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May 31, 2018

Taran Alvelo

Trysten Melhart

Gabbie Plain

Heather Tarr

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Washington 2, Oklahoma 0

THE MODERATOR: The nifty slide to break the ice and get the first run across and making the game-saving catch in right field, can you talk about her performance?

HEATHER TARR: Trysten is a player that's been in our program for four years and she's waited for this time to be able to make these types of things happen. We were not finding ways to score and we're going to be dynamic in the way in which we were going to score runs and Trysten is the one that started it all. She had that great lead-off on and found her speed to be able to get that run in and then made a pretty dang good catch in the outfield.

Q. On an elite scale, how elite was your defense?
HEATHER TARR: Yeah, we pride ourselves in our defense and we're pretty lucky to have these types of players that can come to Washington and do things. Six days, make our way there, only three strikeouts defensively, so we're going to have to make several outs via defense. They are all together, as always, and they are a fun team to watch. It was a great game today on defense. It was pretty elite.

Q. You guys did what nobody could do in regional or super regional play, hold their offense down. They could just never get anything going. What did you guys talk about? What did you see out of them that helped you have that goose egg up there?
GABBIE PLAIN: I guess we talked about throwing good pitches and making sure they were hitting the spots that I wanted them to hit, and then trusting that the defense behind me would have my back. We obviously watched some footage on the hitters, but that wasn't really what it was about.

Like it was just going out there and throwing the same pitches to all hitters, because any one of them could have gotten that winning run, so, yeah.

HEATHER TARR: Obviously, you know, at this point in time, it's not so much about the other team. It's about us and how do we compete, how do we stay pitch to pitch. Obviously playing a team that has their home crowd behind them, that's hard. We got to be on the other side of that for the last two weeks, so to be on that side of it this time, that's hard. What a great team. They put the ball in play and like Gabbie said, you're only one pitch away from damage. I guess great job on our part to hold that team down on their offense.

Q. The catch, first of all, what is the rank on your catch scale and great catches you've made, and did you think that you had a chance to be able to get it, and when you came up, did you think you made the catch? Some people didn't think so.
TRYSTEN MELHART: I would say that ranked in the top 10 of great catches I've ever made, and in that moment, I felt like I had it, I went for it, and I did catch it.

When I got up, people were still running and I was like -- I just threw it in all nonchalant and it worked out for us and they saw what I felt, so that was good.

Q. You were asked to do something a little tough today as far as coming in and protecting the lead. So what was going through your mind when you were taking the mound so late in the game?
TARAN ALVELO: Coming in any moment in the game is tough, whether that be starting the game or, you know, halfway through where it's the last inning. I was going in could team that zero up there. I gave up a few hits but it was all about keeping them from scoring. I was trying to protect Gabbie's good game and we work as a team all together and sis made some unbelievable stops. I kind of was like, okay, whatever, those are good hits, but those catches, her stops, helped me proceed to keep my cool, do what I needed to do to execute the next pitch.

Q. Gabbie, there's a lot of talk when you get to this stage about how much experience matters, so it’s obviously your first time here, so what were your emotions like in maybe the hour before the game and then in that first inning?
GABBIE PLAIN: There was definitely nerves, of course, with any big game. But that's a healthy thing. It keeps you on your toes. I was just going out there and thinking it was like any other game. We played some excellent positions previously, so it was just, go out there, throw the same game that I've been throwing, have the same team backing me up, which was definitely necessary, so yeah.

Q. By my count, you only saw two batters that you've pitched six or more pitches and that was Jocelyn, and both of those were six and seven, I think so. You didn't get into high counts with a lot of batters. How important was that? Was that just you throwing your game or were you trying to give them sort of -- get them to use your defense?
GABBIE PLAIN: I think it was a bit of both, keeping on top of what I throw, making sure that they were hitting good spots, so that it could again, tempt them if they hit it to one of the fielders, so that was just an added bonus.

She's definitely a very good batter. I was definitely on my toes around her, trying to keep her from getting that one big hit that I knew she could have done. I'm just glad that all worked out.

