June 2, 2023
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA
Oklahoma State Cowgirls
Postgame Press Conference
Oklahoma State 8, Utah 0
THE MODERATOR: We are joined by OSU.
We'll take an opening statement.
KENNY GAJEWSKI: Well, obviously a really nice game for OSU. I told our team after last night's game that I couldn't wait to see what their response would be.
I had a good feeling. Not sure I could tell you we were going to come out and run rule. But I figured we'd play well. There's too much experience here. There's just too much talent here. There's too many great kids and great coaches.
I felt good. I felt good all day. Excellent pitching. I thought Lexi was on point. Defense making plays. We hit the ball like I know that we can. When we do that, we're pretty dang good.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for players.
Q. Lexi, if I've done my research right, you've pitched in an elimination game before. What kind of mindset and approach do you like to take leading up into that game?
LEXI KILFOYL: I guess just try not to think of it as an elimination game because that's when you're going to fail. So I went in there and I knew I was going to take groundballs, my defense was going to have my back. Our bats came out right from the first inning, and they were just non-stop.
Q. Lexi, did you have a certain game plan going into tonight how you were going to pitch?
LEXI KILFOYL: No, it's just what we always do. Our infield is always ready for groundballs when I'm throwing. They know that. We were playing our orange coverage most of the game. Our defense was on fire.
Q. Katelynn and Morgyn, how did you all sense the vibe of the team before the game started? How important was it to have the big first inning to get things rolling?
KATELYNN CARWILE: I kind of knew just coming into today, like, all of us were excited. You could tell we were ready to go. We wanted to show what we can do after last night's game.
I think that first inning really set the tone for us. I thought it was great. We kept building off that the entire game.
MORGYN WYNNE: I would agree with Katelynn. There was like a refresh vibe. We kind of just left yesterday in the past and we came out today wanting to play OSU softball. That was really the only focus that we had today. For it to go exactly how we wanted it to in the first inning right out of the gate, that was a true testament to everything we talk about on a daily basis.
Q. Morgyn, you had the early hit, they were you were a part of the six-run second as well. What allowed you to have so much success at the plate tonight, especially after how everything went last night?
MORGYN WYNNE: Yeah, we definitely had a game plan about picking the pitches that we wanted, being on time for our pitch. I think that that's what made us most successful tonight, was attacking early in the counts, hunting the pitches that we knew we could drive very well.
Q. Morgyn and Katelynn, you guys had a long night last night. Utah had a long day today. Are most softball teams accustomed to this?
KATELYNN CARWILE: I think for me, kind of when I think back to travel ball, we would play eight games in a day which now you think is kind of crazy.
I think our fight and drive, anybody is built for this if you want it bad enough.
MORGYN WYNNE: Definitely growing up playing travel ball, we played in the qualifiers like sometimes five, six games a day. But it's something that you really prepare for when you decide that you want to play this sport. Like, you got to play this game for hours in a day or you wait around from the morning to the night to play. That's just what we sign up for the first day we pick up a bat and ball.
Q. Lexi, John came out pretty early. What did he say to you? It seemed to maybe flip a switch for you.
LEXI KILFOYL: Yeah, he noticed those balls I was throwing were close. He said, Don't change anything. Just keep hammering that, he's going to call it eventually.
He just came out and said, Keep attacking like that you always do and the good results will come.
Q. Lexi, every time I've seen you have had to field something, you seem to handle it pretty well. Is that something you've always been good at?
LEXI KILFOYL: Yeah, I definitely take pride in my fielding. That's one of my favorite things to do at practice actually.
Even from a young age on my travel ball teams, I would play first base all the time. They would just get balls at us all the time. I think that has definitely helped me today, just having like fast reflexes.
Q. I know folks around here are familiar with it. Last night Bullet didn't get much of a chance to make an appearance. What is the fun part, the dugout add to the game for you guys? After a day like yesterday, what does that do for you guys in the dugout?
MORGYN WYNNE: I think the Bullet reminds us to keep the game fun, to keep it light, to keep the energy going.
