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Florida-Alabama Postgame Quotes




May 9, 2013

Recap |  Box Score

Florida Head Coach Tim Walton

Opening Statement …
"Well obviously it was a great opening round of the tournament. There were some great games last night. Another great game, a lot of fun to watch. I talked about it in our own press conference on Monday how this is going to be one of those mess of a tournament, you are going to get a lot of runs you are going to get a lot of things from some great athletes some great talent. Talent not only on the offensive side but great pitching and some great coaches in our league. (We are) Just excited to be here at Kentucky. They have done a great job when we come here for conference series and to have them host this tournament, and do the first class job they do is awesome for us. Tip your cap to Alabama last night and Texas A&M obviously. But we are excited to be the first team in the country to win 50 games. We give Alabama credit for coming back and tying it up. I think that we played a really good game, other than the one inning where we gave up hits. We made some nice plays. Hannah (Rogers) and Lauren (Haeger) had good stuff. We challenged our team to get after it a little bit and its pretty fun to watch. I'm excited about that great Alabama team and they are going to do great things post season as well."

On what they know about the next opponent …
"This is the SEC. We will do our homework. Jennifer Rocha will scout out the game, and give us an offensive and defensive game-plan. This is bonus time for everybody. I think you can see all of the teams playing pretty lose, as hard as we fought throughout the regular season. This is time to just go out and play softball. They are good, both teams play well. They (Georgia and LSU) had a dog fight of a game last weekend, so it will be another great game. "

On the toughness of the SEC conference tournament …
"Well you can look at it two ways, you can turn it off and say this is a tough tournament to be here we already beat each other up through the year, or you can take it for what it is. The SEC is known for their conference tournaments we have a '30 for 30' on ESPN all about what it's about to be in the conference tournament. We are here just having fun. There are more games to play and giving opportunity for our seniors to just keep on play. You saw the way that we played today, nobody was tight everybody played well. It's exciting. We really have a great conference this year. The teams play well, the coaches are very classy and it makes it easy to come to the ball park when you just don't dread playing somebody. You enjoy whether you win or lose you enjoy playing the game, and I think you see that in a lot of teams."


 

 

On what went right this game …
"We had some nice things all the way around. We hit some balls hard, but because we bunt and because we move the ball around we had some fielders come in maybe one step out of position potentially. I was happy with the bottom (of the order), obviously Katie (Medina) got her job done with the bunt, Ensley (Gammel) got her job done with the bunt, got hit with a pitch to start that one off. Last weekend when we played South Carolina, I think that our five, six, seven, eight, nine, had two hits in the whole weekend. You are not going to score a lot of runs let alone win a lot of ball games if you cannot get some production from everybody in the line-up."

#24, Kirsti Merritt, CF

On Alabama's comeback …
"Bailey (Castro) always has her inspirational words, and always gets us pumped up. We like to come back from behind."

On her hitting performance …
"That last at bat, I was really in the zone. I was seeing the ball really well. When I saw the last pitch she threw I knew that was the one."

On playing Alabama so early in the tournament …
"We were prepared for everyone. We do not prepare for just one team, so we were ready for anything."

Alabama Head Coach Patrick Murphy

Opening statement …
"It's a good game by Florida I think they'll represent us well in the NCAA Tournament. Now it's almost like it's the third season for us. It was the preseason, the SEC, this was considered the third season and now we're going to open up the fourth season next week with NCAA play. I think we make a pitch here and there, we don't walk a couple or hit a couple or make a couple of defensive plays and it's 4-4 and we just don't get the key hit again. I was really happy with how we fought back and we're looking forward to next week."

On how the SEC Tournament prepares them for the NCAA Tournament …
"Well I think you have a multitude of different looks pitching. There is lefty, righty, there is (a) slapper, there is fast, there is power among the hitters. Coaching styles are so different. Some people run, some people don't. Some people play for the big inning. I think it just prepares you for anything you are going to see next week and beyond. To me, this is the toughest 10-team tournament in the country, and I'm sure everybody else is going to sit up here and agree with me so we can't wait to see somebody different."

On if they'll have a target on their back entering the tournament as defending champions …
"It's been that way for a couple years, but we've kind of dealt with it all year long. Everywhere we've been they've had a record crowd. It's almost like traveling with the circus, it's been unbelievable. Hopefully we'll be at home the first round. We'll see what happens after that. Our crowd will show up and it will be a definite home field advantage. It used to be where if you hosted in softball it wasn't really that big of a deal, but now it's becoming more like college baseball where it's a big deal. You've got 16 really good sites and it's going to be a home crowd for whoever gets that regional site."

On if they prepared differently coming in knowing that they would face Florida early in the tournament …
"We had to get past a good Texas A&M team. We only played Florida once this year because they weren't on our SEC schedule. We saw a little bit of them way back on March 4th. We had some game film from that night and definitely the charts from the past couple years, but they have such a different team and a new look it was kind of hard to prepare for them this year since they had so many new kids in their lineup but it was one game at a time."

#1, Kayla Braud, OF

On if playing late last night affected them today …
"I don't think so just because you're ready for that. A lot of times we play on like a Friday night in SEC play and then come back and play at like 1 (o'clock), it's only a couple hours difference. That's what you grow up doing, playing tons of games a day, playing back-to-back at softball tournaments and stuff like that. It's something you're used to. In a perfect world, we could've got more sleep and stuff like that, but you can't make excuses and we didn't get done today but like (Coach) Murphy said, we're really looking forward to postseason."

On the bottom order of their lineup …
"I thought our bottom of the order today did a much better job than yesterday. They made that improvement and (Coach) Murph told them before the game that they needed to step up and they did today. They got the rally started and they came up with clutch hits. When you can turn the lineup over with runners on base, good things are going to happen and that's exactly what we did. You get people like Haylie McCleney, Molly Fichtner and Kaila Hunt up at the runner's scoring position and you know good things are going to happen."

On playing without Jackie Traina …
"We talk about that a lot. When Jackie's not pitching, we got to provide Lauren (Sewell) and Leslie (Jury) with best defense possible and the best offense possible and we didn't do that on the defensive (side) today. We gave up a couple stupid errors and things like that. Hopefully that's something we can learn from and carry into postseason as something we can fix and then we won't have that problem again. I thought Leslie pitched well enough for us to win the game, but the defense didn't help her out very much."

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