Q. You've had shortstops in the past who were great defenders who were great stoic, didn't have great personality on the field. Now it's a little different. How much of a part of what makes her special defensively is her ability to express herself out on the field?
HEATHER TARR: Yeah, she's a player that brings energy, as does Taylor and Taryn does, too. Gabbie is just like the sponge that absorbs it all. She had a chance to watch Jen for one whole season, obviously growing up. She's watched our program play, just in terms of just defense ability, but her energy is unmatched and we rallied behind it. It gives us confidence and it definitely helps us keep the door shut a lot of times on other teams.

Q. Was there anything you did to get ready for Paige Lowary? She came in and you guys were really aggressive and got a lot of bunts down in the right places.
HEATHER TARR: Yeah, obviously they have a great pitching staff that you're going to have to deal with, you know, potentially both of them in one game, and they are great pitchers. I think you have to be ready. This wasn't a try. We weren't going to try to do this game.

We were going to play this game and execute how we need to execute and that was really our mission, and it wasn't so much like, we have to face a lefty that throws 74 and we have to mimic that. We don't have that. It's just our mind-set of this is a game and we have to be ready to play it. We can't like think that there's another tomorrow.

Q. For Sis and Coach, you have Oregon tomorrow, a team you've faced before. What do you need to see out of your team to advance?
SIS BATES: We were talking about that, like next pitch, we have this win but we have Oregon tomorrow. Just playing together and playing for each other, keeping playing Huskie Softball, doing us. I think that's the main thing that we're focused on right now is playing Huskie Softball.

HEATHER TARR: We haven't beat them yet this year, so I mean, we've got to play our game, and yeah, we have to play Huskie Softball. But we know that we haven't beat them this year.

Q. Trysten, I'm going to ask you about the catch, I thought it was a catch myself; I'm going to preface it with that. But it seemed like you didn't control the ball until you had your bare hand with the ball, and as you got up, you were trying to put it back in your glove and maybe it came out it. Was an opposite transfer than usually takes place. Do you remember any of it?
TRYSTEN MELHART: Honestly it was a blur but I felt like I caught it initially and that's all that matters. It's kind of hot out there if you didn't notice and slippery, so things are going to happen, but it worked out for us, so that's all that matters.

Q. Talking about Oregon and that series, that was up in Seattle. What makes this team dangerous? You're obviously very familiar. Do you need to take time to scout this team before tomorrow's game?
HEATHER TARR: You know, you do your homework throughout the year and you've got to be ready to execute. That's really what it comes down to. So for us, it's more, again, like I said earlier, it's about how we play. It's about how we execute for ourselves and that's who is going to win the game is the team that plays the best.

Q. Why did you decide to take the switch with Gabbie in the 6th?
HEATHER TARR: We consulted and we knew Taran was ready and if it meant that Taran was going to come in and shut down that inning and maybe Gabbie matched up in a situation, they were both ready. I think the game presented itself to make that change, and was happy it worked out for us and Taran did a great job.

Q. For Taran and Gabbie, going back to Oregon, an offense that's put up 22 runs in its last 11 innings, is it revenge for you guys at all or do you like that you get the second chance?
TARAN ALVELO: I feel like coming into post-season, it's like a whole different season. Yeah, you take what happened in the past and you digest it as you may, and we're a different team and they are a different team.

How we go out there tomorrow, we focus so much on the next pitch. You can't look back. You can't get too stuck in the past. I think that's what makes us as successful as we are is because we are able to look past the hardship and the obstacles that come our way and it pulls us together as a team. You know, what happens then is ultimately I think why we have as much fight as we do now.

GABBIE PLAIN: Pretty much the same thing. We're going to do the best we can, go for the outs, whether that's strikeouts or getting the outfield behind us. We're just going to keep doing what we do because that's all we can do. We can't really change anything at this point. They are still the same batters. We are still the same pitchers. That's not a benefit for them but that's a benefit for us because we know them as well as they know us. We can only do what we can do.

Q. There's a lot of talk about how you have such a great defense but you also have great pitchers and a great defender. What's it like playing behind such a great pitching staff?
TRYSTEN MELHART: Our pitching staff is awesome this year. I love playing behind them and I love playing with the defense. It's so fun to play behind them, their energy. Like it's awesome. It's fun. It's fun on the field.

Q. Do you have any idea who you're going to throw tomorrow?
HEATHER TARR: If I did, I probably wouldn't tell you (laughter).

Q. Mike White didn't tell me earlier, either.

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