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Kentucky-Cal Postgame Quotes




May 29, 2011

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Kentucky head coach Rachel Lawson

On if pitcher Chanda Bell didn’t have her stuff today…
“No, I think she came out and got a couple outs and then we broke coverage at second base and that would have been an out there. Then I think what happened was she just didn’t adjust to the strike zone as fast as she could have, and nor did I. Then once they got the bases loaded I was confident that she could nail the pitches coming in to get the batters out. But then we didn’t really make that adjustment so that’s why we got in trouble right away. Then the double that was hit into left field; that was sort of the straw in that inning. I was confident that she could come back but then she was a little bit worried about walking the person (and so you) have to put it on the plate. When you play a good team like Cal and you have to put it on the white that’s the result that you see.”

On the strike zone varying between games…
“I wouldn’t say it was hard to adjust to. I think, first of all, that their pitcher (Jolene Henderson) did an incredible job in the second game today. I think she did a good job. She was throwing the ball hard and then her changeup really seemed to be – she was really just pulling the string on it which was something she wasn’t doing as well in the previous game. I think because she had that five-run lead she had a lot of confidence and that really helped her changeup. And then on the flipside, because we were down so much I think the hitters weren’t as comfortable in the box and they were trying to do too much so they were swinging at that pitch instead of really just tracking it. So I think the big run swing in the first inning was everything.”

On if there was any debate in maybe starting junior Rachel Riley in game three…
“No, what I was thinking going into it was; I thought Chanda (Bell) did an awesome job yesterday. Actually, going in what I thought would happen was Chanda would come in and she would throw about four good innings and then I was going to bring Rachel (Riley) in to close the game. I think it’s really hard for one pitcher to throw two games back-to-back now against a team like Cal, so I thought to put Rachel in that position and I thought what would happen was later in the game Rachel would start getting hit so the idea was coming in with Chanda and Rachel’s such an awesome closer that we would be able to close the game with her. But unfortunately we got down early so I had to bring Rachel in earlier than I wanted to.”

On the walk in the first inning on a 3-2 count that brought in a run…
“No, I don’t ever worry about that stuff (whether it was a strike or not). The things that I will debate about, obviously, is I have two very good pitchers in the dugout so you always wonder what would happen if you would have just thrown out somebody fresh and  seen what they would have done. On the flip side, they don’t have any big-game experience so that also could have been putting them in a terrible position. So ultimately, I think that the five runs were my fault and I think that’s what I will be thinking about.”

On how far the program has come and the future…
“I’m kind of a day-to-day girl, believe it or not. So I like to build, and I like to build, and I like to build. I think the future is very bright for us. First of all we have a great administration, we have a ton of support here, we have a great (athletic director), we have great fan support, so we have the pieces in place to have a great team. We have a tremendous work ethic within the program and it really started with this senior class and they’ve just handed it down. I feel good about our work ethic. We’re incredible bright so I know that those things will pay off. I think when people see these fans on TV and all that sort of stuff, I think that’s really going to help recruiting a lot. So I feel really good about the future of the program. But I feel best about the fact that this group was – nobody thought they could win. I love (Samantha) DeMartine and (Meagan) Aull, (Megan) Yocke’s OK. I know (Annie) Rowlands, for her to be able to come up with that big hit. I wanted them to go to the World Series. So far I’m the only one who’s been there and I’m tired of having the upper hand on them.”

On talking with UK athletics director Mitch Barnhart and President Lee Todd after the game in the dugout…
“The reason it’s hard is because in like a week, probably even two days, we’re going to feel pretty good about everything we’ve done, but we are girls and this is about the only time it shows is when things are over. They have a good time and whatever, but as a female – and I’ve eluded to this before – when it’s over, it’s over. So my career gets to go on so now (Megan) Yocke gets to yell at me all the time and she doesn’t have to run for it or anything like that so I know she’ll feel pretty good about that.”

Kentucky Players

#1 Rachel Riley, P, Jr.

On being called upon so early in the second game ...
I was just going to go out there any try to pitch my game and hopefully keep us in it long enough to win.”

#12 Megan Yocke, C, Sr.

On the dramatic change of events in the two games ...
“We (ticked) them off. They came out angry in the second game. We came out on fire, and we made our adjustments in the first game. They did the same thing in game three.”

On the five-run first inning for Cal ...
“It was kind of a knock in the jaw, but at the same time, we did it (come back to win) against Louisville earlier in the year on our own home field. We never really lost faith, but it was definitely a gut check.”

On if she was worried after falling behind 5-0 ...
“Not really. I knew we could come back. We have done it before. We did it against Michigan. It was a smaller deficit, but we did it. I just have a lot of faith in this team. I didn’t feel any added pressure.”

On Jolene Henderson’s performance in game two ... 
“She had a whole different swagger the second game. She was walking around like that was her ballpark. Hats off to her. She pitched really well.”

On the future of this team next year ...
“I think it is a great foundation for this team. They have a ton of returners coming back next year, so I expect nothing less than what we did this year, if not, more.”

California head coach Diane Ninemire

On the difference between the first game Sunday and the second game …
“I think it was a great game and I thought that our players really rose to the occasion. Like Jolene (Henderson) said, we had no doubt that our team could come back and win in between sessions we just needed to keep our focus and do the things that we have done all year long. Jolene came out and she threw a great game. She had her changeup working, which really kept them off balance. Then you have players like Jordan (Wallace), who have struggled throughout the year, but came through with some of the biggest hits of her career here with those hits she had to get the score up. I always tell my players that the postseason is such a wonderful opportunity because no matter how you hit during the year, it is what you do when it counts the most. So if you are going to have a great game, bring it on now.”

On how upset the California players were after the loss …
“Our players were very upset. Like Jolene said, we have not been in this position a lot this year. We have been a pretty consistent team this year. They knew that we had played poorly and we have really relied on Jolene to throw great games for us. Our hitting was not up to its standard the first game and I think everybody took that to heart and knew that we had to dig in deep and find a way to make it happen. They really responded that first inning and that really set the tone. Then we keep adding on it a little bit each inning. Even when we didn’t score, we had runners in scoring position and kept doing positive things that I think kept the momentum in our dugout. That is what we needed to do because Kentucky is a very strong team and they were not going to give up. I think we just played a great game today.”

On Jolene Henderson going into the locker room after she left the first game in the third inning …
“Well, I thought it would be best for her to get in out of the heat, get refocused, hydrate, get something to eat and get her mind on the next game. I thought that was best for the team and it worked out really well for us.”

California Players

#54 Jolene Henderson, So., P

On the difference between games one and two ...
You know, I really couldn’t tell you. I did terrible in the first game. I think Kentucky came out in the first game and really had more of a game plan for me, and I didn’t change my game plan from yesterday. I think they were more prepared for me than I was prepared for them. I went to the locker room because the coaches made me. I did not want to, but they made me. Whatever is best for the team. I re-did my hair. I don’t know why, I just had to start over. I think I came out more mentally prepared. I knew what our team wanted to do this season, and I was not going to not let that happen.”

On her change-up improving in the second game ...
It was a lot better. It was terrible yesterday. I don’t know how I got through yesterday. It was one of my best pitches. It was definitely a lot better the second game than it was the first game.”

On her best performance being in the game that mattered most ...
I came out with a strong attitude. I just knew I wasn’t going to let that happen again. I came out with a better game plan that worked for us.”

#2 Jordan Wallace, So., IF

On the importance of scoring first in game three ...
It’s super important because Kentucky is a great team. They obviously came out and scored on us, and it didn’t make us feel real great. We wanted to bring it back to them.”


 

 

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