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May 30, 2013

Kim Bruins

Connie Clark

Blaire Luna


Texas – 6
Arizona State – 3

THE MODERATOR:  We are joined by Texas head coach Connie Clark and student‑athletes Kim Bruins and Blaire Luna.  We'll start with an opening comment with Coach and open the floor with questions.
COACH CLARK:  What an exciting match‑up, and I will tell you the one thing we talked about before the game started with the group is probably the first team to relax is going to have a good opportunity to win it all.  I thought we were tremendous tonight, which is very exciting coming off of yesterday's practice, because we were just a little bit nervous, I thought.  We were able to work it out.  They kept assuring me today that they were ready to go and feeling good.  They were as loose and looked like the Texas team that I knew and did a tremendous job. 
Kim Bruins and Blaire Luna to share that was tremendous, and Kim Bruins obviously just had a stellar night and she was a star for us.  Great match‑up with a great ballclub in Arizona State.

Q.  Was there a time around the fourth inning where it was feeling a little too much like old times 0‑0, no hits either way?  Were you seeing positive things from your hitters at that point?
COACH CLARK:  We haven't been here in so long.  I don't know if I remember what old times felt like, to be honest.  No, I felt very confident.  I thought we were getting great looks at Dallas, and she's a tremendous pitcher.  We saw her back in March as well.  We were able to look at some film.  The hitters, I think, really even in warm‑ups were confident in regards to what they were going to look for, and we had to establish what the strike zone was going to be with our particular empire.  I just thought we made great adjustments and looked very focused.  I really was confident in the fourth inning that it was just a matter of time, and we stayed together and just kept making adjustments.  They made some great plays on us as well.

Q.  Kim, tonight you almost had two homers, did have one, a couple RBIs and got to close out the game.  Can you just talk about in your senior World Series what today was like for you?
KIM BRUINS:  It was so intense.  I was just trying to leave it all on the field for my teammates.  I was seeing Dallas pretty well all night, so I was hope to go just put something into play and it just kind of fell in my favor.  Pitching, I was a little nervous, but I had to just kind of sit back and take some deep breaths and realize that my teammates had my back.

Q.  Kim, did you think the first time you hit the ball that it was going to be a home run?
KIM BRUINS:  I didn't.  I hit it and I thought it was going to be a flyout, but the wind kept pushing it and pushing it, and I was like, yeah.  And I saw her reach over and just snag it.  So at first I thought it was, so...

Q.  The second one, did you think that was going to be a home run?  Or did you think the baseball Gods just evened it out?
KIM BRUINS:  Yeah, they just evened it out for me.  They threw me a bone.

Q.  Connie, first talk about the decision to go to Kim in the seventh; and after that, Kim, if you could talk about the emotions?  You haven't had a save all year.  Talk about the emotions in that situation?
COACH CLARK:  Well, I've been talking to KB about it for about the last month, to be quite honest, and she's been working.  She's thrown tremendously well for us this year in the opportunities that she's gotten.  We've talked about it.  We've been very, very close in those type of scenarios, and it's tough.
You guys, if you've seen Luna and you know her, she is about as good as anybody in the country when bases are loaded, so it's tough.  You leave a long leash on her.  But KB, I talked to her after the game and said hopefully now you'll believe me, because we've been talking about it.  She's been on call.  She's been ready, and what a big moment for her to go in.  As a senior, going into a scenario like that, controlled her emotions exceptionally well.  She was able to slow it down.
Yeah, she was a little nervous.  Who wouldn't be?  But she just focused on taking a deep breath and competing hard.  Obviously, it was where we were in the lineup.  We were at 9, 1, 2, and I thought where we were, they had some good looks.  Not only tonight, but back in March those specific hitters against Luna.  They were two of the most patient hitters, and the timing was right to make a move and KB brought a different look to them and did a great job.
KIM BRUINS:  All I was thinking was three outs.  I wasn't trying to think too much in there.  I was just thinking, hit my spots and the defense will take care of it.  I couldn't have done it without my teammates behind my back.  And Mandy did a great job calling pitches as well.
But I just tried to take it pitch by pitch because who wouldn't be nervous about pitching in the World Series like this?  Yeah, it was pretty nerve‑racking, but I just took it pitch by pitch.

Q.  Blaire, talk about your night and how things went with you.  Talk about the evening as a whole?
BLAIRE LUNA:  I think overall I was happy with my performance.  I think the offense and the defense did good as well.  But my mentality tonight was just go right at them and kind of spread the zone and that kind of helped me.  So that was kind of my mentality was to stay the course and get ahead in the count.

Q.  Blaire, knowing what Haley Steele had done in one at‑bat earlier, what was going through your mind when you were watching Kim working her for that last out?
BLAIRE LUNA:  Just work ahead.  I was behind when she hit that home run, but she did really good with it.  I was just really all for KB, and I'm so happy she had such a great night and she got the save.  You know, I just couldn't be any happier that we got the win, and that's all that matters.

Q.  Coach, can you talk about winning that first game and how that positions you?  If you lose, you have such a long road, but getting on the right side of the bracket and how that positions you for the future?
COACH CLARK:  I haven't thought ahead yet.  We're just really focused on the now.  I think obviously, it's tremendous to get a win on the first night.  It does position us better, I suppose; but more than anything, I like what it does for us mentally in regards to confidence and able to compete exceptionally well against a great ballclub and Arizona State.  I remember back in March when we lost to them, and that was a great match‑up as well, and we just didn't get the result.  We talked about it, and I think that was the first thing I said after was we'll see that team again.  It was kind of nice that they were our first match‑up.  We came out and attacked.  But I like it more mentally than physically.  We'll be ready to go and I think we come back and play tomorrow night at 8:30, so we'll figure out the day and take it one day and one pitch at a time.

Q.  If you could kind of talk about the fact, Texas athletics as a whole have had a little bit of what might be viewed as a down year, do you feel like you guys are kind of carrying the flag and upholding the Texas standard maybe here a little bit?
COACH CLARK:  Well, I think we all have our own goals.  To be quite honest, we're pretty motivated by volleyball winning the National Championship.  We had a banquet end of April, I think, and really good timing for us.  End of April we're watching the celebration of women's volleyball and they're lighting the tower.  That got these guys extra fired up like, hey, it's our turn.  We all pull for each other in athletics, and it's up‑and‑down sometimes, but we have a great family and we're pulling each other day‑in and day‑out.  We're going to hopefully carry our piece of it if we can and compete well and hopefully make the rest of our peers excited and motivated as well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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