June 6, 2021
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA
Postgame Press Conference
Oklahoma - 6, James Madison - 3
Q. I was curious what you saw from (indiscernible) on Thursday with Alexander on the circle, what adjustments you were able to make to see her a lot better today?
COACH GASSO: It's always a little bit easier the second -- not easier, but you have more knowledge the second time around. And having never faced her, we were not prepared for what she was bringing.
I think facing Rachel Garcia really helped us prepare for today. It wasn't easy. Don't get me wrong. She still had a lot of our numbers. But I just felt like we felt more confident, a little more prepared with what we needed to do to get to the ball quicker than what we were doing yesterday.
Q. Were you pleased with your team's energy and/or just conditioning with such a turnaround? And what's tougher sitting around to play like you did last night or having this quick turnaround? And is this what you were talking about when you were talking about the series needed to be lengthened to give you will a little wiggle room for events like last night?
COACH GASSO: I'll start with the -- I forget. You asked a lot of questions in one. The energy, yes, they were ready. Our goal was just to keep going and keep playing and know when we get to Sunday we're one day away from being in the championship series. So conditioning has been very important for us in the fall and into the spring. Our strength coach has done a great job. Many times we've talked to our team about the way your legs feel right now is how you'll feel at the World Series.
So we talked about it a lot in the fall. And they understood what we were dealing with. So the energy was great. They were very excited. Short sleep time. Very short preparation time. The good thing we had already played them. Yes, this is what I'm talking about. I just am shocked that Oklahoma State and Florida State had to play a College World Series game that advances you to the semifinals at close to midnight. It doesn't make sense. We're asking questions why, because we can't delay it for another day. That's what we need to do.
If we're about the welfare of the student-athlete, that is what is being preached to all of us, then do something. Do something. I don't know who needs to do something. But having these guys get home at three in the morning and then prepare for the next day, it completely throws off your rhythm of sleep, hydration, of eating. It wasn't fair to either team to sit around and wait that long.
I've been in that position as well. I just would like to see what other championship does the same thing. And now you're starting to hear coaches talk about this. It's very uncomfortable when we are talking to our players about standing up for what is right. Yet, what is happening around us is not right. And the players will do whatever you put in front of them. They're not going to complain. They're going to go to bed at three, wake up at seven, because it's the World Series. But that's not the memory they need to have.
You know, does it make you tough? Yeah. Does it show like, wow, we're going to fight until the end? Yes. But that's not -- you want to see a World Series where every team is rested and at their best. And we've been doing this for so long, it's tragic. It's just ridiculous, really. And I think coaches are really starting to -- we just kind of keep silent but now we're starting to talk about this. It's not fair for our athletes. It's just not.
Q. I was going to ask you about defense this game. You've talked about it all year. But seemed like today it played a huge role, obviously, big defensive plays got Shannon out of big jams and Jayda had a great play. Talk about the role defense played in the win.
COACH GASSO: Obviously Jayda Coleman's play in center field, she's been doing it all year long. It was an absolute momentum builder for us and a timely, timely play. As much as we've made some really good plays, we also uncharacteristically didn't make some plays that really got us in some jams. So important that our defense get a little bit tighter here, clutch up for us. The big plays will take all day long, but the routine plays we need. We need those and we're better than what we showed defensively that let JMU in the game. We've got to clean that up. But we've been known for big plays. And Jayda Coleman seems to always be in the middle of that.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports