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June 2, 2015

Carol Hutchins

Abby Ramirez

Sierra Romero

Haylie Wagner


Michigan 1 - Florida 0

THE MODERATOR: At this time we're joined by Michigan head coach Carol Hutchins, student-athlete Sierra Romero, student-athlete Abby Ramirez and student-athlete Haylie Wagner. Coach, general comments about the game.

COACH HUTCHINS: What a game. You know, what a game. We didn't get very many runs. But you only have to get one more than the other team. I have to tell you, when it's a 1-0 game against Florida, we played outstanding defense. My coaching buddy Sharon Drysdale, in the '70s and '80s, I said this is old school softball -- not a lot of runs scored. But it was a lot of defense. Defense starts on the mound. Haylie Wagner was just one-pitch focused, one-pitch focus, and I could not be prouder of her effort. My whole team's effort. We rebounded from last night. They got it together, our leadership got them together, and they came out here and they just played Michigan softball. Had great enthusiasm and they had great heart.


Q. Sierra, can you just talk about coming into this game, you and the rest of the leaders, what were you trying to get across to the team trying to forget last night and just get ready for tonight?
SIERRA ROMERO: Once that game was over we completely forgot about it. We put it past us. And we knew that if we scored one more time, we were just going to make sure we came out playing Michigan softball, and we did that from the get-go.

Q. Haylie, how tough was it to keep this Gator lineup to zero runs?
HAYLIE WAGNER: They're a tough lineup. They came out swinging, I knew it was going to be tough. But I just went out there attacked them, and I wasn't going to let them beat me.

Q. Haylie, after yesterday, there was a lot of emphasize on energy. How did you maintain that energy with only one run cushion?
HAYLIE WAGNER: How could I not have energy being here? I'm in OKC and I get to play for Michigan one more time, and I get to be here with my team.

Q. Carol, you talked about defense. Can you talk about Abby's contribution tonight, double play, and she also stopped that ball from going out of the infield that could have scored Haeger?
COACH HUTCHINS: We've been talking about Abby's defense all year. She's done an outstanding job at shortstop all year long. She just made the play for us. Haylie is a contact pitcher. So you've got have a good middle infield behind her, and she certainly has a great one.

Q. Coach, you have one game left to define this season. Is there an advantage to you that you've been stressing that type of mentality, taking it one pitch and one game at a time all year?
COACH HUTCHINS: I can guarantee you that one game is not going to define our season. We've been defining it all year. And you ask me what I want this team to be remembered, I want to be remembered as a great Michigan team that played for Michigan and played for each other. This team's doing that, and it's all I can ask. Everything else will take care of itself.

Q. Haylie, for you, how much of a relief was it to get Haeger to pop out late in the game, knowing you hopefully and likely weren't going to have to face her again?
HAYLIE WAGNER: I mean, I just went after her. I attacked her, and I was going to find a way to get her out. And I was going to jam her up, I was going to throw my change-up, I was going to go outside. I was going to whatever I can, and when I got her I was pumped and I was excited. That wasn't going to stop me for the rest of the game.

Q. How evenly matched are these two teams?
COACH HUTCHINS: It's the World Series, everybody's evenly matched. Some teams might be better at one thing, some teams might be better at another thing. But I think we're both very good teams, and we both have good offense. We both have good pitching. We both have good defense. And, honestly, the game will be what the game will be. If we can stay one-pitch focused we have a chance.

Q. Abby and Sierra, you played behind Haylie and you know better than anybody what she gives the team. If you could both talk about what she gives your team when she's in the circle.
SIERRA ROMERO: Well, one thing is confidence. When she stepped up on that mound today there was no doubt in my mind she was there to get the job done. And playing behind someone who is up there, you know, ready to attack, attack every batter is awesome. Just knowing that they're not going to give up, that helps your defense so much, because they have confidence in you and we just assure her every inning that we have her back.

