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Missouri-Arkansas Postgame Quotes




May 9, 2013

Recap |  Box Score

Missouri Head Coach Ehren Earleywine

Opening statement …
"Just a good game. I was really happy that we got to keep Chelsea's (Thomas) pitch count down, 67 pitches, she felt great after the game. We're going to wake up tomorrow and see how she feels, but if I had to make a decision right now she would probably throw tomorrow because there is absolutely no fatigue, no pain at all."

On how important it was seeing so many extra-base hits …
"It was huge because of the pitch count. If you win 2-0 or 3-0 and hit the ball hard you aren't as happy because you have to go two more innings and that runs her pitch count up closer to 100 and then maybe you start getting in to some of those fatigue issues. The ability to hit and do it consistently for those five innings allowed her to get out of there quick and that right there is a difference maker for us. You ask the girls about the game plan against (Kimmy) Beasley and it was basically that she is a rise ball pitcher. So you're looking for something down in the zone, and you're trying to hit ground balls. And often times when you try to hit ground balls against a rise ball pitcher, you'll end up with a line drive and sometimes even a home run. I thought they did a good job of smothering that thing and staying on top of it."

On how much they learned from the last time they faced Arkansas pitcher Kimmy Beasley …
"She probably threw 200-350 pitches that weekend that she was in Columbia (Mo.). In addition, we had three days to prepare. That's a significant amount of time to prepare for a team. Generally we play a midweek doubleheader on Wednesday and then on Friday you play your conference foe so you don't get as much time to prepare so those couple extra days of preparation I think were helpful for us."

On what this means for the team in the NCAA Tournament …
"We had that conversation this morning. There is hardly anything that I hide from the team. I don't have any hidden agendas. They're adults. They know the deal just as well as we do, so I thought getting it out on the table, telling them where we're at and potentially what a couple of wins in this tournament might do for us. We're all on the same page and we're going to try to hang around here in Lexington as long as we can."


 

 

On Mackenzie Sykes … 
"It makes me look like I know what I'm doing because I actually bumped her up a spot in the batting lineup and she had a really nice day. She's a pretty good high-ball hitter and Beasley is a high-ball pitcher so it was a favorable matchup for her. You saw that pitch that Mac hit in the last inning, it was about head high and she just tomahawked it off the fence. It was a good matchup for her."

On how well they are playing right now …
"With female athletes in particular, a lot of it is just them feeling good and for whatever reason they are in a really good place right now. There is a lot of camaraderie. There is not very much drama, which is rare. They are comfortable with their places on the team, their roles. I think it's just one of those weird combinations of timing; everything has kind of aligned to where we are playing our best softball right now. Last year, going down the stretch, offensively we just hit the skids, it was one of our down peaks during the season, and so to be on that upswing right now is a really exciting thing because you have Chelsea Thomas and you put those two things together and you have a chance to do excellent things at the end of the season."

#10, Kelsea Roth, 1B

On what adjustments she made at the plate …
"I was swinging at a lot of bad pitches, so this time coming in I was looking for better pitches and I got those."

On elevating confidence after a series win at Tennessee and now winning today …
"I think this keeps us going. The Tennessee wins really got us excited and we wanted to play the same way today and we did.  Getting Chelsea (Thomas) on the mound is our main priority."

On their adjustments against Kimmy Beasley …
"We got on top of her rise-ball and hit the ball pretty square. I don't think there were very many pop-ups. I think we did a good job with that."

On the importance of the SEC Tournament …
"We are right on the edge of potentially hosting a Super Regional, so a couple big wins in this tournament could be a deciding factor. I'd like to have a Super Regional at home."

#18, Chelsea Thomas, P

On her performance …
"I felt pretty good. My drop-ball was working well and got me a lot of groundouts. I kept my pitch count low which was part of the game plan coming in, and I felt like we knew their team pretty well and that helped us a lot."

On getting 10 hits and six extra-base hits from her offense …
"If they can keep hitting like this we are going to be tough to beat down the road. I am very confident with where we are at. I like being a Tiger right now."

On how far the Tigers can go in the postseason …
"
The sky is the limit if we can keep hitting it and playing like this."

Arkansas Head Coach Mike Larabee

Opening statement …
"Obviously a very disappointing night. We have had a great season going so far as well as some really good practices. We just really did not play Razorback softball. You have to give credit where credit is due and that is to Missouri. Chelsea Thomas did a great job. She really had her drop ball working. They came out and swung the bat and made some great adjustments from the last time we played them. They beat us in all three phases. I told our team to not let this game define our season. This is icing on the cake. We did not make the tournament last year, and we will find out where we will play Sunday. We have a lot of work ahead of us. This happened for a reason to keep us humble and working hard. We need to take this frustration out on our next opponent."

On adjustments Missouri made …
"The biggest thing was that when Kimmy Beasley started she didn't get ahead of the count and their plate discipline was a lot better. They sat on some pretty good hitting pitches. When you get behind in the count you have to throw strikes and they capitalized."

On how far Missouri can go in the NCAA Tournament …
"I think they can compete for a national championship and it is up for grabs. They hit really well and played solid defense and of course they have Chelsea. She is the MVP of the SEC and one of the top four national team pitchers. They can go a long way if she brings her best stuff."

#30, Devon Wallace, UT

On why Arkansas struggled today after beating Missouri in the regular season …
"We didn't go out there and play our best, but they did. Chelsea Thomas was on tonight. She had a couple days off and she had her "A" game tonight."

On how the SEC prepares the team for the NCAA Tournament …
"It's going to help so much because you're not going to see much better pitching than what we see in this conference, and you're not going to face better hitters. I think it was a good test for our team to see where we are right now, and it shows we have some work to do going into the NCAA Tournament."

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