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June 6, 2021

Tiare Jennings

Kinzie Hansen

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

Oklahoma Sooners

Postgame Press Conference

Oklahoma - 6, James Madison - 3

THE MODERATOR: We're joined by student-athletes Tiare Jennings and Kinzie Hansen.

Q. Rylie Boone leads off the seventh with the bunt single. How much did that lift up the team? Especially for you, Tiare, just what did that do for the momentum of that inning and your at-bat right after that?

TIARE JENNINGS: You said it, it brought momentum to the team. I knew when I went to the plate that I had to do whatever I had to do to move her over and that Jocelyn or Kinzie would bring her home. That was my game plan. And seeing her on first just fired me up and kind of hyped me up to do what I did. So definitely started the momentum for the whole entire lineup.

KINZIE HANSEN: Something about Boone is she knows how to get on base, for sure. Whenever we need it she does it. She does it all the time on us at practice. When she got that down the whole dugout just erupted. It was something that we absolutely needed to get the ball rolling, for sure.

Q. I want to go back a few minutes right before Rylie Boone, coming in the seventh inning. It was an electric atmosphere and you guys kept pretty comfortable about it, but what does that do for you guys with the stadium split -- doing the Sooner chant? It sounded like a football game.

KINZIE HANSEN: So we didn't know that that was going on, but we saw C.C. (phonetic) and Jessica Schuts sprinting down the right field line, and the stands, the whole crowd going back and forth. I know I got the chills a little bit, I was like, this is about to happen, we're about to get this done.

TIARE JENNINGS: She said it. I had the chills. I just kept smiling at second base and just kind of looking because that's how cool it was at that moment. Definitely had chills. Definitely gave us that spark to do what we did. It was super cool.

Q. Tiare, if you could talk about solving Alexander a little bit in this game today and how you went about that? And Kinzie, I want to ask you something because everybody wants to talk about offense but you got May, that first hitter a little shaky, but you got her going after that. If you could talk about that a little bit?

TIARE JENNINGS: Definitely my game plan was just to be aggressive. Swing at strikes. Control the middle of the plate. And just be aggressive was my game plan. And just line drives, hard hits. And so far it's been working.

KINZIE HANSEN: Nicole May always has the greatest demeanor on the mound, remains calm, always has that very focused approach. I've caught her for about four years now even though she's a freshman, back in travel ball and things is like that. She got on the mound and I knew she was going to get it done.

When I'm behind the plate I love bringing that aggression, that fiery edge. So, when she was on the mound I was like, I've got you right here I'm going to get you going. And it worked.

Q. Want to ask about Jayda's diving play, I think in the sixth inning, huge play there. Kinzie, the diving play behind home plate was really nice. Your thoughts on that play?

KINZIE HANSEN: So I've actually -- that's the one play that I think I dream about. When I go to bed at night I dream about the popups behind the plate that I get to lay out and dive for. I used to do that exact play at catching lessons every single night over at Jen's.

So when it happened I thought immediately of her and I was, like, I've been training for that my whole life. When it happened I was like that's it, that's what I've been dreaming about for a long time.

When Jayda made that grab, that was the big-time right there. That was what we needed to get that momentum switch for sure.

TIARE JENNINGS: Definitely super amazing. I'm not surprised that she made it. As soon as I saw the ball hit and Jayda was going after it I was, like, it's going to get caught. No matter what it's going to get caught. Definitely started the momentum for the team.

Jayda always finds a way to fire us up. That's what the hype man does. And just seeing Kinzie in that play, I've never seen her do that play before so I was hyped. I got super hyped up. The team got super hyped up. And you could tell how we responded to that.

Q. Wanted to take it back a few moments before Rylie came up to lead off the inning, saw you guys gathered around the dugout, a little bit of a team meeting. Going into the seventh inning tied there, what was the message there and how did that help spark what happened there in the seventh?

TIARE JENNINGS: Just grab that momentum and let's go. We were on the pitch -- her pitches, hitting it hard, just getting under a couple of pop flies. But we knew that we were on her. So I just think the message was just hit the ball hard.

We're in the right place. We're in the right mindset. And kind of just start chipping away and get somebody on and chip away from there.

KINZIE HANSEN: Tiare said it exactly right. I believe we were hitting the ball hard the whole entire game. J.T. was telling us let's stay within our game plan and stay within ourselves. That was the most important message that stuck out to me anyway. It was stay within your game plan and keep doing what you're doing because hitting the ball essentially is going to win the ball game.

Q. You guys had your backs against the wall since literally Friday. Do you have any left in the tank for Game 2 tonight?

KINZIE HANSEN: You know what, with that gladiator mentality, I like to say our tank doesn't get empty. But ...

TIARE JENNINGS: She said it absolutely right. We're ready to battle. We're all in it. We are as excited as we can get. We're going to get after it. We're super excited and she said it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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