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Kentucky-Marshall Postgame Quotes




May 17, 2013

Recap |  Box Score

Kentucky 2 Marshall 1
Postgame Quotes
John Cropp Stadium – Lexington, Ky.
May 17, 2013

Kentucky Head Coach Rachel Lawson
Opening Statement…
“You know the cool thing about today’s game is that what you don’t see every day that they go through. Nikki at the beginning of the year, she would either DH or she wouldn’t play. I always trusted her and loved her as a hitter and that’s why I recruited her as an RBI girl, but she drove me crazy at third base. I remember one practice, I was talking to her and I looked at her and I’m like, ‘Nikki, you’ve got to make that and play’ and she likes, ‘What?’ and I’m like, ‘You’ve got to make that play. You make that play and you’re going to be an everyday starter’. She’s like, ‘That’s all I have to do?’  and I’m like, ‘Yeah. You need to make that play’ and she’s like, ‘Okay’. Since then, she’s been making the plays. As a coach it was really cool for me to see her, not just that last catch she, but she made a lot of catches in that game. To see how far she’s come in a short amount of time has been really something special. Then I also think about Nunley in the fall. I’d always yell at her. She’s got those skinny little legs out there and we would yell at her to run and do all that stuff. I knew that in order for a pitcher to sustain through the season, they have to have really strong legs.  I didn’t know how many innings she was going to have to pitch for us. I knew she would have to be strong for us though. It’s nice to see all their hard work pay off in the postseason and win their first game.”

On Nikki Sagermann’s improvements…
“She wasn’t making any of them. The transition from high school to college is night and day. The speed of the game at our level is completely different. The speed of the game at this regional is completely different than the speed of the game at a lot of conference levels. Where Nikki comes from all you have to do is hit the ball over the fence and you’re trailing around and it’s okay, and then you just roll out to defense. We had to really teach her that defense was a priority because the pitchers don’t get the strike outs that they do at the travel ball level. Once she sort of understood that, she started to play the game a lot faster. Then she really adapted the motto that it’s her responsibility to make outs and it’s not just the pitcher’s responsibility, but the defense needs to make outs for them so that we can keep the runs down and win the game.”

On how competitive this Regional will be …
“Every team here is outstanding. Virginia Tech was ranked throughout the first half of the season. I think they had some injuries to some pitchers that slowed them down a little bit. They seem to be back on top. They hit the ball very hard, very well. Notre Dame won the Big East regular season and the top half of the Big East is outstanding. They are a very good team. They’re well balanced, they hit the ball hard, they have good pitching and they’re fast. With Marshall, you could argue that (Andi) Williamson is one of the best pitchers in the country. Every team does something very well and that makes this Regional difficult, but it also makes this Regional special.

On looking ahead to Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech …
“First of all, Virginia Tech has three very good pitchers so we’re going to have to figure out how to have good plan every time we get into the box. We’re not sure who we are going to face. That’s one challenge in and of itself. Also their leadoff batter is very good and the middle of their order is very strong. We are going to have to figure out how shut them down and make some plays.”

Kentucky 3B #77 Nikki Sagermann
On hitting the game-winner…
“It was a lot of fun. I was happy to be up to bat actually because I wanted to redeem myself for the last at-bat so getting that big hit felt pretty good.”

On what she was thinking after two hitters were walked in front of her…
“I was just thinking get a sacrifice fly because if they catch it they can run home easily. Coach told me to get behind the ball and get the ball on the barrel and I got a hit so that was better.”

Kentucky P #33 Kelsey Nunley
On the nerves of playing in the NCAA Tournament…
“Well I wasn’t as nervous as I was in the SEC tournament, but I was pretty nervous. I am always nervous before a start, and if I am not nervous I would be worried.”

On advantages of facing a regular season opponent in the NCAA Tournament…
“I felt like the first game we played them we really didn’t do our best. We didn’t execute when we needed to, so getting this win was really big for us.”

Marshall Head Coach Shonda Stanton
Opening Statement…
“First, hats off to the University of Kentucky and Mitch Barnhart for what he has done here. It is a beautiful facility. John Cropp Field is amazing and he is well deserving of it. Congrats to Rachel Lawson and what she has done to host the first regional. She has also made them relevant in the SEC. Our kids understood that we competed well, but we are here to win it. That’s what I love about my group. They expect to do big things. Andi Williamson pitched a great game, but we weren’t able to get the run support for her. She did a great job competing against a quality SEC team.”

On tonight’s game and how her team competed …
“Winners adjust and I tell my team that all the time. People say that it is a game of failure, but we say that it is a game of contrast. There are good moments, bad moments, misplayed moments, and great moments but you have to adjust to win. Your character is revealed through adversity. I felt my kids handled everything that was thrown at them. I’m so impressed with our fan base. It was a great atmosphere and very energetic. It is what you want for a NCAA game. It was definitely a championship type atmosphere. Both teams competed hard, and look how excited Kentucky was when they won it. We expected to play hard and fight. I felt they did that from the first pitch to the last pitch. I’m very proud of them, but we are here to win games. Tomorrow we are just trying to survive and advance.”

On Marshall defense…
“Bri Hope dives and makes a great play up the middle. She flips two, but we don’t get her. She was aware and threw the runner out at home. That shows that we were plugged in and ready. I felt we could have made some more plays, but we made the plays when we needed them. We just came up short. I’m proud of this group, but we need to be prepared for tomorrow. You are only as good as your next pitch. We need to be forward thinking and get after it tomorrow.”

On what it means to them to play in their first NCAA game…
“The only thing that has done is legitimized what we have already known. It has also put a magnifying glass on what we have always believed that we had. We have had some spectacular seasons were we have gone 20-4. In my 14 years, we have lost three conference championship games. We have had a four-time All-American. My associate coach was a seven-year veteran in the NPF. Her sister was drafted as well. We have had some quality players. They are great student athletes and role models. This has just shown what Herd Nation has already known. We are one of the best 64 teams right now and we are competing. For me, it just legitimizes what we have already known.”

Marshall Senior P #14 Andi Williamson
On playing in the first postseason game in program history …
“It was just a great experience, great opportunity but we’re not here to play in it, we’re here to win. We have to forget about today’s game and move on to tomorrow.”

On the ups and downs of the game …
“That’s part of the game, like I said, you have to let go of the last pitch and whatever happened in the past and move on from it. You can’t dwell on it because then it will just affect the future.”

On the atmosphere …
“It was a great experience but honestly when I’m in the zone I don’t even hear or see whats going on. I’m just so thankful that we have this fan base to come and support us. IT just shows what kind of community we have in Huntington (W. Va.).

On the amount of Marshall fans …
“It was great; it’s awesome to see how many supporters we have. I’m just so thankful that they believe in us that much and hopefully that many come back tomorrow.”

No. 21 Kaelynn Greene
On the excitement of scoring Marshall’s first postseason run …
“Yeah, most definitely, it was really exciting. It was awesome how we did it, we did it as a team too. I don’t know; it was awesome.”


 

 

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