head after the first game after playing real well, they just got beat. Coming back like that shows at the end of the day, leave no doubt and I thought we left no doubt. I thought we played well and I’m proud of our players for that.”

 

On the challenge of keeping the team focused in during delays:

“I kind of mentioned that yesterday in regards to being professionals, we stayed here the whole time and didn’t leave. We had a meal ready for between games in case we needed it. We had the locker room set up for nutritional supplies. We had drinks and food and other supplies. We had to go get some lunch meat and we had peanut butter and jelly and such. I go in there and the lights are out and the girls are all bundled up taking a nap. They were watching Kentucky win and they were watching the Gators play against LSU in the baseball game. The locker room is theirs. We like to let them completely be themselves and do their own thing.”

 

On the odd night:

“I’ve never been a part of anything like this, where you go and you win by the fashion we won yesterday (9-0 win). You come out the next day and have a battle in temperatures that I don’t think anyone has ever played in before and the humidity, then you get beat. I’m just thankful we had all that time being ahead. That makes it a lot easier when you talk about a mental game, I wouldn’t want to be the person who is down by one run for three hours or down by 4 runs for two hours. I think ultimately the score helped to alleviate the stress.”

 

On the lightning during Stewart’s homerun:

“I didn’t hear it. I heard the people. I didn’t hear the strike, I heard the thunder a little bit later.  I don’t know how many seconds afterwards it was but I knew it was fairly close. A lot of times lightning will strike and we have such a good health department that I know out training staff is going to do a good job keeping everybody safe.”

 

On the expectation at Florida to get to the World Series:

“It is an expectation. I think ultimately we have created and established that culture where we want to end our season at the College World Series. This team is no different from any other. I’m proud this is really special. This is one of the best teams we have had to play to get to the college world series. Its special, unfortunately our win streak is over in Super Regionals, but it doesn’t have any bearing on this team. This is pretty cool, just the length of time and all the things that went into it. We could have easily just quit. I think someone lit a fire under our players. That didn’t just happen by accident.”

 

On Hannah Rogers’ weekend:

“That was pretty special to watch that kid come out there. She threw 83 pitches in a seven hour span. She just one hit one of the best hitting teams in the country. I think that is overshadowed by the score. She was dynamite, she was really, really good. Five hits in two games. I could see it in her eyes when she was throwing the ball. Part of the debate was do you throw her the first two games and try to win the first two games right away. Obviously this is the first time we have gone to another pitcher, usually we just use one. I wouldn’t have changed it now. Lauren pitched her butt off. She pitched well today, we didn’t really help her. I thought Hannah was impressive.  I saw something in Hannah I have never seen in her in four years.”

 

On going to Hannah Rogers in the first game:

“I didn’t think about it until we had runners on first and second with no outs in the sixth inning. We already had her loose and ready to go then we gave up the lead. The temperature had more to do with my process than anything else. It was so dang hot, I didn’t want to burn her out and have her get burned out early. I really felt comfortable with her going if we needed to go to a game two.”

 

Sophomore 2B Kelsey Stewart

On the lightning strike during her homerun:

“I didn’t but I did hear all the fan noise. I think it was more the long delay and I was just trying to do something for my team.”

 

On the hype coming into the series:

“The hype was super high and I knew after that there was no losing for my team. I knew my senior pitcher was going to go out there and wasn’t going to let us lose. We were still going to be up and fight until the end.”

 

On the benefits of being home:

“I don’t think you can get caught up if you are home or away. Of course it helps if you have home fans. All year we have prepared for things like this.”

 

On what the team did during the delays:

“We played charades, which was fun. It’s kind of like bonding and of course we were dancing. I think it is more of a bonding thing having fun with each other knowing this is the best part of the year, having fun with your best friends.”

 

Sophomore OF Kirsti Merritt

On her game ending homerun:

“The way I swing I guess I was trying to end it, but not in my head. I swing pretty big for being such a small person.”

 

On the bizarre night:

“I think that’s exactly what it was, bizarre. You had to go out play a couple innings, then you have to take a three-hour break, then play some game, then go to the locker room, then play a half an inning, then you go to the locker room and play a couple more innings before finishing the game after seven and a half hours to eight hours at the park.”

