May 28, 2011
Postgame press conference: California
California Head Coach Diane Ninemire
On her team's overall performance, and what she expects tomorrow
"Tomorrow I think we have to come out with the same intensity that we came out with today. We can't determine who is going to pitch tomorrow for Kentucky. All we can control is what we can do on the field. We have to come out tomorrow and play our style."
On shutting down the Kentucky offense
"Kentucky is a great offensive team when you look at their numbers. We have faced a lot of teams like that this year. But, what I always say to people is that you can take stats and throw them out the window, because when you get to the postseason, it's the team that comes out and is focused. Jolene (Henderson) threw a great game today."
On Jolene Henderson ability to shut down UK's hitters
"Well I think all great pitchers can do that. They make big batting averages look small some days. Jolene (Henderson) threw a great game today, and she kept (Kentucky) off-balance. Kentucky has a great hitting club, and we have to come out tomorrow with the same intensity we had today."
Sophomore Pitcher Jolene Henderson
On her fast-pitching style
"Sometimes softball takes too long. I don't like to wait. I just like to throw fast and hard."
On if facing Kentucky last year affected her pitching today
"I think the name on the jersey is the same, but I think teams change so much from season to postseason. I don't really remember playing them last season, and I don't think it had an impact."
On the atmosphere at the UK Softball Complex
"I think we played in Arizona, and they really had a lot of fans. (UK) fans are really loud, and they all talk in unison. They had some cheers going on, and you have our fans too. It was cool."
Junior centerfielder Frani Echavarria
On her home run
"In my first at-bat, I was a little anxious, and a little nervous like anyone would be. I think I hit her riseball, and then the next at-bat, I just wanted to get on base. I was looking for that one pitch. All it takes is one swing. I'm not a home run hitter, but I make good contact, so I just hit my pitch, and I got it out."
On the atmosphere at the UK Softball Complex
"I have never been to the World Series, but I would imagine this would be a close second. It definitely pumped us up. I think it's a great atmosphere to play in."
On what to expect tomorrow
"I think both pitchers did a really good job today. I am definitely thinking that both teams are going to come out strong tomorrow."
Postgame press conference: Kentucky
Kentucky Head Coach Rachel Lawson
On who will pitch the game tomorrow
"I don't have anyone in mind. I will tell you that I thought that Chanda (Bell) did an exceptional job. The fact that Cal is the second-place team in the Pac-10 and second to only Arizona State (says a lot). She basically shut them down. I am going to wake up tomorrow morning and see how she feels. Honestly, we feel very comfortable with (Rachel) Riley and I think that Riley can come in and keep us in the game. I also feel equally comfortable with (Ellen) Weaver and (Lauren) Cumbess. We will see how she (Bell) feels. We are going to have to use more than one pitcher to get through the entire day tomorrow so the order that I use them in is kind of irrelevant. It's more if I can do a good enough job game planning to keep us in the game."
On what makes Jolene Henderson so difficult to hit
"She is a lot more mature this year and I think that she is great. She does so well and it is not so much that she quick pitches, which we haven't seen a pitcher like that yet, but she changes her motion throughout the game, throughout the inning and throughout the batter. That was something that we were having a hard time adjusting to timing wise and have not seen yet this year. We are going to prepare for that and she has definitely been able to keep people off balance. On the flip side, we hit a lot of line drives that were shots and I think we can feel pretty good about that. But, like I told them before, she does not give up many homeruns so we are going to have to string some hits together to try to score. Overall, it was a good game and a fast game. Both teams did OK. I think that defensively we were a little tight and we can come out a little better. In the end, Chanda shut them down and those mistakes that we made in the field, even though they were called hits, should have been fielded. She was able to get us out of it so I feel pretty good about tomorrow."
On the atmosphere
"It's awesome. There is nothing better than Kentucky fans. We go to all the other sporting events and we love it and that is part of our team culture since we have gotten here. We go to all of the football games and all of the basketball games, all the soccer games and volleyball is great here and so is women's basketball. Kentucky fans will come out and it is nice that we have been able to play so well all season so we finally get them to notice us. Hopefully, we will be able to go on a 26-year run like Cal."
On if the atmosphere affected the team any
"No, I don't think that it did. We are always leaning back to the question about how loose we are. We always play that way. That is how we practice and how we do everything. I think that the crowd was great. I think that it helped us. If anything, I think that it helped us in the situations where we did make a mistake and they had runners on and I think the crowd really helped Chanda stay in the game and helped put pressure on their hitters. Actually, I think the crowd helped keep the score down to 1-0, which really helped give us a chance to win. The crowd was a big plus for us today."
On how you approach the game tomorrow
"We will warm-up the same and do our normal routine and stuff like that. We are going to have to watch the film and check out what pitches she threw that we had problems with and got us out, player-by-player. Then we will figure out how to adjust to the different timing that their pitcher does. Like I said, she is great and it's going to take an exceptional effort to beat her. If we can figure out how to get on her and string some hits together, I am confident that they would probably use her all day. Hopefully, we can figure her out throughout the two-game set."
On how much sleep she will get tonight
"A lot less than four hours. My thing is that, No. 1, I want to make sure that I put my pitchers in a situation to win. I don't like to make mistakes so anytime that they get a hit I feel like that is my fault. I will go back and make sure that does not happen again. Even when they make hard contact and we catch it, I believe that I have to take a lot of responsibility for that because it is my decision. I have got to work hard and make sure that doesn't happen again and give us a chance to win."
On the home run pitch
"I think that the person that called the pitch shouldn't have called it. She clearly could keep her hands up and got it out of the park so I think I should take responsibility for that."
Junior pitcher Chanda Bell
On her overall thoughts on the day
"Overall, I felt pretty strong and thought that it was a good day for me out there. I had one bad pitch and it is kind of upsetting that one bad pitch can change the whole game, but other than that I felt pretty good out there."
On what happened in that one pitch
"It was either that I slowed it down or didn't get the right spin on it that I needed. It was a high pitch so if it lacked speed it was going to be gone."
Senior catcher Meagan Yocke
On what made Cal's Jolene Henderson so unhittable today
"She kind of quick pitches. It definitely took our hitters awhile to get used to how fast she was getting back on the mound and throwing. Unless we had our timing down, it was difficult to get set."
On how frustrating it was to not be able to make good contact
"It gets frustrating, but we have been there before and we bounce back. Look at the Michigan game. We had four total hits and then were able to come back and that is what is going to have to happen tomorrow. I think that our team will make the adjustments tomorrow and come back and get the win."
On what she will take into tomorrow's elimination game
"I know that I personally told the team to take everything good that we did today into tomorrow because they have to pitch (Jolene) Henderson again. She pitched so well and I am pretty sure that she is their ace and she is good. We need to take every little thing that we did today and take it into tomorrow. If we don't then it is like starting fresh again."
On the crowd and the atmosphere
"It was fun. It was crazy. We were in the bullpen and the rest of the team came out from hitting and everyone started cheering. Chanda (Bell) and I just smiled and said, `This is insane.' The cool thing is about it, I think, is that Cal has no idea what this feels like for us. They are probably used to playing in big atmospheres. I have seen their stadium and I'm sure they fill it up all the time. It's a neat thing and one that all of us are trying to take in and enjoy."