Yesterday was the first time we really hadn't seen Bullet make an appearance in the last three weeks. Today he was out running around, making his laps. I think that kind of brings a juice that we love in our dugout. We don't want that to go away again.
KATELYNN CARWILE: I agree with Morgyn, it does bring a lot of energy. All of us are just able to have fun. Honestly, it's probably the best part of the game, watching Bailey run up and down with Bullet.
THE MODERATOR: We'll continue with questions for Coach.
Q. You moved Morgyn up to cleanup. What went into that decision? I'm assuming you liked what you saw.
KENNY GAJEWSKI: Yeah, we just talked beforehand. Micaela Wark just hasn't been feeling good. It's kind of shown. But I want her in that area because she's a kid that's going to be around here for a long time.
We've kind of flip-flopped that four, five, six a bunch here. Just had a feeling. Morgyn seems to be the one that has really adapted to our style very, very well, what we want to do. She's really got her average up, really had an amazing year compared to last year.
She's just been so close all year. It's just like it's going to happen. It's kind of cool to see it happen on the biggest stage. I grabbed her before the game had started, right when we posted the lineup. I said, Hey, I moved you up, let's go, just let it go, let it all hang out and fly. Let's just make it happen.
She smiled and had a great look in her eye. I felt good. I mean, it's cool to see. It's been a great story all year.
Q. I know last night you said you thought you guys would respond well. You said maybe not a run rule. In preparing this morning, did you still feel that? Do you like to stay hands-off with the team, let them create their own motivation or do you like to be involved?
KENNY GAJEWSKI: No, I mean, I told them what I needed to tell them last night. I saw 'em a couple times here today. We had some gifts dropped off. We did some pictures and stuff like that. I saw 'em at a meal.
But, I mean, their energy was incredible all day. I think I saw Chy here today first. She saw me and just smiled. I was like, All right, we're good, like I thought we would be.
I felt awesome until about 3:00 or so. I went and got on the treadmill for a moment just to try to get some energy out. I may have been a little bit anxious, more than them, about that time.
These guys, they just know how to respond. That's what we talked about since we brought the program in the first week. We just talked to them about response. Response is going to be everything that we need.
I'm just proud of them, proud of the way that they just take care of themselves.
Q. You've been on the bad end of bad weather. Utah had a long day today. They looked fairly flat tonight. They made policy changes, format changes. At some point there's nothing you can do, weather, no dome?
KENNY GAJEWSKI: Yeah, we play an outdoor sport in June in this state. I mean, we're going to have that. Utah will be better for it, just like we have been. They'll be back here.
I should have said in my statement, you know, hats off to Amy and her staff for what they've done. They had an incredible year here. Proud of them. They'll learn.
It's just hard. It's just hard to respond. You know what I mean? We were up late last night. I don't care what you say, the later you go to bed, the harder it is to wake up and feel good, right?
Everybody is on high alert here. Everybody is on point. You just got to go. It's tough. But it's what it is. When you play an outdoor sport like this, we're just going to have to deal with this type of stuff. That's why response and toughness are so important in our game.
Q. We talk a lot about response. What can a response like this in particular do for you guys moving forward?
KENNY GAJEWSKI: Yeah, I think it will be good. Honestly, we're going to wake up tomorrow and have a day off, be able to rebound here.
It will be nice. The best thing that it does for this team is it's creating more moments. We're going to have more moments tomorrow. We're going to have more moments the following day. That's all I want. I just want to live one more day, right? That's how you can get through this stuff.
We're built to move on in this. I feel like that. I didn't lose any sleep over that last night. This team will celebrate this win. We'll wake up tomorrow and back to work.
Q. I don't know exactly what Lexi's pitch count ended up being. How important is that going forward, compounding that with the day off, arm rested?
KENNY GAJEWSKI: She was at 53 it looks like here.
I mean, everybody's on-call here. We're just going to go at it. We're in a one-game year now, like we were today. We got to win and advance, that's it. We'll do everything we can. Everybody will be fresh.
Lexi is really, man, good. It's going to be interesting what we work through over the next day or so because we've got three good arms that we trust. This is why John gets paid the big bucks. I'll put it on him (laughter).
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
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