Lawson, Sagermann, Nunley Preview Super Regionals Wednesday

May 20, 2015



Head Coach Rachel Lawson
On the season overall ...
"Well, I would say that we have had some really good moments and some things that we really need to work on. At the beginning of the year we started out hot, which was nice, that gave us the RPI that we needed so we could get to the postseason. The regular season was trying from the standpoint of we had a really tough schedule, we couldn't gain any momentum and we had a hard time finishing games. That was a little bit disheartening, but it was nice to be able to get back home and have a week to a week and a half to really focus on some things and now we are back into what we normally do, which is play pretty good defense and pitch and get the timely and situational hits. Overall, it has not been our best season because we didn't do as well in the regular season as we would've liked to, but we are exactly where we have been in the past, so at the end of the day we are still trying to win a national championship."

On the comparisons to this year and last year against UCLA ...
"Yes, but the one thing about softball in this part of the country is that we could be No. 5 in the country and wouldn't be expected to go down and win. That is something that we have always been used to. This is our seventh straight postseason and every year we seem to be the underdog so that is a role that we are used to. Florida is a very good team. It is different (from UCLA last year) in the standpoint that we are both very familiar with each other because playing an SEC team is a lot different than going out of conference. So it is a similar scenario in that we are the underdog and are going to have to do something pretty exceptional in order to win."

On the bar being raised for softball at Kentucky ...
"Without question, if you took this team and it was five years ago everybody would think we were great. It is kind of like Kentucky basketball, if Kentucky basketball just gets to the Sweet 16, it is just an OK season. Kentucky basketball is expected to be in the Final Four and win the national championship. We are not Kentucky basketball, but we are definitely in the realm where we are only one of nine teams that have been to three straight Super Regionals, so it is one of those things where now when you are as good as you are everybody expects you to go the World Series all the time."

On if the team had confidence issues after the tough SEC stretch ...
"No, I don't think it was a confidence issue, I just don't think we played well. When you don't play well and you are playing the best teams in the country, you lose. It is kind of that simple. I don't think it was a confidence issue as much as at the end of games we were just getting beat. We weren't making good pitches or if we did make a good pitch we wouldn't make a good stop. We just weren't very good at that time. I think now with some work I think they feel confident that they are back to doing what they do well."

On if she enjoys playing on the road in this situation ...
"No, I mean, you always want to play at home and be in front of your fans. We have a great fan base, especially for SEC games and postseason games, we turn out as well as anyone does in the country. So we prefer to be at home. But the nice thing about being out on the road is that there aren't any distractions and everybody gets to stay together. So from that point I think it's good. But you always want to play in front of the Big Blue Nation."

On the team's gameplan this weekend ...
"I really don't know yet, it depends on how the first game goes. When you are in Super Regionals compared to Regionals, the thing that we found out last year if you want to win the national championship you have to make sure you have a pitching staff. So it's going to be important and you can't just ride one pitcher through the end of Supers and you certainly can't if you want to go further than that. We are not really sure how it is going to happen, but I expect you will see everyone on our staff to go in there and throw some innings and it is just going to depend on if we need (Erin) Rethlake to come in and close or Meagan Prince to be a starter. A lot of it is going to depend on how we do in game one."

Nikki Sagermann | #77 | Infield | Jr. | Buford, Ga.
On the team's performance in South Bend ...
"It was fun. It was great to get back on the field and get the team back on track and win some ballgames. It is always good when you are winning."

On Florida ...
"We have already faced them this year so we know that environment with the fans and we have a lot of experience with that. They are a very good team and we are going to have to be on our A game to get out of there with two wins."

On if there are similarities to going to UCLA last year for Super Regionals ...
"It is the same feel. They are a higher seed than us and we are obviously pretty low seeded. We are just going to go out there and play our game and put no pressure on us. We are out there just to have fun and get two wins."

On her two home runs in regional play ...
"I have been trying to keep things more simple. I put a lot of pressure on myself during SEC play and around the Georgia series I started to get more base hits as singles and my confidence started to go up. It felt good to get the monkey off my back this weekend and get one over the fence."

Kelsey Nunley | #3 | Pitcher | Jr. | Soddy Daisy, Tenn.
On making it to Super Regionals ...
"It is a goal that we wanted at the beginning of the year and we work hard for the goals that we set throughout the season. It is a big accomplishment for us to be able to go to Super Regionals again for the third time."

On the season overall ...
"Well, it has been shaky and definitely didn't go the way that we wanted it to, but you have to just keep working and keep at it and hopefully the results end up where you want them to be."

On her throwing the ball much better recently ...
"It is a new day every day and you have to go out and forget about what happened yesterday and just focus on every next pitch because that's what is most important."

On Florida and the experience UK has having already played them this season ...
"Well, I thought that we played pretty well that weekend. We didn't get the results that we wanted, but we fought pretty hard and played good defense and made some good contact at the plate. I hope we can carry what we learned from those loses into this weekend."