Kentucky 6 Virginia Tech 2 - Game 3 Postgame Quotes John Cropp Stadium - Lexington, Ky. May 18, 2013
Kentucky Head Coach Rachel Lawson Opening statement ... "For today's game I thought the grounds crew and umpires did a good job in the middle of the game. The game itself started out pretty fast paced. I thought they did a good job making the decision in the rain really quickly. They put the tarp on fast and got it off fast so neither team was at a major disadvantage. They were pitching and that would have hurt them. I wouldn't have liked to do that. I want to compliment them for making a good decision. I know it was just a small delay, but across the country I don't think anyone handles a tournament better than the people who made the decision today. Virginia Tech is a very good team. They swing the bats hard, they have great pitching and their pitchers give you a lot of different looks. Overall I was really pleased that our offense was able to adjust to the different looks that they got today at the plate."
On winning and not having to play two games today ... "It's huge because today with the athletes being bigger, faster and stronger they also get worn down quicker. I don't know that people understand that. The additional games put a wear and tear on your body, specifically the pitchers and catchers, but also everybody. It has been a long season. Any time you can take a little bit of a break that's huge especially in the postseason. It also helps our pitching situation out quite a bit. I feel confident with both Kelsey (Nunley) and (Lauren) Cumbess going in there, and then Katie Henderson has given us some really good innings. With that said Kelsey has won so many games for us, it would be nice to be able to see her finish the (Regional) tomorrow. To have a little bit of rest helps us do that."
On the how the UK offense has stepped up the past two games ... "I think softball at this level is becoming a pitcher's and hitter's game. I think defense has to keep you in it, but the best teams that advance have great offensive performances. The fact that we came out last night and hit the ball hard against such a good pitcher, and then today to be able to have so many different looks, to be able to hit a couple home runs and hit the ball hard is encouraging as we move forward. We have had stretches all year. We wouldn't have as many wins as we do now if we didn't have offense. We've gotten production from a number of different people. I think the last two days we have gotten back to that. I believe the older girls have stepped up, done a good job and because of that it has taken a lot of pressure off of the freshman."
On the recruiting process with Kelsey Nunley ... "I was at a tournament in the middle of Tennessee. I went to see a different pitcher that I had heard was good, and she certainly was good, but on the other side I saw this country girl. A funny looking kid with a face mask on. She mowed over a really, really good team. From there I had not seen someone her age in this area that had such tight spin on multiple pitches. Right there I knew that she would be a big time pitcher. I started to follow her career and found out she was very competitive and exactly what we wanted here at Kentucky."
Kentucky P #33 Kelsey Nunley On her performance... "I was just confident in myself and my defense was really behind me. We also had a lot of hits and a lot of runs, so the more runs, the more confidence the pitcher has. I wouldn't have had a no-hitter without my defense behind me. (Lawson corrects her on it being a one-hitter.) One hit, we won, it doesn't matter."
On pitching eight innings last night and playing the first game today... "I'm not going to say it was easy, but you've just got to be strong and confident in yourself that you can go out there and do it and just go out there and fight."
On the difference in having a lead versus pitching in a tie game like Friday night... "I am more confident in myself when we have runs. That helps."
On the ball that was ruled an error... "It was just bouncy and decently hard, and I guess she just misplayed it a little bit. They made good contact."
Kentucky 2B #11 Krystal Smith On her success at the plate... "I had a lot of guidance from my coaches. We have been practicing all week on the pitches we were going to be expected to see. So I went up there with a lot of confidence in my swing and I just had to make sure I picked the right pitch to drive."
On the pitch that she homered on... "I like the inside pitch, the low inside pitch once you get barrel on it, it feels like you are swinging air once you get it through the ball."
On being more relaxed Saturday after the first game Friday night... "Yeah most definitely. I wouldn't say more relaxed, I think we just came out knowing this is our time and our stadium and we just have to make sure we own it. So we knew Virginia Tech was going to come out hard just like any other team we would face in the other dugout would come out hard against us, and we just came and played our game."
On her homerun... "It felt great, and the good thing about our stadium is that we get a lot of days to practice on our field driving it over the wall. Coach Lawson will not be satisfied with just hitting it, so we have to make sure it goes over and clears it pretty far."
Virginia Tech Head Coach Scot Thomas Opening statement ... "Hey, we didn't get it done today and Kentucky certainly did. It's one of those deals where we made some mistakes, and they took advantage of them. That's what good teams do. We can't do that and survive, that's for sure. Hats off to them. It was a game where they took advantage of us and we didn't handle things well. If we are going to stay here and play tomorrow, we need to do a better job of that."
On the effectiveness of Kelsey Nunley ... "You know, we really kind of anticipated her to throw a little bit wilder. She walks a lot and hits a lot of batters. She was more effective, stayed in the zone better. I'm not really sure. I thought we would make better adjustments towards the end, and we didn't seem to make any adjustments. Hats off to her, she got the job done.
Virginia Tech SS #2 Bkaye Smith On UK pitcher Kelsey Nunley and how she was so effective... "She kept the ball low in the zone. We were overly aggressive sometimes and then other times not aggressive at all. We need to come back tonight and do our thing."
On what has to change for game 2... "Our mentality has to change. We need to come out strong and aggressive that isn't afraid, and won't back down."
On the lone hit for Virginia Tech... "I just hit it and ran as hard as I could."
Virginia Tech P #25 Kelly Heinz On playing two games in one day... "We play double headers all the time in the regular season. We need to treat every game like it is a normal game. As long as we come out aggressive and ready to play we will be fine."
On the homeruns she allowed... "Every homerun that you give up you always want the pitch back. It happens, but of course I want them back. They weren't bad pitches, but could have been located better."