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Gainesville Regional
May 18, 2014

Florida 7, UCF 0

Florida Head Coach Tim Walton

Opening Statement:

“Congratulations to UCF on a great season. It was tough early going in the game. I thought they are probably one of the better athletic teams we’ve see this season. So, really happy for the way we played defense and the way we pitched. Lauren (Haeger) threw a great game today and all three of our pitchers this weekend really threw well. I think that’s the tone setter for our offense. I like getting the runs early, obviously, with Lauren’s bomb in the first inning; that was a tone setter for us. To get the lead in all three games was huge.

I’m really happy for not only these two sitting up here [Lauren Haeger and Kirsti Merritt] but the whole team getting to the Super Regional is a tremendous accomplishment. It’s not an easy thing to do although we’ve been making this a little bit of a routine habit over the last few years. This is a very tough thing to do. A lot of teams get to the Regionals but to get this point says a lot about the way we played. Now we have to go head-to-head with Washington and they’re a good team. They’ve played well all season and had the same kind of Regional we did where they shut out all three opponents and are playing well. So, we’re excited for the opportunity.”

On Haeger’s homerun in the first inning:

“That ball was smoked. I said it earlier, but she hit that ball very well and it got out in a hurry.”

On getting these wins and looking towards Washington:

“Well, Washington is a whole other challenge but we’ll take advantage of this feeling that we have right now. I’m happy for our kids to go out there and a get an opportunity to play. It’s very seldom do you play in a Regional where your batting average goes up, your ERA goes down and those kinds of things. So, we’ll take full advantage of that. We feel good.”

Junior Lauren Haeger

On if shutouts put more pressure on her:

“No, I just think we just take it one pitch at a time, the whole pitching staff. You know, if they (the opponent) don’t score, they don’t win. So, we take everything inning by inning like it’s its own game in itself and we just want to win every inning.”

On the three shutouts by the pitchers this weekend:

“I think it’s a good thing we have so much depth in our pitching staff. Delanie (Gourley) came out and set the tone and pitched a really great game and then Hannah (Rogers) did the same thing. Hannah’s lights out, Delanie’s lights out and I just kind of made it so you know, they did so I could do it too. I just wanted to come out and fight for my team.”

Sophomore Kirsti Merritt

On playing in front:

“It’s always easier to play when we already have a couple of runs on the board, but we do such a good job even when there’s not. Just Lauren going out there and getting the runs on the board was great. She didn’t have a problem doing that.”

 

UCF Head Coach Renee Luers-Gillispie

How hard is it to prepare for a team like Florida with three different pitchers?

We do face them every year so it gives us a chance to see what they have. It’s not so much the pitching we worry about. I feel our girls are pretty confident when they face the pitchers. We know they are going to be throwing the strikes – we just need to be aggressive with them. Definitely the hitting is what we worried about. One through nine in their lineup is very tough for our pitchers to go through.”

 

Junior Maddy Schroeder

Talk about battling back through loser’s bracket and looking forward to next year:

“We are a really young team. Everyone is coming back which is good. It is good for the freshmen to have this experience at this level of competition. This is the second time we as juniors have had this experience so that will help us lead the team next year. Hopefully next year’s freshmen will be ready to play and we’ll teach them everything we know. It will be a good year.”

 

Biggest thing you can take from this weekend:

“We are ending on a good note. This last game doesn’t define our season. I think we had a much better season than what we just showed. We have the talent and the skill to get back here next year and that’s what we plan on doing.”

 

You had a couple of hits against Stetson, couple of hits yesterday and a hit today:

“It kind of started out kind of rocky, had to get settled in. Once I did that I just tried to stay calm and collected and be a leader for the team to show them that it can be done. They came up with some really good hits and some really good plays. We did all we could.”

 

Freshman Linnea Goodman

“As a freshman, I just wanted to leave it out on the field. There was nothing to lose because we are so young and we know we are going to get another opportunity next year. I think this season proved how much we had to show as a team and how much more we can improve next year.”

 

What are you going to take from this regional experience?

“I think that the biggest thing we should take from this past couple of weekends is that we make sure we keep our energy up and leave everything out on the field. That is something we’ve been trying to do all season so will need to keep it going for next season.”

 

 

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