ABBY RAMIREZ: I definitely say determination, because she went out there tonight and she attacked them and she wasn't going to let anything get in her way and that just makes everyone else feel so much more comfortable and has so much trust in her. When we trust in her, it's so much easier for us to do our part to help her out.

Q. Haylie, talk about having them behind you and also what you thought you did particularly well tonight?
HAYLIE WAGNER: I mean having my entire defense behind me. I trust and believe in them no matter what. I'm a contact pitcher, and that's true. And I know that if I just let them put it in play that my defense is going to have my back the entire time. Today I went after them. I wasn't going to let them get in my way, and I was letting the ball spin and doing what I can.

Q. Your voice is a little hoarse. The play with Sierra was, what did you make of that play at third?
COACH HUTCHINS: She's being aggressive and she's been aggressive all year for us. So when you're aggressive like that sometimes you're going to be out. I certainly didn't want to be out at third base on that play. But just the way it happened and sometimes you live and die by your philosophy.

Q. Did you think it was --
COACH HUTCHINS: I'm not the umpire.

Q. You have success with Haylie. Should we expect to see her on the mound tomorrow night?
COACH HUTCHINS: I think we will definitely do everything we can to win tomorrow night.

Q. It's a winner-take-all game tomorrow. What's going to be the mood and attitude of the team heading into tomorrow's game?
HAYLIE WAGNER: I mean, this is the last game. This is what we've been working for all year. And if we were excited today, we're going to be even more excited tomorrow and we're just going to come out play Michigan softball and we're going to have fun and attack and do what we do.

ABBY RAMIREZ: Like Haylie said, we're going to attack, we're going to go out there and not make it bigger than any other game, but also we're just going to play with a lot of heart and never give up.

SIERRA ROMERO: Like what they said just it's another game. If we go out there and play Michigan softball we'll be just fine.

Q. Sierra, you mentioned that last night you forgot about last night's game. How tough is it the way it ended with you on third base, a chance to score, you didn't go. Was it hard to get to sleep? Did you beat yourself up or how do you get rid of that so quickly?
SIERRA ROMERO: We weren't out of it. You know, everyone can have their opinion whether I should have gone or not, but I was the only one in that game at that moment. I made a decision I made. I don't think it affected us. We won today, right?

Q. Haylie, you call your own game and now because you can do that, how does that affect momentum in terms of the flow you can get going on? Do you start going faster because of that, do you know?
HAYLIE WAGNER: I don't think I go any faster. It gives me time to not get distracted by the fans or anything else. I have to think about what pitch I want to throw next. And sometimes Jen Brundage, she gives Lauren a sign what she thinks I should throw, and I decide if I want to throw it or not. I just go out there and keep my rhythm and go after them.

Q. How long have you been doing that?
COACH HUTCHINS: Since the Minnesota series.

Q. Players, what was different in your guys' approach and mentality for today's game versus how before you were feeling before yesterday's Game 1?
SIERRA ROMERO: It started with C-Lo. The second she got in the box, she came out swinging and that's what we needed. We needed to attack from the get-go, and that's what we did. And even if it didn't go our way we were just going to keep taking our hacks, because once we stop swinging we can't do anything.

ABBY RAMIREZ: I think we always prepare the same. We never prepare any differently. But I think today we just had a lot more energy from the get-go, and we didn't wait and we didn't hold back at all. So I think we just like put it all out there from the beginning.

HAYLIE WAGNER: I think they said it all. It starts with the first pitch, and we go out there and we attack and our energy was up, and C-Lo got us going with the bats, and she's the spark of our team. She's up there and ready to go, and it just carries on with our team.

Q. Sierra, for those of us that haven't seen you play live until you got here tell us the story behind your eye black. It's fairly pronounced?
SIERRA ROMERO: I don't even know. I think it looks cool. I don't know. I am very superstitious. You can ask Megan about this. Whatever type eye black she does, whether it's two stripes or three stripes or none, I do whatever she does. It's just how I am and what I'll continue to do.

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