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June 6, 2016

Emily Carosone

Lexi Davis

Clint Myers

Jade Rhodes

Carlee Wallace

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma - 3, Auburn - 2

THE MODERATOR: Good evening. At this time we have Auburn on the dais. Coach, general comments about the game?

CLINT MYERS: Well, I think it was a heck of a game. I mean, I'm very proud of the Auburn softball team. I'm very proud of Lexi Davis. I mean, there was some talk about why she was pitching, and I think you saw why she pitched. She gave up seven hits. Five never left the infield. If we make a play at first base, we win that ballgame. She pitched well enough to win, we just didn't support her defensively or offensively.

This is a good ballclub. You're going to see us come out fighting tomorrow. Nobody is hanging their heads. We're excited to be here. We've been in this spot against one heck of a good team called the University of Arizona. You've got to win two. You can pick the first two, you can pick the first and last; we chose to pick the last two. That's all it is. But it is just that way. We still believe, and nothing has changed. You've got to win two games, and you're going to see Auburn coming out and -- I can't say enough about Corey's plan, the pitches that he called, keeping them off balance in and out, and again, a couple little mistakes, if we don't hesitate at third, we're safe at the plate, we all might be still out there playing. You never know.

So I mean, there's just a lot of things that were really good that happened to us tonight, so we're not hanging our heads. We're ready for tomorrow night.

Q. Lexi, Sydney Romero has become increasingly difficult to get out in this World Series. Talk about the challenge of facing her.
LEXI DAVIS: Yeah, I mean, we've been watching her the whole series, and I think that obviously she's a great hitter. I made one bad pitch that she took advantage of, and that's -- we unfortunately had two on base, and I think that I wish I could have made that bunt play, and if I didn't get that walk on base, then it would have been a whole different story. Just whenever I get back out there, if I get the chance, then we'll clean up those errors and we'll get it back on base.

Q. Emily, the coaching staff continually points to that super regional series against Arizona. What did you learn and what can you take away from backs against the wall, coming back and needing to win?
EMILY CAROSONE: We've been against the wall plenty of times. We know how to handle it, like Coach said. It's not over. The season is not over yet. We still have a game to play with and two more to win. We know what we need to do. They have one pitcher, and in the last inning you could see we were on her. I don't think the next two games will take as long to score some runs for our pitchers, so I think we're better off. It was a warm-up.

Q. Jade, Emily just kind of touched on it a little bit, but do you feel like you've figured out Paige Parker a little bit in that last inning?
JADE RHODES: I mean, it's all about going up there and hitting the ball. You can't really -- I don't really have much to say because we still have two more games. We've been here before, so just play our game, play Auburn softball, and we're guaranteed to win.

Q. Lexi, what was the conversation today when they told you that you were going to be starting, and obviously that had to be very exciting for you because I know you've been chomping at the bit to get back out there.
LEXI DAVIS: Well, he pulled me into our meeting room around, gosh, about 9:00 this morning and told me that I was going to be starting, and I was ecstatic. I've been ready all season. I've been down in the bullpen throwing. I know they've had a plan. It's not exactly what my plan has been this whole season, but I've taken on a different role and just tried to do my job whenever I'm needed. So he called me in there, and confidence was the key, and that's what I tried to go out there and exude. That's all I could ask for was a second chance, and I hope I did the best I could.

Q. Carlee, seemed like a lot of pop-ups tonight. How frustrating was that at the plate and what are you planning on doing differently tomorrow?
CARLEE WALLACE: I'm not worried about it. I mean, it's just a game of inches, so I mean, I wasn't missing it by much. Pop-up is a pop-up, and I've kind of popped up quite a bit and a little bit more than I would like to, but I think last at-bat I tried to put together a really team-oriented at-bat and not be selfish with the pitches. I was getting a little bit bigger than my swing normally is, and I think that's the only thing I need to control. My pitch selection was good, but I just need to kind of shorten my swing a little bit, and I kind of got excited when I got good pitches to hit and kind of lifted up a little bit. As long as I can calm it down a little bit and shorten up my swing, I think we'll be fine. I think that's the general consensus of the team, what we need to do.

Q. Clint, could you talk about what exactly what happened on the play at the plate? You said she hesitated?
CLINT MYERS: Right, it's the same play that happened with Morgan scoring. The freshmen know their roles, and we brought the smartest, fastest runner we had available who's really done a good job, and she made a mistake. I mean, it's -- you've heard here, it's a game of inches. There was a hesitation. Hesitation cost her being out at the plate. I mean, Courtney hit the crap out of it. I mean, they were real lucky that first baseman made a heck of a play just keeping it in front of her. Six inches or a foot either way that's down the line, we score two, Courtney is on second and we're ahead and they're going to have to come back in the seventh to beat us.

