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Florida-Missouri Postgame Quotes




May 11, 2013

Box Score

Florida Head Coach Tim Walton

Opening Statement …
"Well, first we want to congratulate Missouri, Georgia and Tennessee for getting this far. It is a long season and we play a lot of games and there are just a lot of classy performances. Missouri has one of the best offenses that I have seen in a long time. There are a lot of great hitters in that lineup, and Chelsea Thomas is a beast. I'm proud of my players of how they competed and how they composed themselves. The celebration you saw was long overdue. The celebration on the field was more of a carryover from last week's championship to this week's championship. Commissioner Slive put on a great event and to Kentucky, Mr. (Mitch) Barnhart and the staff here as well. They probably haven't hosted a softball event in a long time and to put on an event like that through the weather and the rain it means a lot to our student-athletes. I'm proud to be the coach of this team and how they compete. I'm thankful that we got it done."

On the game plan for the game…
"I wasn't sure who we were going to face, so we didn't have one. We did not have one for (Nicole) Hudson or for (Chelsea) Thomas. I told my team before the game that no matter how many we are down or ahead to make sure you keep going and not get caught up in the score. This Missouri team has been down and scored a ton. They also have the blood in the water mentality, as they will pound you once they sense you are down. We just tried to focus on our at bats."

On Kirsti Merritt…
"It was great. The four kids who were recognized, Taylor Schwarz, Kelsey Stewart, Kirsti and Stephanie Tofft, Stephanie Tofft had a phenomenal weekend again. I'm proud of Schwarz and Tofft, they weren't recognized on the All-SEC Teams but they had great seasons for us. We wouldn't be here without those kids and many more great achievers, but proud of Lauren Haeger and Hannah Rogers, they went out there and limited a phenomenal offense and at this time, this late in the tournament I thought they did a good job."


 

 

On the celebration and the outlook on the entire SEC season …
"I would have picked us to come in seventh at the beginning of the season too to be honest with you. We really exceeded our expectations, but when you start playing together and you start seeing the mesh and you start seeing Schwarz hit the ball the way she's doing and Tofft and Stewart and Haegar and (Kelsey) Horton coming up. Everybody is just doing their job and maybe even a little bit more than their job. I think our expectations were just to get better every single game and we didn't set any goals. We didn't set goals to win anything we just talked about being able to get better and control our emotions and being able to control what we can control and all the other clichés that you use in sport psychology. At the end of the day, I think we did a really good job of focusing on the Gators and our individual performances."

#20, Kelsey Horton, OF

On her confidence …
"I think I was having some pretty good at bats this weekend. I just wasn't getting hits. It boosted my confidence, towards the end of the Georgia game, getting some hits. I felt confidence going into tonight against Mizzou and not worrying about whose pitching and just worrying about myself really helped me out tonight."

On winning the SEC tournament her senior year…
"It was just great to be able to hold that trophy with Ensley (Gammel). I've been here four years on some really good teams, and we haven't won an SEC title or an SEC tournament title yet so I'm so happy my senior year, I could go out that way."

#24, Kirsti Merritt, OF

On her team's performance through the tournament …
"It was surprising. We just came out. Coach (Walton) has been working with us on hitting. We hit almost every day. It wasn't surprising that we're all hitting so well. It was exciting that we came out here and did our thing."

On winning the SEC Tournament …
"It's a first so it was really exciting. I've never done that, so it was fun."

Missouri Head Coach Ehren Earlywine

Opening statement ...
 "I think it was pretty clear what happened. We ran out of pitching."

What he learned about his team …
"Well, I don't think we learned anything. This is our 45th game. What I like about my team is that we swing the bats really well. We faced two of the best pitchers in the country and hit them for four innings and three innings, and we hit them around the park pretty good. With a fresh Chelsea Thomas, you give me four runs, and I'll win 99 times out of 100."

On Chelsea Thomas having trouble with two games in one day …
"Absolutely. One game a day, she can do that. Two games in one day, two good teams, not so much."

#18, Chelsea Thomas, P

On how she felt before the game ...
"I wasn't feeling 100 percent after throwing one game, but I really wanted to be out there -- SEC championship game. I want the ball. Unfortunately, having two games in one day is not ideal, but I wanted to give it a try and see what I could do. I just didn't make it very far."

On how she felt in the second inning ...
"Definitely not 100 percent. I had trouble feeling my hand, so I was trying to deal with some symptoms and trying to stay healthy for postseason."

On preparation this week for next weekend's Regional ... 
"I probably won't pick up a ball until Friday, honestly. I'll try to work out and do what I can during practice without a ball. Hopefully that'll get me ready for postseason."

On her confidence level for three games in three days ...
"I'm pretty sure I'll be able to go back-to-back-to-back. Two games, having to re-warm up and playing caliber teams like Tennessee, I rev it up a little more than the average team. I'm pretty confident that I'll be good to go three games in a row."

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