 

Senior RHP Hannah Rogers

On her pitching today:

“I think it’s more just of a mental game. I think you have to focus and you are not letting anything get to you whenever you do have a long delay like that. I’ve been feeling pretty good too. I think that the treatment I was getting throughout the week helped me a lot today.”

 

Ongoing back to the college world series for the third time in four years:

“It’s exciting because I’ll get to end my career at the College World Series. I want the rest of my teammates to go back and I want the freshmen to be able to experience it. I’m excited to be able to experience it with them as well.”

 

Washington Quotes

 

Head Coach Heather Tarr

Opening Statement:

“First of all, congrats to Florida on a great season so far and continued luck on down the road. We might have lost the series, but we’re by no means beaten. This is a great group of young women that represent our university. I guess the saddest part about the day is we graduate seven seniors who entered the program together and are leaving together, and that’s a fantastic accomplishment; they’ve probably grown more than any senior class I’ve ever had. We’ll be very sad to lose them. I’m proud of our team this year; we had a few things kind of not really go our way and as far as personnel, we lost two of our catchers this season and battled back with a third and a fourth. It’s pretty amazing that our team was able to come through and compete the way that we did. At the beginning of the year if you’d said Washington and Florida would matchup at a Super Regional, you’d ask ‘how’s that going to happen’. I’m sure Florida expected to be higher-seeded than five and we thought we might have a chance to be a top seed, but we didn’t earn it. It’s unfortunate, I think, that the two teams had to meet here – it’s a World Series-type matchup. I’m just really proud of our team this year, our program, what our seniors have accomplished. I’m excited for the young ones to be able to carry on the traditions. The seniors were fantastic examples of Huskie softball and what we’re all about.”

 

On the mentality entering a weather delay after giving up a three-run home run:

“Yeah, it’s disappointing to give it up to their best player with two outs. Tip your cap to her; she swung at a good pitch and did probably what she should have done to it. In all reality, she beat us; it wasn’t us necessarily beating ourselves. Going into the rain delay knowing that had happened, just tip your cap and move on.”

 

On the camera in centerfield:

“You’re not allowed to live tag video from centerfield in a championship game and we just wanted to make sure the umpires knew about it and let them handle it as they needed to.”

 

On Hannah Rogers’ performance during the Super Regional:

“I’ve watched her throughout her whole career. I think a couple of World Series, you watch and wonder if we’re going to match up with them and what you’re going to do, but nothing’s like seeing a pitcher like that. You have to see a pitcher for the first time and get some information off of her. She’s one of the best in that senior class; she throws hard, she has a change-up and she really locates her pitches well. I thought she threw two great games against us.”

 

CF Victoria Hayward

On having to overcome the weather delays:

“Being from Seattle, weather delays are exactly something new to us. We’ve learned to be loose in those times and make the most out of it. We try to have fun – throw Frisbees and footballs just to keep the mood light. That’s not reason for how the game ended; we’re more than used to it, that’s just how the game goes.”

 

On the mentality entering a weather delay after giving up a three-run home run:

“If anything, it almost gave us a fresh start to come in with the bases cleared. In that sense, it could have been a good thing. It helped us move on and say okay, we’re down 4-0, but we have this half of the game left and this is what we’re working with and this is how we’re going to come back. It could have been a much worse situation I guess. Obviously, it’s not ideal, but we were able to make the most of it.”

 

3B Kylee Lahners

On what the team has done:

“From start to finish, we’ve had a great team. We’ve had our ups and downs, but the way the team has bounced back from those and how we came together every game. As the season went on, we just kept fighting and fighting – we were going to play as many games as we can, beat teams and see what happens.”

 

On Hannah Rogers’ performance today:

“I would say she kept us off balance. If you get a hitter off balance and you get them to start thinking about the pitches she’s going to start throwing, then you’ve got the hitter. As a hitter, you’ve got to make adjustments and don’t let her beat you twice.”

 

 

 

 

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