So I mean, this was a good game for us. We did everything right. We just got to do a little bit of the little things better, and that's our plan for tomorrow.

Q. Their coach said she wouldn't commit that Parker was starting tomorrow. She said they had other pitchers that were ready. Is that a possibility that you take into account?
CLINT MYERS: All I know is they're going to have somebody in the circle, and that's not going to change our mindset or what we have to do. I mean, we've got to be able to go out there and hit quality pitches and put good swings on them like Carlee was just talking about. We just missed a lot of balls. You look at Jade sitting next to me, I mean, she just missed the time before, but she didn't miss the last time. I mean, that was a hell of a swing, and she was -- it was low effort, great contact, took a line drive out in center field. We have great capabilities on this team, and it's unfortunate that we were on the losing side because I thought we played pretty well. I know we pitched very well. We hit some balls -- even our outs, some of them were hit quite hard.

Q. Carlee, why did you start this crazy workout program that you did in the offseason?
CARLEE WALLACE: I had done CrossFit pretty much since I was in middle school. My parents were always huge -- because I'm small to be as strong as I possibly can be, and that was basically going to be my shot when I got to college to keep up with the girls that are like a foot taller than me. So I've always kind of done it.

But my dad works with the sheriff's department, so he kind of knew Chappy, my trainer, that way, and it's really close to my house, like down the street. So I don't know, I just kind of went there and talked to him, and he was really stoked about training me when I told him that I could have a shot at winning a national championship. So that's kind of how I ended up there.

Q. And what was the hardest thing that he had you do?
CARLEE WALLACE: We condition every day, so it's -- I mean, there's a lot of crazy things that you do in CrossFit. Probably the hardest thing would be to carry him on my back up a hill. That's the hardest part because usually we do that after the workout, so when my legs are fatigued, that was him showing me if my heart and mind tell me I can do it, that's exactly how far I can go. He said, enjoy the numbness that you're feeling right now and just go, so it's kind of been like how I've been trying to, I guess, make my entire like softball career, like kind of center it around exactly what he told me, that feeling.

Q. Coach, how does she play bigger than she is behind the plate?
CLINT MYERS: How does she play bigger?

CARLEE WALLACE: Don't ask that question.

CLINT MYERS: Again, she's a great athlete that works very hard at her craft. Though she stands 3 foot 2, I don't know, umpires love her because of the fact that -- they're a little worried because she's given a high target and she's standing on her toes. No, she just does a great job. She's got a big heart. She competes. When we first saw her when we were at Arizona State, she was, if you can believe this, shorter than she is now. She has grown. But again, the biggest thing that you noticed about her was the fight. She is a competitor.

Q. Just want to ask, first off, you've had some good defenses in the past. What does it take or what kind of hesitation can that put on runners on the base path when you know you're going up against a defense like that?
CLINT MYERS: Well, I mean, we pride ourselves -- we spend a lot of time on our defense. The double play that Emily made to take them out of the big inning, everybody was really excited, but I bet you if you look at the book, she's probably done that five, six times. I mean, we're at a point now in the season where there's a lot that goes with instinct, and when you have an infield that's really clicking together, I mean, they know where each of them are at all the time. You don't even have to look.

But again, it's -- defense can kill rallies, defense can win ballgames, and we did a pretty good job with the defense today. I mean, like I said, she gave up seven hits. Five of them never left the infield. I mean, that's pretty good pitching. That's pretty good defense.

Q. Their defense, did it feel like they were putting more pressure on your runners, as well?
CLINT MYERS: I mean, somebody asked me today, and I'll answer it this way: Oklahoma and Auburn are very, very similar in the coaches' philosophies, what they teach, and how they approach the game. I mean, and offensively we're going against our defense all the time, so that gives kind of an edge. Well, offensively for them when -- and I haven't ever been to an Oklahoma practice so I can't really say how much they go against their defense, but we go against our defense every single day, turning double plays, working relays and cuts, and again, it gives us that edge offensively and defensively because I think we're pretty good.

Q. Emily, talking about the Arizona super regional, was that the experience that gave you guys the confidence that you have right now that you can come back, or have you had experiences earlier this season that allowed you to do that in the super regional? If so, what were those experiences?
EMILY CAROSONE: We definitely have had more than just the Arizona, but I think since the Arizona was so close and that team was so dominant, and for us to come out on top just shows Auburn's character, just shows that it's not over -- if we have an out, we're going to play with it and we're going to keep going.

But like I said, Arizona was a good team, and we pulled it out. We did great. That's what I expect for the next two games.

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