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May 30, 2015

Morgan Estell

Branndi Melero

Clint Myers

Carlee Wallace


Auburn 11 - UCLA 10

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by Auburn University head coach Clint Myers, student-athlete Carlee Wallace and student-athlete Branndi Melero. Coach, opening statements.

COACH MYERS: It was a long game. There's so many things that could be said but I'm extremely proud of the fight. And they never quit. We beat a very, very talented well-coached team from UCLA. But it was like these kids were not going to be denied. They came here for a reason. They came here to win. We talked about it earlier. By golly, they are. I'm very proud of them. Let's go for questions.

THE MODERATOR: Open it up for questions.

Q. Was this sort of an untypical type of game for you guys, the fact that there were some errors on the field, base running errors, but you still found a way to win the game?
COACH MYERS: Well put. Yes. Our strength has been our defense and our pitching has really pitched well. And we were a little shaky out there. And one of the things we pride ourselves on is our base running. When it came down to it, this team figured out a way to win. And like Corey (Myers) says all the time, you just have to be one run better. And tonight we were. It wasn't pretty. But it's still a win and we're coming back to play tomorrow.

Q. Branndi, you guys played 17 innings today. You're going to have to play two games tomorrow to advance. Do you guys have enough left to finish this out?
BRANNDI MELERO: Yes, sir. We prepared for this stuff in the fall. And we worked very hard, and we ran a lot to play long games like this. And I feel like we always play long games. Two games ain't nothing.

Q. Morgan, when you're in that situation with the bases loaded and every competitor there wants to get that game-winning hit, to have that walk-off, how much patience do you need to, know she's been having control issues, to just sit it out and wait and know that a walk is as good as a hit at that point?
MORGAN ESTELL: I don't think when I got up there, it wasn't the situation I was worried about. All I was worried about was getting a good pitch and drive the ball down, hit a ground ball. Never got a pitch to do that. So, I mean, it was hard to be patient because like you said, you want to get up there and hit but the walk is as good as a hit at that point.

Q. All three of you, they scored five runnings in the third inning there and they've got all the momentum. I saw you all meet with the coach during that time. Just talk about how you felt at that point and if you were shaken by that at all.
BRANNDI MELERO: A little bit because I accidentally whacked Morgan (Estell) in the nose trying to tell her to come talk to Coach. But all he told us was all we need is outs. Just go out there and get outs. And I feel like we did just that.

Q. Talk about coming back the way you did scoring six runs.
MORGAN ESTELL: I was never worried because we like to do that. I don't know why we like to do that. But we like a challenge and it just takes one quality at-bat after another. You can't get up there and swing for the fence and nobody on base. That's not going to help us. It just takes walks, hit by pitch, bunt, hit, anything.

CARLEE WALLACE: This team wants to fight for sure. Doesn't matter -- we tend to do better when our back's against the wall. It would be better for coach and his health if we didn't do that, but that's just the way the team is wired. When there's a call, we answer. And I think that's the best part about this team.

Q. You guys have been in these games before, these wild games, Lafayette. Does that factor into these kind of moments? Are you used to this kind of feel?
CARLEE WALLACE: To me, it's just another day at the office. I mean, I know that the emotions may run high, but we have a great coaching staff that has taught us how to control our emotions, control the situation, stay in the moment. So for me, I just think we take it one pitch at a time, one inning at a time, and I think it doesn't affect us at all. I think we're very well trained in that aspect.

BRANNDI MELERO: I agree with what she just said.

Q. Clint, this team, this is the first time ever been to the College World Series and you get down by five, then you have the home run in the seventh inning. What does it say about the maturity of this team that they were able to keep coming back, even though they don't have any experience here in this sort of setting?
COACH MYERS: It does say that they are maturing. And they're maturing very quickly. You saw the determination. You saw the grit that they had. They grinded it out. We've been here since 9:00 this morning. And it's 13 hours. And I don't know about them, but I'm damn tired. And to go out there and perform, I didn't hear one person bitch or moan about being tired. The only thing they talked about was, hey, we gotta win, we gotta win. So I think that the maturity level is happening at an accelerated rate. The first game, second game we really said we didn't have some experience. But you look at the quality of games that we've played today alone, I mean, I think that they're ready. I mean, tomorrow's another day and we're going to be playing another quality team, but there's nothing about this team that surprises me anymore, because they are -- they're here to win.

Q. Have you ever been in a game like this before? And if not, I guess where does this rank at least as far as some of your more dramatic games that you've played in?
MORGAN ESTELL: I think this is the most dramatic I've ever been in, just because of we're at the Women's College World Series. There's games that we were down by five against Alabama and down by five against ULL with two outs and came back and tied it. So it's up there with those. But for me, by far, the most emotionally and physically draining.

BRANNDI MELERO: It was a very intense game. But like Morgan (Estell) said before, for some reason, we like to play these type of games. But just going into it, maybe tomorrow we can score our runs and then play seven innings and then that be it and then move on to the next.

CARLEE WALLACE: I would definitely say being a freshman, I've never experienced anything like this before. So I think it's been an awesome ride so far, and it's just been an honor to be part of this. And I think that this is definitely the most dramatic game I've been a part of so far.

Q. Branndi, could you talk about your home run? And, Morgan, could you talk about finally getting to play the Gators?
BRANNDI MELERO: I mean, the coach preaches it all the time, the home run is a byproduct of a good swing and a good pitch, and I feel I did exactly that. It's the situation that I got put in. I wasn't going up there looking for a home run. Just barrelling something, continue to get base hits, move people over as I've been doing the whole game. So the fact that it happened, it's just a bonus.

MORGAN ESTELL: They're a great team, but we're just going to focus on playing the game and just do what we can do, control what we can control, and then let the outcome dictate if we play a second game.

Q. Carlee, did you eat your Wheaties today? Because you just had a game that -- whatever you ate today, are you going to eat it again tomorrow?
CARLEE WALLACE: I think I'll stick with whatever I did today. I will.

Q. Was there a good feeling today? Did you see the ball well? Talk about your day today because it's probably one of the best you've had this season.
CARLEE WALLACE: I think I kind of threw out the window all the things I can't control and just go out there and let's play some ball. Really, there's nothing that we have to lose. There's nothing we have to prove, just go out there and play some ball and have some fun, because that's what it is. It's a game.

Q. Branndi, I'm curious. It's funny, as this game was going on, the media were like, oh, wow, that's going to be the big play. And you had that home run. That was a pretty big moment. It's kind of forgotten. This could have been your last -- I think you had a two-run single earlier, walked three times. This could have been your last game. So it's a cliche question, but just how great does it feel to know that you went out guns ablazing tonight and really helped your team persevere?
BRANNDI MELERO: I'm just going out there playing like it's my last game because it could be any minute. But like you said, it's forgotten. And I'm happy that my teammates behind me came up and got big hits. Because it was obvious they weren't going to throw to me again. So the fact that I can have 25 girls behind me that can go in and get the job done is exactly what I want and exactly the type of team I want to be on.

Q. In that situation, do you feel you're pressing or you're totally calm?
BRANNDI MELERO: I'm not pressed at all. I feel like I've been the most confident I've been all year, being here. It's nothing new to me. I've been on this field before. But like I said, the fact that it could be my last game is probably what's in my head. But it's not going to press me or it's not going to stress me at all. Just makes me want to do better.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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