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June 1, 2019

Taran Alvelo

Morganne Flores

Sami Reynolds

Heather Tarr

Oklahoma City, Oklahomaa

Washington-1, Oklahoma State-0

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by the Washington Huskies.

Taran, throwing 95 pitches and striking out 16 batters, was the plan coming in to just pound the zone or was that a product of so much early success, you just kept going after them?

TARAN ALVELO: My goal as a pitcher is to get outs. That's all I was doing. My mindset was just to get each person out, whether it be a strike-out, pop-up, groundball. My team needed outs.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the student-athletes.

Q. When you hear the term 'survival Saturday' and what that means, explain that.
MORGANNE FLORES: Just giving everything that we have to each pitch, doing it for our team, doing it for each other.

SAMI REYNOLDS: I think for us, we have to reverse our mindset and look at it as a positive, that we get more time with our teammates. We get more pitches to see. We're going to get better every day. I think we just have to have that, like, switch in our heads.

TARAN ALVELO: You have to find the love for what we do all over again. Sometimes it's easy to dwell on the loss or, I should have done this to change the game. Instead of just being like, I get to wake up tomorrow and play two games. I get to play two games with my best friends at the end of the season. You just find the love for each other and for the game.

Q. Morganne, what did you see out of Taran tonight?
MORGANNE FLORES: Just the competitor. She goes out and competes each pitch. It's awesome to be behind the plate and catch someone like that because you know she has every single one of our backs. She's going to give it 100% each time that she goes out there, she's going to keep us in the game.

It's awesome to have someone like that in the circle.

Q. Taran and Morganne, you said before when you're out there you're playing with one mind. Is it like you get into another gear when you're rolling like that?
TARAN ALVELO: Yeah, I mean, working with Morganne is one of my favorite things in this whole world. When we have nights like tonight, I'll give up a hit, be down three balls, okay, timeout. I don't know how many times you noticed I called her out to the mound tonight. It's just to slow myself down, focusing on each pitch. She helps me do that more than anything.

Sometimes I feel like I have taken advantage of that, called her out when I didn't need to. If I have to bring her out every pitch, I'll bring her out every pitch. She's amazing.

MORGANNE FLORES: It's just awesome to have a teammate but also someone you can connect with so well. I'm really blessed with that.

Q. Taran, what goes through your head when you see Sami crashing into the wall?
TARAN ALVELO: I laugh. Then, How is my little baby doing? I hugged her. Sitting there with open arms, she just ran into my arms. Making sure she's okay. Then I can just shake her and be like, You're so freakin' awesome.

Q. Taran, so much has been made of bat flips and intensity, the expression of women athletes for who they are. Your team loves to express emotion. What kind of message do you think that sends to young women and girls about what is acceptable for them as women?
TARAN ALVELO: Be yourself. Bat flips, fun expressions. I mean, I've slammed a ball I think one time. Just pure raw emotion for the game. I feel like that gets lost in so much. You see it in men's sports, in so many things. It's like, Why can't we do it? Why can't we sit and express how much we love what we do, what we feel?

I mean, Kaija making that diving catch. What's any different than a bat flip when she gets up and screams, Let's go.

Q. Tomorrow semifinals, what do you need to see to advance?
TARAN ALVELO: What we're doing right now, just playing the game. Playing our game. Focusing one pitch at a time.

SAMI REYNOLDS: Same thing. I think we can't make the games too big. We just keep it small one pitch at a time.

MORGANNE FLORES: Just focusing on ourselves and playing Husky softball, continuing to grow.

Q. Taran, last time you went out against UCLA, it was a little bit of a rough go for you. How are you going to prepare mentally?
TARAN ALVELO: Same thing I do every day. I mean, that was a game. It happens. It is what it is. That was beginning of conference. I mean, they're a different team, we're a different team. I'm a different pitcher, yes and no.

It's just finding myself in each pitch. Just executing for my team. They need me.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, ladies.

We'll continue with questions for coach.

Q. Talk about the defense your team played.
HEATHER TARR: We're just used to playing in these kind of games. It's just a one-pitch-at-a-time mindset, playing together, having fun, doing what we need to do to win the game. It's a little bit of a quick turnaround between the end of the last game and this game. All we had time to do was go home and change clothes, shower, our preparation was cut a little bit short. Typically, we have a lot more preparation involved in playing someone.

Just proud of the team for being so tough defensively tonight.

Q. What does 'survival Saturday' mean to you?
HEATHER TARR: Again, you're going on adrenaline. You are just hoping you get to play one more game together, one more game together, one more game together. We don't really think about the end. We just think about, Let's keep going, let's stay together, keep going. This team has a lot of life left in them.

I'm just really proud of them for enjoying the game so much.

Q. As far as all the great games you've seen Taran pitch, given the stage, quick turnaround, how impressed were you with her performance?
HEATHER TARR: One of the most mature games she's thrown as a Husky. It's great to see her be able to thrive, take all the things she's learned, continue to stay tough and do it for her team and for this program.

Q. When you take the lead, did you have in your mind that might be all anybody got?
HEATHER TARR: I was hoping that wasn't the only run. Just scoring first, being able to shut them down the next inning, just playing our hearts out, playing our game, we knew we had the best chance to win if we scored first.

It was exciting. We wanted to score more. We had a couple chances. It was all we needed today.

Q. This time last year Taran was trying to figure out how she was going to fit into the Huskies team. On an emotional level for you, what did it mean to see her do tonight?
HEATHER TARR: I think just the expectations we have of her, I mean, they're still higher expectations. Just proud of her for being able to do what's expected of her for this team. I mean, she's very emotional. She plays with her heart. She lives with her heart. It's hard sometimes when you live like that because you go up and down.

For her to understand the level at which she can compete at and maintain, but also have the physical opportunity this year as opposed to last year coming off an injury. Really proud of her. Hope we get to keep going for as long as we can.

Q. What do you see out of your team maturity-wise to go through all of this in one day?
HEATHER TARR: This team's a pretty special team in that they're still growing and they're still learning, still just competing together. To be able to get through today was tough, but it's just what we do. We're tough. The tougher it gets, the better we play. That's really all I can say about it.

No matter what the circumstances are, we're just trying to be tough and mentally into the moment, competing together to try to extend the season for as long as we can.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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