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May 30, 2019

Montana Fouts

Claire Jenkins

Patrick Murphy

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma-3, Alabama-2

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Alabama.

Claire, you had we'll describe it as an un-Claire Jenkins like NCAA tournament today. What kind of work did you put in to get ready for the World Series? How much did that first hit jump-start your day for you?

CLAIRE JENKINS: I just thought about my mindset mostly because I know I can do it throughout the season, I'm good enough to be here. Focusing back to what got me here in the first place, making sure my mind is in the right spot.

After the first hit, I was in the dugout, Here we go, we're ready. Let's keep rolling.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. Claire, the home run, what did you see? Did it feel good off the bat?
CLAIRE JENKINS: It did. It was a change-up. I sat on it really deep. When I hit it, I just hoped it had enough to go out. I knew it was pretty high in the sky. Just hoped that it would make it out.

Q. Claire, coming into this World Series, you struggled, SEC tournament, regional. What was it about this stage that lifted you up?
CLAIRE JENKINS: I think it's my team, them just keeping coming and telling me, You got this, just keep swinging, keep doing you, them having my back throughout this little short time, in postseason.

Q. Montana, when OU did have success against you, what were they able to do to get the bat on the ball?
MONTANA FOUTS: I just think they capitalized on my mistakes. I got behind in the count. I think they were ready to swing.

Q. Were you nervous in the first inning? Not hitting your spots?
MONTANA FOUTS: I wasn't really nervous. I think I wasn't really trusting my stuff until later in the game.

Q. Claire, you had the line drive in the sixth inning. I don't think you dropped the bat. What did you see?
CLAIRE JENKINS: I just saw an inside pitch. I drove it. She jumped up and it went straight in her glove. Just one of those things. She made a great play.

Q. What does this team need to do to get ready for Saturday?
CLAIRE JENKINS: We just need to trust ourselves. We need to go out there and play Alabama softball, take care of our business, and we'll come out on top.

MONTANA FOUTS: I just think, like, Murph was saying after the game, we need to have short-term memories. If any team can do it, I think our team is built to come through the loserĂ¢â‚¬â„¢s bracket.

Q. What did y'all see on the triple?
MONTANA FOUTS: Yeah, I mean, Elissa is a great outfielder. I knew off the bat it was a hard hit. Again, she capitalized on my mistakes.

CLAIRE JENKINS: I really thought Elissa had it, how she was tracking it down. I thought it was going to be another play she made early in the year, foot off the wall and catch it right at the top of the fence. I thought she had a really good play on it.

Q. Claire, you played ball with G. How has she evolved since then?
CLAIRE JENKINS: She's changed so much from when I played with her. She just has new pitches, different pitches. They're a lot crisper. She has just really changed a lot, grown into a great pitcher.

Q. Claire, what was it like to hit the home run out of a former teammate?
CLAIRE JENKINS: It was a lot of fun. Just knowing I played with her, knowing that I had hit at-bats off of practice before. It was just fun going out there, then getting to do that off of someone that I used to play with.

THE MODERATOR: Ladies, thank you.

We'll continue with questions for coach.

Q. What did you tell the team after this tough loss?
PATRICK MURPHY: We just needed one more hit to go our way, Claire's, Elissa's even the last inning they made two good plays. I looked down to see they have two triples, which doesn't happen very often in a game.

If anyone is built for going through the loser's bracket, it's us with our pitching staff, with five pitchers. I think everybody is really ready to go. I thought it was a really well played game between two really good teams.

Q. Montana said she wasn't nervous. You had a team full of rookies. Could you sense that at all?
PATRICK MURPHY: I don't know. I think it was just, like, getting comfortable out there. I thought she was going to get on a roll there because she was striking people out. Her change-up was the best it's been all year. I think she only missed one that was thrown for a ball. Other than that, she kept them off balance. Steph called a good game. She used a rise ball at the end of the game because they were probably looking low.

I was hoping we could hold them there.

Q. You talked about the team being built to go through the bracket. What other traits does the team need to have to be able to make it?
PATRICK MURPHY: Just resiliency. I mean, everybody knows that she was going through a slump here, Claire, for weeks. It reminded me of Amanda in 2012. She had done the same thing. We were playing Arizona State on the Friday night. Amanda finally got a little Texas leaguer to fall. She hits the home run to beat Dallas in a great game, 2-1.

I really thought that was going to be Claire tonight. She gets the little duck fart that falls, then hits the home run on a change-up. That was her first home run since we played South Carolina, like, March I don't remember what it was. It's been a while.

She was stuck on 12 for two months. You could just feel the weight off her shoulders. Even Elissa, too. She went through a rough super regional. She got on base twice, made them hurry. That's her game.

Between the two of them, it's very similar to us all year long: grit, resiliency. That's what you have to have right now, a very short-term memory.

Q. You have a deep pitching staff. When do you make the decision on who you throw next?
PATRICK MURPHY: We'll probably have a real short practice tomorrow. Probably just hit somewhere, then talk with the coaching staff and see. Let's see. We beat them down there, in the SEC tournament Montana relieved Krystal, I believe it was. Krystal threw about four and two-thirds. Montana threw two and a third. I am mean, all three of them have action against them.

Q. Claire, is that something the rest of the team with get motivated by?
PATRICK MURPHY: I thought the key tonight was going to be our righties. They had to produce. We had only three. Bailey got on RBI, Claire got a home run, then Reagan, she was 0-3. The righties, I thought maybe the lefties would get on Punch and Judy, a walk. Elissa was on twice.


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