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June 2, 2023

Amy Hogue

Mariah Lopez

Kendall Lundberg

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

Utah Utes

Postgame Press Conference

Washington 4, Utah 1

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by Utah.

Coach, do you have a statement?

AMY HOGUE: It was great to be here. I mean, they worked so hard to have the opportunity to be here in the final eight. Although we didn't play the way we wanted to today, they fought their guts out. This one sitting next to me was the leader of that, Mariah, really proud of what she did in the circle today.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for the players.

Q. Mariah, obviously getting the start today against a team that you're very familiar with, what was your game plan against the Huskies?

MARIAH LOPEZ: I think our game plan was just to find new ways to get them out. Obviously we watched film on them, saw how we were successful before, kind of just worked from there.

Q. I know it was probably tough sitting, trying to figure out if you were going to play last night. What do you think went into that, the impact for today?

KENDALL LUNDBERG: Honestly, I don't really think it affected us too much. We're used to, like, having to do hard things. I think it just helped us more.

MARIAH LOPEZ: I agree. We're used to adversity, especially since we live in a state with a lot of snow, canceled games, stuff like that. I don't think that had a huge effect on us.

Q. Obviously suffering the loss today, what are you going to take into this evening playing Oklahoma State tonight?

KENDALL LUNDBERG: We're just going to take our fight. Honestly, no team is better than us as fighting back. I think that's all we got to do.

MARIAH LOPEZ: I think just going out confident again, working from there. We know what we need to do to win this game.

Q. Mariah, has the decision been made whether or not you're going to pitch against Oklahoma State?

MARIAH LOPEZ: We haven't talked about that or anything, so... Not sure.

Q. Mariah, how do you feel about the way that you performed today in terms of your pitching?

MARIAH LOPEZ: Yeah, I think there's always things to improve on. We can just work from there, get after it later today.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Hogue.

Q. Do you think the waiting last night had an impact on the team this morning?

AMY HOGUE: I think if it did, it might have had a positive. I know it didn't seem like it with the way we played, but this team just wants minutes together. Because we had to sit around together, they got that.

Honestly, they're finding joy in all the little things. So, yeah, I don't think it affected at all. They had some fun together.

I think tonight I might have a little different answer for you because it's going to be a long day for us. As far as this first game, no.

Q. In terms of having to play two today, how do you feel about that?

AMY HOGUE: Yeah, that's going to be tough. But like these guys said, they're tough. The last time we got beat, we killed somebody. I mean, I think that the pressure's off, if they felt any pressure today. It's off. Now they're playing for a day off and some more fun together.

They think that's worth it. Plus we threw in ice cream at that Braum's place. If we win tonight, we're going straight there through the drive-through with the bus. We're going to roll down each window and take our orders (smiling).

They just want to have more days together. They know they'll earn an ice cream, a day off, another ballgame with their group.

Q. Nine runners left on base. What did you say to the offense after that performance?

AMY HOGUE: Yeah, Coach DJ speaks on the hitting quite a bit. It just hurt my heart because they were ready to do it, and they tried a little too hard. When they do that, it doesn't work out very well.

He reminded them that trying harder isn't always better. They're going to find a better way to do it tonight.

Q. What was it like to play in this stage, and do you think your players -- what do you want them to take from this experience that will help them later tonight?

AMY HOGUE: Well, I talked to them about that little feeling they get in their belly, how when they feel that, that all that's doing is it's freezing something in time that they'll remember forever. So when you feel that, make sure you're looking at someone that you care about, and you're thinking about something that you want to remember because it will be frozen there forever.

I have moments of being here a long time ago. They were good moments because I did exactly that. So I think that experience out there and the reminder that I've given to them that it's way bigger than the game, I'm hoping they're doing a little bit of that 'cause I know they felt it. There are plenty of times today to freeze a moment and remember it.

Q. What would you say overall was the difference in today's game? Earlier in the post-season there was a game that was tight where you said you didn't really feel like yourselves, because of that you felt confident about going into the next game. I believe it was right before the Ole Miss game. Do you feel like maybe you didn't play like yourselves today, or do you feel differently?

AMY HOGUE: Well, I don't think they felt tight. I think they just tried a little hard. They actually were really calm. We drew those walks. That's hard for us. We normally don't walk. I think they were calm enough.

But when they had the opportunity to bang somebody in, they tried a little hard. They were a little early, a little under it, just missed. I think if they were nervous, then they would have stood there a whole lot more or swung at balls, but they didn't.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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