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May 31, 2012

Melissa Davin

Lauren Gibson

Ivy Renfroe

Ralph Weekly



THE MODERATOR:  For Tennessee, we have Co‑Head Coach Ralph Weekly and student‑athletes Melissa Davin, Lauren Gibson, and Ivy Renfroe.  We'll start out with opening comments from Coach and then go to the floor for questions.
COACH RALPH WEEKLY:  Well, first of all, that was a dominating performance by Jackie Traina.  She did a fantastic job, and the Alabama team deserves credit.  They came out on fire and attacking the ball.
But I still am proud of our kids.  I think that we fought the whole game, and I think after the first inning, it could have been a lot worse except that our kids fought and fought and hung in there.
You know, this is the World Series.  And people have asked me about all kinds of different excuses.  There's no excuses.  That was a softball game, and we played hard, and they played hard, and they came out on top.
And, again, I'm not going to throw any of my kids under the bus.  I'm proud of them.  And we're not out of this either.  You know, we're still playing.
THE MODERATOR:  Questions?

Q.  Ivy, I guess I hadn't seen an opening inning.  What happened in the first inning?  Was it a control issue or just trouble settling down?
IVY RENFROE:  I mean, all this time, I was just going after the hitters.  And you know, have a couple of walks.  I can't really remember.  And then she got a really clutch hit.  So hats off to her for getting that clutch.  That was really good.
So, yeah, I don't know, I settled down and I don't know what else to say.

Q.  Ralph, can you talk about the decision to take her out and the decision to bring her back in?
COACH RALPH WEEKLY:  Well, Ivy's won 19 out of our last 21 games, and we have not‑‑ we had the fourth toughest schedule in the country, and she's a very good pitcher.  And as I told our team in our conference, every pitcher in this country and every one of these all‑American pitchers will have a bad inning here or there.
So I just know Ivy's a kid that I like to have on the mound when the game's on the line.  And I still think that you need to give some of that credit to Alabama, because they came to the plate like this was the last time they were ever going to hit in their life.  And again, we did some of that near the end, too.  So it's not just standing up here praising them.
But it was a hard‑fought game, 5 to 3.  Ironically ‑‑ and he did a great job.  It's the same umpire that was behind the plate in Tuscaloosa in our 11‑inning game down there.
So just two good teams and tonight they got the best of us.

Q.  To follow that up, Alabama in the first inning has outscored people 100 and something to 23.  What is it about them that allows them to jump on teams like that?
COACH RALPH WEEKLY:  Well, they came out fired up.  And again, we've done that, too.  We've had games like that where we've come out on fire and scored a lot of runs.
But I think our team would tell you, if you ask them, they just came out on fire.  That's about the best thing I can say.

Q.  Melissa, can you talk about your home run?  It seemed to cut the lead in half.  And what was it like going back to the dugout?  Was it a different dugout than you left?
MELISSA DAVIN:  Yes.  Jackie Traina, she was putting a lot of first pitch strikes, and I was just seeing my team‑‑ she was getting ahead that way, and I was just going in that box thinking I'm going to attack if it's good.  And I did.  Going into the dugout, I think it kind of boosted our confidence, saying that we were still in the game.

Q.  Lauren, when they got a run off of Ellen, seemed like they were picking on you, two really hard shots.  How close were you to fielding those balls?  And also, if you could talk about trying to get the team refocused.  You've got international experience.  If you could talk about how that might play a role in Tennessee being able to bounce back?
LAUREN GIBSON:  Those two shots, they were good hits.  Kayla Braud and from Fenton.  I was close.  I tried to lay my body on the line and dive for it.  But they just happened to be up the middle.
I tried to keep my team in the game by just making sure everyone stayed within theirselves, stayed in the game the entire time by pitch by pitch and not like the next at‑bat or the next inning or whatever, just stay within the game.

Q.  With the six seniors, do you think that helped them a lot coming prepared, to come out the way they did?
COACH RALPH WEEKLY:  I think that's a factor, but you know, again, I think they're a very good team.  And you know, that's the way you have to play in championship play.  You have to come out in the first inning and you have to be ready to go.  You can't come out and fool around.  You just gotta be ready to play.  When the ump says play ball, you gotta be ready to play ball.

Q.  Ivy, can you talk about when you came back in, you did appear to be pretty settled.  How much different was it for you coming back in the game as opposed to starting, did you feel any different, or was it just‑‑
IVY RENFROE:  No.  I think even starting the game, I felt really good today.  I felt loose.  But I don't know.  It's just things happen the way they happen.  I don't know how to explain them actually.  But I was just going out there trying to throw strikes and get outs for our team, and that's what I was trying to do.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you.

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