May 31, 2004
CALIFORNIA HEAD COACH Diane Ninemire
"I thought tonight's game was really a quality championship game. I felt very proud of the way my team came out in the first inning, trying to set the tone. I thought that was a key thing for us to get on a good start. Unfortunately, we fell behind in the (fifth) inning, but my team kept fighting. I felt like during the game we had a lot of opportunities to score runs. It was unfortunate that we did not get the key hit with people in scoring position. But again, I can't be any prouder of this group of young ladies. They worked extremely hard throughout the year. They were totally focused going into this game, and my hats are off to them, because they are a great group of individuals and a great group of players, and a team. I really thank them for their efforts this year."
On her decision to start Kelly Anderson in the circle:
"I decided to go with Kelly because of yesterday's performance, and how well she was throwing. She also had experience playing in a championship game against UCLA. I was very confident in her ability to come out tonight and play well. She pitched a great game. I changed the pitchers up because I thought it might be something to throw them off guard a little bit, and keep them off-balance. Unfortunately for us, it didn't work out. I thought I made the best decision at the time."
CALIFORNIA SOPHOMORE Haley Woods
On being compared with Arizona and UCLA as softball powerhouses:
"I definitely think we're right there - to be in the national title game three years in a row. I think Cal's always been fighting and clawing and scratching to get the respect that Arizona and UCLA are handed. They have a long history of winning championships. Cal doesn't have that yet. We have one championship and we pulled together as a group after we lost that (championship) game (last year) and we know what we need to do. We worked as hard as we could this year but we're going to have to step it up to the next level. We want so badly to be treated like UCLA and Arizona are, and until we win the national title multiple times we're not going to get that respect. And we know that and we're hungry for it. And next year we're going back and we're going to be in the title game and hopefully we're going to win."
On UCLA pitcher Keira Goerl's performance:
"Keira is an amazing pitcher. She no-hit us last year. She's had a great season this year and she brought her 'A' game tonight. I think that we were able to get some hits, it was just execution. Like Coach (Ninemire) said, we weren't able to come up with the big hits at the right time and UCLA was able to do that. One swing of the bat and they tied the game. Then they got some runners on and got another base hit. We've had that a lot this year but we weren't able to transfer that over to the national title game. When you get seven hits and only score one run and the other team gets two (hits) and scores three, I guess it wasn't your turn to win."
CALIFORNIA JUNIOR Kelly Anderson
On starting in the championship game:
"It's great to have two quality pitchers for this reason. If one gets in trouble the other one can come in. I think it's great because we have an advantage over other teams."
UCLA HEAD COACH SUE ENQUIST
"Cal-Berkley was an incredible opponent. We're extremely proud it was an all-Pac-10 final. All of the Pac-10 take great pride in the competitive level that we play. I tip my cap to them. They're athletic and real competitors. Also, it's hard to package the emotion knowing this season had so many wonderful journeys. All of what we learned during the year we had to apply in this tournament. We had to believe, had to be resilient, had to be able to separate our offense and defense. This game asks your pitcher to be so unstoppable in order to be a champion. Keira (Goerl) did what she had to do today to keep us in the ballgame. I'm so extremely proud of this team because they never stopped believing and early in the tournament I could sense the energy that there was so much softball left."
"I want to recognize Keira's performance. To have Claire (Sua) end her career in such incredible fashion will be something that she will have for a lifetime. Championships also bring in new names and opportunities to be a hero. Kristen Dedmon is a testament that if you stay positive and make baby steps, which she did all year. She was someone who came early and stayed late. It's great to see that the game has paid her back with a championship and it was a collective effort."
On inserting Kristen Dedmon as a pinch hitter in the fifth inning:
"Kristen Dedmon's future is so bright. It is an incredible situation to put her in. You see when she walks to that plate that as a pitcher, you have to be smart at the plate. Kristen has put so much time on her own that I felt one swing could completely change the game. I had confidence in her at that moment. I thought she did a great job staying within herself. It took us a little bit to adjust offensively as a team. All we needed Kristen to do was move them 60 feet. We don't need a home run and she executed that beautifully. Our goal today was to out-execute. The game today asked for a lot of emotion, but all I wanted them to do was focus on executing and not get caught up in all the excitement. It's a testament to Dedmon because of all the hard work. She could go up there and be peaceful even though I know there was a lot of pressure there."
UCLA SENIOR KEIRA GOERL
On pitching back-to-back championships:
"It's amazing. Everybody's swinging behind me. Everybody stepped it up. Players clutched up. I'm pretty emotional right now. UCLA's been such a big part of my life. To go out like this is awesome and this is truly the last day to wear my uniform."
UCLA FRESHMAN KRISTEN DEDMON
On delivering the game-winning hit:
"It's incredible, but just being here is a dream come true. Being on the team and being out there with a great leader on the mound like Keira Goerl, it is just amazing. Having senior leadership with Claire Sua. I wouldn''t have gotten the chance to be a hero of the game if it hadn't of been for the two people on base. It was truly just a team effort. Everyone was behind Keira. If I hadn't been able to get that hit, I know someone else would have been able to. But it just happened to be me."
UCLA SENIOR CLAIRE SUA
On her fifth-inning game-tying solo home run:
"At that moment, I really thought that we needed to get something going whether it was that or a base hit or a bobble -- anything to get our team up and our offense going. We do feed off of each other. It was just a matter of us putting this together. I just went up there and said, `what do I have to lose up here?' It's my last game and I'm going to go out and I'm going to go for it. If I take a big whiff, oh well. In that situation, I'm just going to see it and hit it and just really trust myself up there. I was just looking to get something going."